Don’t let distractions shake your self-belief

Q: I was sitting in the foyer. The interviewers were running late. Rather unprofessionally, I thought, the school had made no provision to ensure that candidates didn’t meet each other. The woman sitting next to me made some small talk before informing me that “actually, I’ve already got the job”. It completely threw me. I didn’t get the job and I’m not sure if she did either. How should I have reacted? (WD, email).

A: Brazen is the only word for it, writes Liam Horan, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers.

Liam Horan, BALLINROBE Tel: 094 95 42965

Maybe she hadn’t got – and never got – the job. Maybe she was as far out as a light house. But she was playing hard ball and she got the better of you.

On the day of the interview, you must be bullet proof. Even if you see the Minister for Education – or Sir Isaac Newton – beforehand, you’ve still got to believe in yourself.

Where does that belief come from? Good preparation. Know the stories you want to tell. Know how you want to tell them. Know the nuances of the job spec and the school inside out.

I know candidates who let all sorts of things throw them off on the day. School yourself beforehand that no matter what happens on the day – an interviewer leaving the room or dozing off, their alarm going off while you’re into your stride – you are going to remain focused on proving you’re a strong candidate for the position.

And, to quote a famous Kerry man (Páidi O Se, RIP): “let everyone milk their own cows”.

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