Step back to see the wood from the trees

When training candidate for upcoming job interviews, a regular problem I encounter is that of ‘perspective’, writes Deirdre May, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers.

LIMERICK - Deirdre May
Deirdre May, Career Coach, Limerick office
Tel: 086 890 8400

It can be difficult, when describing events from your own career, to see the woods from the trees. A career is something you’re living through right now and you can struggle to put it into order for an interview.

Hence, the problem of perspective. Candidates often dive deep into detail on relatively small issues – and underplay, or ignore, big achievements. When preparing for interview, you need to step back from you’re the minutiae of your career to identify what really matters.

Know what’s big. Know what impresses. If your career were the 9o’c News, what would make the headlines? When you know that, you can tell your stories better and make a greater impact.

Q: I am going for a job interview in my current place of work, the HSE. It’s a good promotion and I’d really like to get it. It’s a competency-based interview, and I’ve been reading about how interviews like that go, but I don’t really know to start – I’ve been here for 22 years and I don’t know how to identify what’s important and what’s not. Any pointers? (TF, email).

Here’s radio interview of Liam Horan talking on same subject.


Deirdre May is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers in Limerick.

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