Women who tend to undersell themselves at interviews generally lack the confidence to promote themselves and their achievements. According to Kitty Kay and Claire Shipman – “success, it turns out, correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence.” If this is true, addressing confidence at the interview stage is crucial.
I have had many successful female clients who admit that interviews are not their forte. When asked why, every single one confess that they struggle to sell themselves. No surprises really, a lot of men struggle to promote themselves too – but what can we do to about it?
One of my techniques is to re-frame the activity. Imagine the outcome if you put as much preparation into your next interview as you did for the organisation of your wedding or your child’s 1st birthday or that overseas holiday you’ve dreamed of? Now imagine you are required to develop a presentation to get this project across the line.
Now consider the following:
An interview is a presentation and presentations are a narrative that should have a clear beginning, middle and end. Successful interviews are the same and just like an engaging and interesting presentation, interviews require extensive planning and preparation. You wouldn’t dream of presenting to a client or your board without knowing your topic intimately. Approach interviews with the same mindset and you will not only boost your confidence you will be more successful.
- Know your topic – begin your preparation by understanding your capabilities and how they relate to the role you are applying for. Just the same way you would begin preparing for a presentation – the only difference is you and how you add value to the role are the topic.
- Prepare your message – once you have a deep understanding of your topic you can begin to prepare how you are going to narrate the presentation. What are your themes and how will you develop that narrative so that it provides the evidence you have the skills to do the job?
- Link your message to their needs – once you have developed the evidence that you have the skills and experiences you now need to connect these to how you are going to add value to the potential employer. It’s actually all about what they get not how fabulous you are.
Of course, this is only a small part of the preparation process but is a great way to begin to re-frame and re-shape not only your interview confidence, but also your ability to promote your best self.
Posted by Felicity McLaughlin
This is the latest in a series of articles about career development for women. If you would like to discuss your own career options, please contact Bravo Consulting about how we can help you achieve your career goals.