Transcript #2: The reason why you may be struggling at job interviews

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Renata Bernarde:

Well. Hello everyone. It's Renata Bernarda here from The Job Hunting Podcast. This is episode number two and I have to say, guys, it took me a million years. It looked like getting the first episode on air and it's now on air. But seriously, you really need to put time into things, don't you? I had no idea how hard it was and in fact, the first time I had to go with the first episode, I screwed up with some, what is it? I don't even know what it's called. It made my voice sound like Elizabeth Holmes from their Anna's, I don't know if you're following that story, but she made up this do you provide with my first episode was in that deep voice and I struggled to figure it out. Why? But I managed. Oh, thank goodness. So episode number two, reasons why you may be struggling at job interviews.
You know, by the end of the 20 minutes, I'll probably go above two reasons because I love talking about this topic and the next one, the next episode won't be about job interviews, but I just wanted to have another go. At this because I feel quite strongly about the two things I have prepared to say and who knows. I may come up with a few more as I go along, Oh, give me a microphone and I can keep going forever. So I've noticed this a lot and I've struggled with it myself, but not as much as other people, especially clients and people around me that I am often, you know, trying to convince them to do what I'm about to tell you, which is thing number one. If you're struggling with job interviews, apply for jobs, nothing beats experience fellows, and I'm not talking about your work experience, the experience and the tool set that you will bring at once you do get your new job that you will carry with you into a promotion where you're working or take with you to another employer.
In fact, when I talk about job interviews, I don't just mean you know like the formal job interviews you would go to to get an up a job in different organizations. It also applies to internal conversations you might be having about potential promotions and so on. It's the same chord. It's the same kind of muscle you have to develop over time. But one thing that I've mentioned, and I mentioned my husband here when we moved to Australia, we live in Melbourne, Australia. We are originally from Brazil. It took my dear husband, my lovely man ears to apply for a job in Australia and it's because it's, it's really tricky to change countries. He had a very good employer overseas and he worked overseas in a very, very flexible way and it really did suit him in adapting to a different country and having that certainty of having money coming in.
So that was really helpful. But what people tend to do, and what he did as well is to say or think I will apply when I see a perfect job and when that perfect job comes along, I will then send my application. Well that is the wrong way to go about like about it in my view. Because what you're doing then is you are putting yourself in a situation where you absolutely want that job and you have no experience in applying for that role. Right. So that won't do, I mean it may do and you, you might be successful, but my goal is to get as many people into as many jobs as possible, right? And I'm looking at best practices here and I really strongly believe that the best thing you can do for yourself is to get good at doing job interviews. It's a different strength or that you, you're either born with it, not many people are because it's a very artificial situation, but you can get better at it.
You can develop an ability to manage your anxiety and your stress levels better and to speak about yourself. Oh gosh. Speaking about oneself is just so hard and it's speaking in a way that is not a tall puppy way and also not too humble. You have to do it in such a way that showcases your strengths in the right measure. And that takes time. I mean, it's taking time for me to develop this podcast ability, right? Even if you're really passionate about it. And in my case with the podcast as an example, I may know a lot of things, but talking about it, especially by myself in my office, it just feels weird. Interviews are the same. They feel weird until you try and you do it over and over and over again. And that's very common. I see people that tell me “I will only do buy clothes when I lose weight or I will only go on a vacation after I pay all my bills.”
Well actually that's probably a good idea! Although, I've been struggling with that personally myself: should I go on a holiday or should I pay all my bills? Everybody goes through that. But you can't just postpone things that you need to do. In my case, a holiday is actually going back to see my family, which is a big investment on, on my part. So, you know what I mean?
You have to actually take that leap of faith and apply for jobs. But Renata, are you saying I should apply for jobs that I don't want? Maybe. I wouldn't say jobs that you don't want, but you need to develop that muscle and also to develop an understanding of the marketplace in different sectors and different organizations. Put yourself out there in the best possible light. This podcast and the content that I'm developing is supposed to help you with that.
Give some of the employers a go, give some opportunities a go, go and try them out. And if they fit some of your criteria, I would suggest that yes, you send them an application. Worst comes to worse, and we'll talk about this more on another podcast, I think that there's a lot to gain from meeting recruiters, head-hunters, HR managers and networking with them and showcasing that you, you are interested to know more about the organization, about the road that they are offering.
Geoff Morgan, who is an amazing mentor of mine and an amazing expert in recruitment in this country of Australia. You may know Geoff from Morgan and Banks and Talent2 and the original, which he and his business partner sold eventually. But you know, they're really into that expertise deeply. And he said something to me many years ago that I'll never, never forget. He said, go for it because an interview should go both ways. They're interviewing you but you are interviewing them. Never forget that. Up to the point where you sign on the dotted line, it's all up for negotiation. It's all stuff that you can try to steer and influence in whatever direction you want.
I think it's really important for candidates not to put themselves in the position that they are inferior in any way to in that negotiation they have. They are at par with the people that they are negotiating with.
Okay. So that's my first big, big tip is to make sure that you apply, that you go through opportunities that you find online and through people that you know and give it a go. Don't need to be perfect. You just need to be you and bring your, the strengths that you have and apply them to the selection criteria that they have. And Bob's your uncle. See how that that turns out. Because once you do that, you're going to be managing the second aspect of this podcast episode, which is your stress levels.
I know I spoke about it as one of the three tips in my previous podcast, but I want to give you a few examples. So, Andre comes to Australia, finally decides to apply for a couple of jobs, find his sort of ideal, perfect job. And it was a really interesting role for him, and walks into this situation. And of course, he has a great resume. So, they said, yep, come in for an interview. I knew he was going to get an interview, but he hadn't been interviewed for a long time, plus he had not been interviewed in a second language in a different country. All of that made him quite anxious on the day.
And he walked in and there was a panel and he wasn't expecting that. We come from a country that's way more informal. So, this was very kind of Anglo Saxon for him. And he freaked out and he performed really poorly at the interview, which is a shame. And the stress totally blocked his ability to shine and to showcase that he did have the skills for the role, which he knew and I knew and they possibly thought he had as well because they called him in for a chat. But now it didn't work out. It didn't work out for him. He has a great job now too, so that's good. But it took him that experience to understand that you really do have to give things ago more than once and not wait until the top job comes along. And think that you're going to nail that because as good as you may be as a project manager, engineer, HR recruiter, consultant, whatever it is that you do, that does not mean that you are a good interviewee. That is a different muscle that's in the stress, will sink in and will block all of that good experience and knowledge that you want to share with the panel.
So there you go. I think this is going to be a very quick episode, 12 minutes. I don't want to speak for much longer. I want my episodes to be between 15 and 20 minutes long. So I ask you to sign up, subscribe, follow me on social media and definitely have a look at the podcast on my website because you can leave me comments and ask me questions for future episodes. One thing that I wanted to start doing now because I think it's going to be a good idea, is to talk about a book at the end of every episode. And this one I think is very fitting for the topic. It's a book by my good friend Lynne Cazali and it's called “Ish”. The problem with our pursuit for perfection and the life changing practice of good enough. I think this book is gold.
I just bought it and I haven't read it yet, but I've seen Lynne speak about it. Lynne Cazali is an amazing intellectual of all things to do with getting organized for work. She's an agile expert. She speaks out in a lot of agile conferences around the world. She just came back from Washington DC where she was the keynote speaker at an HR international conference. And this pursuit of perfection is something that is really prominent these days in our world and we're feeling that overwhelm all the time. And I got the book out of the shelf to read because I've just finished a book and I want to start a new one tonight and I thought, well I might as well tell you about it. And in a few podcasts later I might tell you what I thought as well: Ish: the problem with our pursuit for perfection and the life changing practices of good enough”. “Ish”, as in perfect-ish. Yes. That's the way to say it. In the show notes below, I will put a link to the book I and Lynne's a website and you can buy it if you're interested. Otherwise, wait and I'll tell you what I felt when I was reading the book and, and my understanding of it, but should work for people that are struggling to step up for potential interviews and start giving it a go and developing that muscle. Thanks everyone. Don't forget to subscribe and Ciao for now.


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