Until someone shouts it out loud, walking towards you with their hand outstretched.
As you greet this person, you try to keep your hand steady…but it feels like they can see right through you. There’s no way you’re going to get this job, you might think.
I know, I know–I’ve heard it plenty of times. Going on an interview can seem like it’s a scary thing. But, let me let you in on a little secret: You have no reason to be nervous. You are interviewing that company just as much as they are interviewing you (if not more!).
Sound crazy? Well, through my experience helping thousands of people to land their dream career, I’ve seen this magic trick in action. When you’re just…you during the interview process, you’re no longer at the mercy of that big company–and you end up landing that dream job with ease.
It might seem difficult to wrap your heard around though (and easy enough to say, Scott!). On an interview it feels like you have to be on your best behavior hoping that your skills and personality align with the expectations of the person sitting across the table from you. It often feels like throwing a dart against the wall in a pitch black room.
But, when you learn how to be authentically you during the interview process, that’s no longer the case. And today, along with Career Coach Evangelia LeClaire, I will tell you exactly how to do it.
The most important part of interviewing authentically? Your mindset.
Long before you even begin thinking about going on an interview, you need to get into the right mindset. This accounts for nearly 80% of your interview success!
Having a confident, present mindset allows you to head into your future interviews with ease. It channels your nerves (those sweaty palms and racing heart) into excitement instead. And, it allows you to be yourself.
In order to get into this mindset though, you have to know yourself well, and respect your past experiences. You need to understand your career equity. And, that takes introspection.
That introspection doesn’t come overnight either. It’s a practice that builds up over time, which is why “cramming” for interviews isn’t effective. Being true self in an interview comes down to self-development.
Interview prep starts long before the interview is scheduled
Since a large part of being successful in interviews, and ultimately landing your dream job comes down to organizational alignment, it takes a lot of prep work to understand what is a career fit.
So, let’s take a step back.
Evangelia suggest that this path of self-discovery could happen on your own, or with a coach. “But importantly,” she says, “you should start with identifying your strengths.”
If you’re at the very beginning stages of your self-discovery, we have a great resource that helps you get clear on what the right career is for you. It’s an 8-day course that makes you dig deeper, and understand what those strengths are.
Evangelia suggest another great tool: A Trello Board, which you can see an example of below.
A Trello Board allows you to collect all of your values, strengths, and what type of work energizes you. You can complete this exercise with a coach, or on your own–though it’s usually helpful to have a second pair of eyes (even if it’s just a friend!). Regardless, you should use an organizational tool like Evernote to keep track of these findings–they will come in handy later, I promise.
And remember — a little more conversation never hurts
Once you have done your self-discovery work, get to talking…a lot.
Connecting with people in the organization you’re interested in will help you get clear on your own personal values and what the company is about. And, it will be an extreme bonus when the actual interview roles around.
During our conversation, Evangelia reminds us that this discovery phase extends to finding the right organization, too.
“I think a lot of us get into interviews and feel we are at the mercy of the company which isn’t a great mindset to have. People that go with that mindset accept a role or convince a company that they are the fit for a role that they really aren’t right for. That causes eventual agony and months and years of waste. “
It’s important to remember that the preparation phases before you land the interview are just as important–and cramming never works. Spending time getting to know yourself and the organization you think you’re interested in working for might seem like it takes a lot of time and energy–but at the end of the day it could save you years of your life.
But when you enter these “informational” chats, what might you say?
Evangelia shares a couple of simple conversation starts that could help:
When you get to the actual interview–even if it’s not with the same person that you spoke with during your exploration phase, you can leverage the information that you learned. Whether it’s concrete examples, or even just knowing the tone of conversation within the organization’s culture, all these learnings will prove helpful.
Also, it’s scientifically proven that we build trust faster with people we are familiar with. It’s not “name dropping” anymore, right?
So, the interview is finally scheduled: Now what?
So, you finally have The Big Interview on your calendar. Don’t start getting nervous yet–you’ve already been doing your homework for a long time!
Evangelia shares a few important tools and practices to use during this phase. The first is getting organized, and referring back to that self-discovery work you did in the beginning: your Trello Board.
“Rather than going in worrying how to answer the 30 most common questions in an interview, whittle it down to what they are seeking and creating stories that support it. It’s so much easier for you to pull out these stories out without saying the same thing during each question.”
After looking back at your strengths, compare them with the career competencies listed on the job description. These might be project management, or data analysis–basically, the “skills” you’ll need for the job. After comparing these two important pieces of information, you can start crafting your stories.
You should prepare about 3 – 4 stories about the core competencies you know are important for this role. In this process you don’t need to be perfect. You just need to think of clear examples that demonstrate your true self–and how your strengths align with this role. Leave out the minute details.
There are a couple of different frameworks that we like to use in the coaching world. You can use the “present, past or future” framework (one of my favorites!):
“It can sound like currently I’m a ____. Where I get to do ___ (things that are relevant) and before that I did ____ (inserting relevant traits and experience), and in the future I want to ____. “
The Big Day: Top 3 Tips To Keep In Mind During Your Interview
So, you made it to the big day: Your Interview.
Out of all the preparation you did, Evangelia and I have 3 major tips to keep in mind, so that all that hard preparation comes in handy.
- It’s all about your mindset Remember, 80% of your interview success is about your mindset. Think about all the preparation you did to get here, and all of the experience you have relative to this role. Be confident!
- Think of your stories as guideposts Your stories should guide you throughout your conversation. Don’t have anything memorized, or know exactly how you would answer the “Top 30 Questions To Know When You Interview.” Knowing the content of your stories will be able to back you up for any question.
- Be flexible! Look for cues from your environment, and the person you’re speaking with. If you were set on telling a story about your 5th grade graduation (I wouldn’t recommend that anyway!), but your interviewer is taking you down another path – go with it. You got this!
Transcript from Episode
This is the Happen To Your Career Podcast with Scott Anthony Barlow.
We helped you stop doing work that doesn’t fit you. Figure out what does and make it happen.
We help you define the work that’s unapologetically you and then go get it.
If you’re ready to make a change, keep listening.
Scott: This is Scott Anthony Barlow, and you are listening to Happen To Your Career. The show that helps you figure out what we’re fits you by exploring other stories? We get to bring on experts like very own Lisa Louise who helps people understand the fear, that’s holding them back to allow them to move forward in their careers or people that have pretty amazing stories like Olivia who realized after meeting all of her for financial and success goals. Something was still missing and it had to be more to a life in career. These are people that are just like you they’ve gone from where they are to what they really want to be doing. Today we get to talk to returning guest on the podcast of Evangelia Leclaire.
Evangelia: My name is Evangelia LeClaire and I am a career coach and strategist at happened to your career and what I do is I help people overcome any limiting beliefs, they that have about themselves really identify their strengths and who they are and leverage that into one having confidence about who they are and confidence in connecting who they are to a future, that’s going to fulfill them and their career.
Scott: In my conversation with Angelia, we get pretty deep intent how to learn the foundational pieces when you’re preparing for an interview and want I to give you a hand, it turns out surprise there not just memorize the answers to the 30 most asked interview questions. Also, we talked specifically about how storytelling can help you prepare and find connections with your interviewer and make you so much more relatable, and you don’t just have to use this in interviewing into you can use this in other areas of your life and then you’ll see how specific work, by doing that really upfront work, and knowing what you want, who you are, what you value and what you’re looking for are way more important than what you ever thought when it comes to an interview and we’ll talk about some really quite frankly, surprised ways that those can help you not just get a job, because it can be easier to get a job, but it’s really much more difficult to get something that really alliance and is a great fit for you and then we’ll introduce you to the STAR and SBO frameworks and you’ll find out how you can use these to knock it out part of the your interview
Evangelia: I knew I was looking for something, I could tell you exactly what I didn’t want, but I had a really hard time to defining what I wanted?
Scott: This is Tanya. She came to HTYC looking for clarity, she needed to move forward
Evangelia: So that I had this great structure that I could talk to because it was the base of who I was with the additional piece of what I was looking for now.
Scott: Listen for Tanya’s story later on. In the episode to learn how she used career change boot camp to help her finally figure out what fits her.
Evangelia: It is the single best thing that I have done.
Scott: Let’s break this down for people here and I want to try and answer. As many of the common questions that come up along the way, you and I had talked a little bit beforehand and said okay, what are what are some of the top three to four things that are most important here and one of first the pieces that you had said, oh right away absolutely is mindset, so why did you say that I’m curious first of all,
Evangelia: Okay? So the reason I said that is because most people go into an interview already, just even the thought of interviewing sounds very uncomfortable to people. It makes a majority of people feel anxious because of the unknowns. So getting into the right mindset and being present to what we’ll talk about, which is really yourself and knowing yourself is going to allow you go to about this interview with more ease.
Scott: I think that you’re right for a variety of different reasons here that mindset piece, I think that comes as a surprise, though, to most people, because it, I don’t know when I talk to people about interviews there, not like, oh yeah mindset, they’re worried about am I going to be sweaty or nervous, or they’re worried about how I am going to answer these questions or what I am going to say when they ask me that tell me about yourself, question that comes up ridiculously on every single interview and mindset seems to be the last thing. However, to your point that you just made is that it impacts all of us right?
Evangelia: Yeah, nobody gets excited about I mean you get excited when you know in interviews coming up, but then usually what follows that, is an avalanche of nerves and so the mindset piece is so important when we think about how to prepare for an interview when we go into an interview.
Scott: So, let’s talk about that, what if we break it down even further, what are some of the things that really people can do to get themselves focused in the right mindset for the time in place in order to be fully effective and show their true selves in the interviews.
Evangelia: Okay, so I have a few tips on this, but the primary foundation to get you into a good mindset is to really know yourself and accept yourself. Your experience all of the equity that you’ve built in your career in your personal and professional life and really appreciate that for what it is and then begin to identify what you’ve done and your experience and even the character traits that you have. That could connect the dots to this future opportunity so coming from that place of knowing your values, your experience, your skill set, milestone moments, that you’ve had your successes, your wins and building up the equity that will help you have the confidence and be present to who you are, appreciate who you are, so that no matter what comes next, whatever opportunity comes next, you can come from that place of knowing yourself and having confidences that who you are is going to eventually connect that dots to the next thing in your future.
Scott: Okay, so there’s two things that I take from that. One is maybe semi obvious. In that, nobody is going to know yourself as well as you do so, you’re not going to be unless you have that prerequisite of truly understanding yourself in that variety of ways that you just described. Then it’s going to be really difficult to articulate yourself in way that is going to be useful to an employer potential employer, future boss, potentially future co-workers that’s going to be endearing to them. So that part makes sense, and the other part that you mentioned to is. It seems like the piece buried in there than is in order to be great at interviews. You almost have to have to start prepping for interviews before there is ever interviews, but in a case of self-development, I’m not quite sure how to term that. But it seems like it’s going to be you’re going to be at a loss, if you’re not particularly self-aware and you’ve, got an interview tomorrow and you’re trying to cram and prep and everything like that.
Evangelia: Absolutely, part of what will get you hired is foundational piece for knowing yourself so much that you are very clear on what you value, your strengths and all the things that I mentioned before, but also ensuring that you’re targeting opportunities that are in alignment and are integrity to yourself. Your values, your skills and so that, when you come forward in an interview, part of the work that we advise that you do is one knowing the position, the employer, the job, the company, the values of the company and one ensuring that it’s somewhat aligned to who you are, and then to being able to present that and converge that in the interview, so there’s a lot of tactics and strategies to go into that, but on a very basic level, finding opportunities that really truly are aligned with who you are, and what would be a good fit for you, is part of the foundational piece.
Scott: So, let’s say that, then I know that I’m going be to making a career change, which means that I know that probably in the next few months here I’m going to be doing some interviews. Let’s just assume that and that’s the place where many of our listeners are at, right? so what can I do to begin to really fill out those prerequisites, not fill out but perform those prerequisites where I understand myself to the degree that wouldn’t be helpful to me in the interview process and show through what’s a couple things that I can begin doing so that, as I get to know the company, the positions, the interviews, those things, I can understand really well, if it lines up.
Evangelia: So, the discovery piece is of yourself really falls into checking back into digging deep, whether it’s with a coach or through your own self soul searching understanding I often like to start with you know values, and so, if you didn’t know, Scott I’m huge on Latin a lover of Latin, and that comes from the word values.
Scott: How did you know that? I did not know that.
Evangelia: I don’t know I studied Latin in high school and in college and I love words, ancient Greek, Latin, I love connecting them to the English language. So, the word value itself comes from the Latin root, Velour, which means strength. So, if you think about, and you know, strength think about if you’re living from your value set, you feel stronger overall in your life and so that’s part of the foundational piece. And then you know we talk about this a lot on this show that understanding what your strengths are and how from the strengthsfinder perspective, what your personality is and how that plays into your work and what energizes you passion, skill fit. So we start with the basic foundational piece to really uncover and deep get into the layers of who you are and then going into how you can begin preparing and coming from a place of confidence. Writing that down and Housing that, in like Evernote or Trello, your values, your strength, your personality, the things that energize you will help you get clear and identifying opportunities that are in alignment with that when you go searching for that, then, when it’s when we talk about when you do find opportunities and you’re preparing for interviews reviewing the company, the job description speaking to a few people at that company to understand where there is alignment and going into more tactical piece, as you get clear on what is required of the job and the positions that interest you begin to write that out and categorize it into a system like Evernote or Trello, so getting more again into the tactical. If you know that a job requires somebody who’s great at customer service, and you know consultative sales and problem-solving begin to write this out into your buckets and begin to assemble your stories and your strengths and your experiences that can really harness the character traits and the competencies that are required of the future positions that interest you.
Scott: Okay? This is super helpful. There’s a couple things I want to pull out of there because I don’t want them to get lost along the way. One of the things that people might have just glossed over, but I think is really important here, as you are, first of all, as you’re going through the process to get to know yourself, I will say that if you’re not quite sure where to start or how to do some of that digging deeper, you know the place where you dig and one resource that we have is you can go over to have your Career.com and click on actually, we’ve got it even easier in that go to Figureitout.co and then allow you to sign up for our AP course. That helps you get clear on the career that might be right for you and it’s going to get you started in some of that digging deeper pieces in a way that’s going to useful be for you as you get into interviews, but the part that I don’t want to get lost there is, I heard you say. As you’re getting ready to interview make sure that you’re talking to other people in the organization, now the weird thing about that, that I’ve experienced I’m curious as to your thoughts on this as you’ve worked with different students and client. I’ve always seen people when they have those conversation it makes them clear of what they want or don’t want and it doesn’t tell them about your organization. But they get clear for themselves about their values and it’s a weird byproduct that I’ve seen but I’m curious. What you have you seen when that, when that happens.
Evangelia: Yeah, so what I’ve seen when that happens is based on you know the questions that you ask, which should be very deliberate and intentional, when you do get insider information prior to an interview, you begin to see yourself, you begin to see whether you could see yourself in that position in that company that and culture or not, which is kind of like what you just said Scott and then the other part is you also get a sense from the other person that’s speaking to you of some things that you may not have known, otherwise that aren’t listed on the company’s website and or the job description that can either help you in an interview or help you determine that this isn’t the right fit so yeah that’s my perspective. Very similar to yours.
Scott: Interesting and I like what you’re saying about help you determine that it’s not the right fit to because I think so many of us get into interviews. And then we feel like we’re sort of at the mercy of the company, and that really isn’t, it’s not really an effective. Going back to my intense, not an effective mindset have as you’re going through it I’ve seen so many people that when they go through with that particular mindset and feel at the mercy of the company, then they end up in a roll or accept a role or somehow managed to convince a company that the right for a role that they’re really not right for that they’re really not right for and that causes eventual agony and sometimes months or even years of waste. So
Scott: Yeah, completely agree with that. And let’s talk about as people are going in and there getting knows of these people, what would be one or two examples of questions that they could ask? If they’re, trying to get to know the company prior to any interviews and get know to other people.
Evangelia: Yeah well, if you’re speaking to somebody who is on the team that you are going to be interviewing with for on the team of the position that falls within the same team that you would be working for. If you got hired, it could be things like you know. What are some challenges that the team is currently facing? That within the 90 next days, or that you are excited about so you want to frame it of course in way that doesn’t make you sound negative or that you’re looking to grab some dish from negative dish. From you know, the person that you’re speaking with so that could one be of the questions that sounds polite and another question could be. You know, tell me what it is about the culture of this company that you really love that make you feel great going to work each day.
Scott: I love that and one of the things that’s really interesting to me to going along the lines of what you mentioned before, trying to determine if something is a great fit versus not a great fit, I think if you’ve already done this previous work, that you’re talking about and know what it is, that you want or need, then it allows you to believe in teller those questions even further. For example, if you know that of on the spectrum of growth and learning, you have to have a lot of growth, a lot of learning in order to really line up with something that you want or an opportunity that you want. They have to provide that for you, then you might able to ask that question, then as you go and hey, how does you know this person who’s the boss, or how does this company support growth and learning? What are some ways that they do that and then can you get down to some of the specifics that matter to you as well.
Evangelia: Oh yeah, it’s so good.
Scott: It’s not always easy to do that like there’s never a any list of questions that you know we can give you even though that I know you can probably come up with hundreds of questions that you’ve, given people in the past. It’s even better if you can take those and customize them to what you want or need, because of that work that you’ve done and use a little
Evangelia: So good
Scott: So how about another question here, let’s say that I am really getting to know this company, the people in the company and the interviewers. How do I leverage that information? In an actual interview, or as I’m going into a review?
Evangelia: One of the things that you can do it actually in conversation is mentioned that you’ve connected with a few people at the company and some people automatically think even before, connecting with some people at the company, like oh my gosh, it’s not even appropriate is that the one. What will they think, right? But those who do it are actually like, in most cases, like commended for doing that, like good on you, like you’re doing due your diligence, wow you’re not desperate, you’re trying to figure out if this company would actually be a good fit you’ve so connected with a few people wow! Good on you so to in conversation, be able to reference some of the examples or stories that others have shared with you that made you feel very connected to the company and the role and the team and being able to bring out some of those stories politely and assertively in an interview well, help the person that’s interview in you feel like you’re already part of the team, because now you’re able to actually connect on deeper a level by referencing, some of the people that you’ve spoken with. If you do it right way
Scott: Yeah, there’s a of ton psychology behind that too, because we have a tendency to build trust faster with other people as we have familiarity with those people, so one of the ways that you just mentioned to create that familiarity is to be able to describe some the of conversations you have had with people they already know and then be able to share some of the reasons that you really enjoyed or absolutely love some the of things that you loved about those conversations and be able to relate to why it might fit in that creates that familiarity which begins to cause people to like you, whether they want to or not in some cases.
Scott: And then that like starts to turn into trust, which trust turns into in many cases being closer and closer to a job offer
Scott: And okay, let’s talk about how to prepare for this upcoming interview. Let’s say that people have done a great job, giving them no themselves they have been talking to some of the people in the organization and doing their due diligence and research, and they understand about a bit the company, at least from everything that they can tell, it lines up with what they value, it lines up with how they’re going to be able to leverage some of their strengths that are important to them and so on so forth. And knowing that, what can they do, and what should they do to be able to prepare for this upcoming interview?
Evangelia: Okay, so one of the things that I like to encourage people I work with to do, is to begin housing this information, like I mentioned earlier in a system that you can easily go into that is organized and so by having a system like Evernote or Trello and beginning to compartmentalize the things that line up with who you are, and what would be relevant and a match for the opportunity that you’re going after the interview that you’ll have is to begin to stock up your story so to give an you example. If you are going in to interview and you’ve identified that the core competencies that they seek our sales management and customer service. And you know let’s say one other thing, begin to bucket those into categories and begin to prepare three to four stories that would support with harness. How you have those competencies? How you have the skill sets, and I think three to four stories because often times when somebody’s interviewing you is asking you questions. They ultimately want to know. Does he or she have the skill? does he or she have this character trait? Does he or she have this value that mirrors and matches what I need for my star candidate and so by you being able to rather than going into the interview worrying about how to answer all the top 30 most commonly asked questions in an interview by you being able to whittle it down into what is it that they see in a candidate in terms of competencies, character, values and strengths, and being able to create stories that would support that it will be so much easier for you to go about pulling those stories out without saying the same thing if you have multiple stories and they’re just bucketed into the character, the values that the trade that are sought by this employer.
Scott: You know I think there’s a couple of things that are valuable about that. One, I think when I met some people in the past. Have you even been to things like job fairs and okay? So things where they’ve got like interview prep going on in the next room and as I’m listening to them they’re having people prep for particular question, just like you said, like the 30 most common questions that are getting show up in your interview and make sure that you’ve got all the answers perfect recited and on note cards and, as it turns out, that isn’t particularly effective, because first of all, what if they don’t ask any of those questions, even though it might be the most common, then you’re out of luck so by prepping based on stories and prepping based on those things that can be moved or shuffled to meet different situations. That’s actually going to be more versatile than just prepping, based on those 30 most common questions like we talked about so that’s thing number one that I absolutely love and I think is incredibly valuable there. The second thing I think that if you go into it, focused on what they need, because that’s what I heard you saying, focus on what it is, they want and need, then that creates a different mentality in a different mindset that you’re going into entering that interview with, and you come off in a different way, whether you mean or you’re not as well, and it comes off as more helpful. It comes off as more likeable and all the good things and then put you in a position towards the end to able be to really decide. Hey is this something that I want or not? Not being again at their mercy with those stories. First of all, let’s all talk about competencies really quick, that’s a HR word.
Scott: Let’s break that down to what we mean for everybody when they hear that so, how would you define competencies? What does that mean behind the scenes?
Evangelia: I knew I was looking for something, I could tell you exactly what I didn’t want, but I had a really hard time to finding what I wanted.
Scott: Tanya struggled with what she you wanted in her career and her life.
Evangelia: Really came down to remind me to find a career and which I could be proud of. Be could develop myself and grow more with.
Scott: Routines boot camp helped her realize what she really wanted, and she went to work on figuring it out.
Evangelia: Because you’re going to get so much more out of it. Based upon what you put into it.
Scott: Tanya now had a plan to take action.
Evangelia: It has brought me from a place of not knowing a place of not being confident in being able to bring myself to others and to explain, who and what I am.
Scott: Having a great plan, wasn’t the only thing she gained from 13th boot camp.
Evangelia: Being able to present myself to my peers and having that confidence to be able to do that in a manner that resonated.
Scott: Congratulates to Tanya on finding work that she loves with her dream company wanderlust. If you also want to figure out what work fits you and find that fulfilling career that lights you up and gives you purpose, find out how coaches boot camp can help you step by step, go to your https://happenyourcareer.com and click on career change boot camp or text Mycoach 244222 post right now and we’ll send over the application just text mycoach to 44222.
Evangelia: I can honestly say that I would not be where I’m at today without the HTYC crew.
Scott: How would you define competencies? What does that mean behind the scenes?
Evangelia: It means the basic skills that are required do the job. So when you look at a job description, it becomes very clear what is needed like whether it’s project management, whether it is data analysis, whether it is sales, that’s what core competencies are, and so when most HR people, they write a job description. They base it off of the main core competencies, and so when you get good at identifying what are the core competencies of the position, and you begin to figure out how you can match your stories to really project that and support that. That’s what we mean.
Scott: Oh yeah perfect! And what’s really cool here, as you can start to loop some of the stuff together to because you mentioned earlier talking to talking to people in an organization. So you can just go ahead and find out what those people think are going to be some of the most valuable skill sets or most important things that you bring to the table, so it’s a way to cheat without cheating or maybe cheat the wrong word, but it’s a way to get that information upfront it’s another way. Yet another way to go in through the back door if you will, and make sure that you’re stacking the deck in your favor, not with malice with good intention. And once you have that, then that allows you to be able to prepare in the ways that you’re talking about here and I would say, okay, it has as you’re thinking about those stories. What is the best way to prepare those stories? What does that? What does that look like in your experience?
Evangelia: Yeah, so from my experience, sometimes it’s really important to depending on your personality type to sit down, and it just say, begin to mine your mind about well. What stories do I have? What experience do I have that I would be able to speak clearly about that support how I’m awesome at sales aware so beginning to ask yourself that question and sometimes people need to talk that out. So that’s why most people hire coaches for that they need to help? They need the help of a coach to help them dig out those stories to help them refine and create a clear, concise story, and you know to really get it from a point that can be delivered concisely consistently there’s a framework called StAR, which is STAR stories it’s being specific or being able to describe this is an acronym, the scenario that task the action, the result.
Scott: And if STAR, is one too many letter to remember there’s also SBO, which is essentially the same thing. Really when you think about it, which is the situation and then what was the behavior that you exhibited, and what was the outcome? But if you break down any story, even if you like break down elements of Pixar films, you start to realize that there is this beginning middle and end, and the beginning is essentially, like what is the situation, What is the problem? What is the thing that has tension? What is the thing setting that up the entire rest of the story, and then what is that thing that you did that impacted it in one way or another, and then what was the outcome or the result or the learning or whatever else it might be, and if you start to break down any good stories, you start to realize that all of these different elements that you’re talking about are there to do the exact same thing.
Evangelia: Yeah, there’s a fine line like you, don’t want to get too detailed in your story. So that you lose the person whose listening and you want to be able to anchor in keywords. You to want be able to frame it effectively so that people begin to if you’re losing them. If you have the right anchor and the right frame, they can really digest what it is you’re sharing, and so there’s an art to it. It’s an art.
Scott: There’s a little bit of learning question because I know there’s probably eight seventeen hours’ worth of answer to this and I’m going to ask you to packet into less than a minute or two but yeah. I know, what are some guideposts that we can use to create relevant stories? I want to talk a little bit about relevancy and how that factors in here.
Evangelia: A lot of this will come through the work that you do beforehand so by having connected with somebody at the company that will help build you up. So that’s a guidepost I would say that will help build you up to creating a relevant story. Number two is knowing again what are the core competencies? What are the traits? What are the values of the company on the position and team? So that’s a guidepost? The third would be what really interests and entice the person that you’re interviewing. What are some that? What are some of the psychological triggers that you can bait into your story that will engage the person that you’re interviewing with so that comes with doing your research and gaining insight from having connected with the person via social media. In a way that helps you prepare for how you will communicate with that person, understanding what their style their communication style is and how they receive information that can help be a guiding post to creating a story that the other person will retain and engage in. A fourth one would be just to frame it effectively so that the person will receive information so if they’re asking you a specific question such as you know, tell me a time in which you made a significant impact in improving a team’s performance, you’ll be able to start with that frame. Allow yourself some time to process and mind for the story that you’re going to bring up but to frame it that way so that you’re not just going right into it and losing yourself in the person that’s interviewing in the details. So that’s part of a frame and then going into the situation the behavior and the results. So that’s the guidepost, just the simple frame to help somebody process, what it is you’re saying and anchor it in with the specifics to tell good a story.
Scott: That is I’ve so many things running through my head right now, but I think that is those areas are where we have a tendency to get caught up I get questions all the time like well should I bring in the fact that we both were on the crew team or should I tell them about my childhood or if talking at the beginning, what should I say during the beginning of that and I would go back to you much of what you said, which, if it’s relevant to them or if it’s relevant to the position or if it’s relevant to the company, but most importantly relevant to the people that you’re talking to. Then that is a good guy work. You know it probably isn’t relevant that you did a preschool prayed and dressed up as a monkey or something like that during the preschool parade in a way back in whatever you’re happen to be. But it might be relevant if you’re interviewing for a company and that is in the fashion industry, and you have ever since you were a little kid. You were really interested in fashion. All of a sudden that piece is relevant, but it has to be within that right context, like what you’re talking about. So that would be an additional rule of thumb I that would throw out there is just saying. Hey, is this really relevant for the person or position or them, and if it’s unlikely leave it out,
Scott: I want dig to into the tactics here and get really nitty-gritty for just a minute, because I know that when you I’ve seen it in action when you are getting into really helping somebody with the interview process and prepping and everything else, you get all kinds of nitty-gritty technical on that not technical maybe that’s wrong the word for it, but I know you break out Trello and you break out all of these other things, and can you describe a little bit about what you’re often doing with clients, to help them prepare and that way people can get a behind-the-scenes idea of what they can do?
Evangelia: Yeah absolutely, so I do provide a Trello board that allows us to really begin to outline the key things about yourself, your values, your strengths, your personality type and then we also build out the key strengths that you have, that you want to put to work. And we also begin to match that up to what is sought out by the company that you’d be interviewing with, and we begin to outline your stories and so that’s really the tactical piece. But you and I know Scott that the strategy, the tactics are about 20% of what’s going to land you the interview or just going to enable you to succeed in life and 80% of it I believe is just your mindset and coming from that place of confidence and I’ve recently had this awakening, where became very clear to me that confidence is a convergence of presence and faith, and so when you can go about and so lot of, If guess what I’ll now divert into saying is as much as I can put out these tactics and strategies and frameworks to help support people many times clients need more work on the mindset going back to that and it’s about coming from that place, where you can get present and comfortable and believing that all the strength and the equity that you’ve built in your career dots far will help you connect the dots to the future, that is an alignment to you pursuing what’s greater for you, what’s more fulfilling to you so for career changers there’s more anxiety about that, because they can’t often see the congruency or the connecting of the dots quite yet and that’s why it’s important to work with the coach, because somebody like myself, who has a bird’s eye view and can help you connect the dots can also help you pull out those key stories, but first the confidence needs to be there, which is why we go back into the foundational piece. So to answer your question a lot of what we’re talking about is just circling back to what we first started, which is foundation mindset and then strategy tactics framework for carving out these key stories, as are they relevant to the future opportunities, and so because so much junk is going through our brain with all of this I like to outline it into a visual clear framework using a system like Trello.
Scott: What might that Trello look like describe that and then
Scott: I love to one of the things I’m totally going to ask you for is see if we can get some screenshots of that. That way people can go over to https://happentoyourcareer.com/216 and be able to see a visual of what that can look like and be able to download that.
Evangelia: Yeah, okay, so the Trello board as an example first, we start with my Trello board has a PDF article about the STAR framework or you called it the SBO, right? A framework so just an article to help you like read and understand what that is and then there’s, we outline okay what are core competencies from the job, description and I create several list or what we call buckets where all of these would be categorized so if it’s consultative sales we’d have a consultant in sales consultative sales bucket, and then I might queue in some questions that fall within that category of consultative to sales such as give me an example of a time when you didn’t meet a client’s expectation, what happened and how did you attempt to solve this and then I would suggest I’ll just put like two or three questions that are relevant to that competency and then I would have three additional cards that I would right out as with SBO or STAR story. To prompts the person that I’m working with to begin to write out their story and alignment with that framework, whether it’s a SBO or the STAR framework,
Scott: That’s storyteller framework, and it really doesn’t matter
Scott: But you
Scott: Using that framework going to make it much easier. So what then?
Evangelia: So we’ll have our buckets of the categories that are relevant to the position and then we’ll begin to write out. You don’t have to write out the whole story, but at just least like the outline of what it is that’s actually much better than actually writing out the story itself, because then you’ll get very scripted you’ll, sound real like it’s unscripted enough, that never in an interview gotten an interview
Scott: And then I went to the grocery store
Scott: And then it don’t you
Evangelia: No way so we’ll write out. You know maybe three to four of the core skills will write out. Your preference and how you’d like somebody will outline out how you would like to be managed or led will write out your leadership and management style, we’ll write out what are your core value and we’ll write out the things that really are aligned or outline the things that are aligned with the values, the mission, the work ethic and the culture that you’re are pursuing we’ll write out in their own separate buckets, your strength. So I have a bucket for strength, and you know with the strengthsfinder test there’s about five key strengths that come out. So we would write those out in their own buckets and we would pull from the strengthsfinder’ assessment test I would challenge you to pull out from your strengthsfinder’ assessment test. The phrases that can really roll off your tongue easily when you talk about yourself as it relates to your strength. So, that might be able to come out in an interview, then I would also challenge you to think about how your strengths have ever not worked or how they’ve conflicted in the workplace how they’ve worked against you. How they may have been perceived as a weakness so that you can use your strength to talk about it from a place of how it was a challenge for you in the workplace.
Scott: I love that. And anybody who’s been listening to this show for any length of time and knows that we talk about. We don’t talk about weaknesses, we’re not worried about weaknesses. Quite frankly, we don’t care about weaknesses, because people are successful because of their strengths, not because of minimizing their weaknesses, but even further, as just spend that you had just put on it in terms of being able to talk about that weaknesses question from a place of what we’ll call anti strength or the shadow side of your strengths If you will, everybody has strengths, and that makes you preach supposed to be great in some areas and also causes you to be less grade and other areas. But it’s cost from that strength. So absolutely love that. So then, what first of all, I love, that what you just guided just through here, I think whether it’s on a Trello board or whether you were pulling those points out one by one going one two three here. That is actually a really amazing process to be able to go through and prep and really just outlined all of the other things that we’ve talked about during this conversation. So thank you for that and we are so getting a screenshot. So you can visually see that and what that looks like go over https://happentoyourcareer.com/216 and then you’ll be able to see a visual of that and get an idea for how to better prep. To your point, though of Evanglia, is so much easier to do this with another person, because we, well, if you’re like me, then what I say either sounds really good and I don’t know that it’s bad or vice versa, I’m thinking Oh, my goodness, I cannot do that right and I’m, usually on one side of the scale or another and I know other have people been in similar places too. You don’t, you can’t see your blind spot or you don’t know how good something is and tell you how that the validation in feedback. One thing I do want to hit though, before we end here, although and we talked about the 30 most common questions that might be asked in interviews or anything else like that, and we don’t, your preparing for those 30 most common questions because that’s not a useful or effective way to spend your time perhaps but one thing that always happens is there’s always a start or an introduction to the interview in one way or another, and that might kick off with a question like tell about me yourself or that might just happen, more organically and I’m curious. How would you advise people to start off or even introduce yourself and interview or handle that beginning set of questions in the interview where it has a tendency to be more open ended and we don’t want people sharing the monkey that they were in the preschool parade back in wherever it is
Evangelia: Yeah, so three things that you’ll want to maybe three so instead of there’s so much about us. We know already there’s so much to who you are what you’ve done and you what can forward bring, but don’t keep it don’t bring more than three things about yourself forward. And those three things that you’re bringing forward need to harness some values, character traits or skills that the interviewer may seek in their ideal candidate, so as an example I once worked I recently worked with somebody who came abroad came back from being away, being on a study abroad,
Evangelia: And so. Well. What does that speak? What does that say about her? It says that she’s adventurous she’s, you know she’s able to go about in the face of adversity, so that’s one of the things that we brought forward so tell me about yourself. Well, you know I am this and I actually recently just came about from studying abroad and travel at is something that I love to do. so my point is being able to talk about an experience that you had or things that you value, that have the underpinnings of a trade, a character, a skill that is relevant to the job so framing it, such as you know, I am this and bringing forward three things about yourself that, like I said really support what this candidate, what this interviewer may seek in their ideal candidate.
Scott: I love that and I think that to your point, the three things I think that’s useful and I think any framework honestly than there’s a number of frameworks out there, that we’ve suggested in the past and I honestly think that all of them are great I think is more important to go into this beginning portion of the interview with some type of framework that you’re comfortable with, and you can use the one that that you just mentioned, that I think that’ll work, particularly well I’ve seen it. I’ve worked with people where that has worked, particularly well. You can use another popular one that we recommend all the time as the present past and future, and that can sound something like hey currently I’m a and then insert here where I get to do in describing the things that you get to do that are relevant to the current that relevant to the current job, going back to that relevancy piece that you pointed out earlier and before that here’s what I did and again inserting those relevant traits and relevant experiences and in the future I want to you know so that’s even another framework, where you’re focusing on those relevant skills and experiences and that’s another way to take it. But I think the important part here is that you’re using a framework like that so that you are comfortable with and that you’re tailoring those relevant pieces that you feel good about that are leveraging some of those great experiences or skills or other things that you have and that’s allowing you to present your best self as you’re, showing up there
Evangelia: Yeah I agreed and that framework the past present or future is part of the framework that I would coach people through within the context of the three stories that are relevant. So sorry I if wasn’t clear on that but I totally agree with you I totally agree with you
Scott: And I, think that that that is great and honestly it isn’t to your point earlier. I don’t know there’s, probably five or six more frameworks, that I would recommend to be really honest but
Scott: None those of actually matter to your point earlier. You mentioned it’s much more about understanding yourself being able to understand yourself in a way to where you can articulate this stuff because those tools, those tactics, those frameworks, don’t they don’t mean Jack if you can apply them in a way that is going to be useful to you and that’s what happens to people sometimes they’re like why I use that you know present past future framework, and it just didn’t work for me. Well, that means that probably something that was missing in either the knowing about yourself or the application part of that process that leads up to which are prerequisite. I very much appreciate you taking us all through this and giving us some behind the scenes as to how you help people prepare for interviews and get very clear on how to come off in an authentic way during those interviews. This is phenomenal.
Evangelia: Thank you. It’s my pleasure I love talking about this stuff, helping people through this.
Scott: I really hope you enjoyed that if you’re ready to create and live a life that is unapologetically. You. I want you to check out our ultimate guide to using your strengths to get hired, find your signature strengths to be able to do what you love. What you’re good at and bring value to your clients, your customers, your organization and everybody else, and we teach how you to be able to leverage that to so all you have to do for that is you can pause right now and text. My strengths, that’s MY strengths plural to 44222 or you can go over to https://happentoyourcareer.com and click on resources and find the strengths guide, I think you’re going to love. It I’ve said this on a few other episodes, but I really do actually genuinely appreciate you taking the time out of your day to go and leave us some feedback on iTunes or on Stitcher, and we got another five star review right here. This comes from Ross in the UK, which hey I’m going to be in the UK and about two months here so super excited about that. But Ross maybe we’ll see over there. Then she says they happen to your career podcast I’ve recommended to so many people I’ve met going through a career transition or want to make a change, even if they don’t know what that change is yet I love hearing other through changing stories in the depth of detail that Scott goes into with his guest, it’s reassuring to hear about their struggles confirming that no one is alone having a bumpy career. Regularly listening to this podcast has helped my own career journey, so thank you HTYC for giving new gig. Please keep the great content coming will absolutely do that Ross I so appreciate you taking the time to make the time to do that, because every single review helps other people find the show, which means that we get to help even more folks get to work that they absolutely love hey and we will keep the great content coming we’ve got even more for you coming up next week and we’ve got a story of somebody who made the change in some really surprising ways. “Coming up money, conversation with oneself and with someone else, it’s oh! Million times harder than I thought it would be. Scott: In what way? I think that it brings up a lot of your own stuff as an individual, your own ideas about money and notions about money,
Scott: Hey, all that and plenty more coming to you next week right here on happen to your career until then I’ll see you later, I am out.