I heard a fantastic phrase last week. One of our senior sales leaders was talking with us about value propositions, enhanced authenticity and other eye rolling stuff. I was starting to glaze over when he came out with this gem:
Don’t just show up and throw up.
What a perfect way to describe what happens when you head into an interview and you are nervous as hell. The first question is thrown out and off you go. You do a complete and uncontrolled brain dump. Then you run out of oxygen and can no longer remember the question. So embarrassing…..
Don’t get me wrong. Nerves won’t ever go away. There should always be some anticipation and a sense of excitement when you meet with new people. I get that feeling even when I am meeting people I already know and I talk to strangers for a living.
The key is confidence and that comes with research and practice. Once you know you have secured an interview, research the company. Use LinkedIn, industry news sources and your network to find out what you can about the company. Look for information on growth, awards, competitors, culture, locations and values.
Spend some time thinking about your experience and what might be relevant to the hiring team. What stories could you share that would induce some good eyebrow raises and head nods?
Prepare five or six stories that illustrate how you deal with challenges, how you set priorities, how you tackle something new. Practice telling these stories. Make sure they sound smooth and they hang together so you don’t drift off in the middle.
A good career example is like a good joke. You have told it many times and you know when to pause and when to keep going to get the desired impact.
That preparation should allow you to walk in to an interview ready to share what you know and learn what they need. And that’s the goal.