Paper crutch: may crumble in job interview
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By Liam Horan, Career Coach & Managing Director, Sli Nua Careers
Q: I am going for interview next week in a new company. I have researched the living daylights out of them and I have also gone back over my own studies and work experience to find everything of relevance that I can muster. I have so much information assembled, I am wondering if I can bring some notes into the interview with me. What do you think? (DE, email).
A: It would not be my way, nor would I encourage it, but it is not without some precedent.
Some public service application forms carry this note or a variation on it: “Should you be invited for interview, you may take a ‘hard’ copy (or ‘paper’ copy) of your application form with you. Mobile devices are not permitted for use during your interview.”
Nevertheless, I still would not encourage it.
I think it will distract you. It will likely be an unreliable crutch. It will kill the natural flow of communication you should really be aiming for in an interview. In addition, it may flag you as lacking in self-belief.
How would it actually work?
Upon the panel posing a question, would you take a minute to check your notes? I think is contrary to the spirit of the interview; a cheat of sorts; and one that is unlikely to impress the interview panel. The interview is designed to check out what you know: and you should know it so well you do not need notes.
Sportspeople write mantras on their hands. Believe. Next ball. Whatever word or phrase distils their thinking going into the game.
That is a different thing: that is not something they are depending on, rather something they are using to remind themselves of something in a fleeting moment.
I write on my hand all the time too. Milk. Petrol. And sundry other hieroglyphics I singularly fail to decipher just a few hours later. I should not really depend on thae paper crutch method: and neither should you depend on the one you are proposing for your forthcoming interview.
Research them well, figure out in general terms what you would like to say, and trust yourself thereafter.
Skype or bust?
Q: I have been called for interview in two weeks’ time – but I am going to be away. I just cannot avoid it: my brother is getting married in Italy, and I am best man. I really want the job. Is it feasible to ask for a Skype interview? (DT, email).
A: In a word, yes.
It sounds like it is Skype or nothing for you right now, so you’ve nothing left to lose by requesting one.
They are becoming more common. Some companies even ask if Skype would suit you better.
If you are going to look for Skype, do so soon. Do not spring on them at the last minute – they will have to organise themselves for it, though it is not exactly flying someone to the moon.
And, if they do accept, get yourself ready to work hard to build rapport during the interview. In the disembodied nature of Skype calls, rapport can be difficult to create – there is no handshake and there is not much body language.
So be warm, friendly and chatty. Use their names if it feels right. Remove the distance as effectively as you can and nail that interview.
And, after that, do not forget the ring. You have one job…
You can read more blog from Liam HERE
Liam Horan is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers. We have offices nationwide, plus a full online service. Our services include CV preparation, interview training, mock interviews, personal statements, career planning / direction, LinkedIn profiles and application forms.