I had my first job interview this week, the first in over 5 years. I currently work part-time (cause blogging doesn’t quite pay for the enormous school fees this year) but I need to find something with more security and opportunity. So I turned to my best friend SEEK and we discussed my ideal job. Unfortunately being a published author to the next booker prize novel isn’t actually a job I can apply for, so SEEK told me I needed to dig into my imagination and search for a real job Great – destroy my dreams overnight).
After weeks of soul searching and drinking wine to clear my head, I decided I actually do like what I do but maybe move to full-time work. First thing I needed was a resume – or ‘Work Profile’ as I like to say. I thought bragging about all my numerous talents and achievements would look like this:
but as I sat in front of the computer this is what it actually looked like:
So where do you go to when you need an answer to a question? No, not your teenage children who think they know it all, but google of course. Firstly I needed to find what I was actually good at before I wrote the best ‘Work Profile’ you have seen. This was the result from test:
Ok, so I am creative (SEEK that book writing thingy is looking better now isn’t it) and I like helping people too. Time to search jobs that require being creative and making people happy. ( I actually make books for families who have lost loved ones using the eulogy and photos from the funereal so I am on the right track). After finding a few jobs that were screaming at me to apply, I needed to put together that ‘work profile’. I found some awesome places here, here and here that helped me turn into the perfect candidate for my next career move.
I sent my work profile off to a few places and waited. Everyday I went back to my Mac and searched for more roles, applied for a few and waited again. I hate it when you have made a major decision in your life, your all fired up and ready to go and then nothing. Come on employers, here I am – Natalie – the one person you want, you need for your team.
Finally I get a call from a BIG player in my field…. yah I’m excited. After I ran around the house, squealing that SEEK had finally seen the cool, intelligent me, I calmed down and read the fine print of the job interview – This will be a behavioural based interview. huh? Back to google to find out how I was meant to behave in this interview.
Apparently this is one of the most common ways to interview people now as it forces the interviewee to come up with real life stories about themselves, allowing the interviewer to get deep into their mind, determining exactly what personality they have and if they will fit into the business. OMG – I was petrified. I think I am organised. I think I am funny. I think I am friendly but what if I was wrong. For those who are looking into a new job career or have teenagers who have applied for work and need help with their first ever job interview, I have done all the research on how to handle these types of STAR based behavioural interviews:
- SITUATION – Set the context of your story, including as many facts as possible.
- TASK – what exactly was asked of you
- ACTIVITY – what did you do in this situation, focusing on yourself not other people.
- RESULT – how did the story end – good or bad doesn’t matter so long as you discuss the story.
- Have 6-8 examples of stories that demonstrate the main attributes associated with the role you are going for. EG: Team player, communication, logical thinker, positive, technical thinker, taking initiative, handling a crisis.
- Use the STAR method each time to describe a story.
- Pick examples from all aspects of your life, not just career. Eg: family, blogging, social, travel, study
- Try to pick stories that are fairly recent – within the past 12months or so.
- Don’t make up stories as often the interviewer will continue to probe further and may even refer back to the story later in the interview.
- Not all stories need to end positively so long as you can demonstrate how you learnt a valuable lesson.
- Research the company you are being interviewed by. There is nothing more unprofessional than looking blankly at your potential boss not understanding anything about the company.
- Understand YOUR resume – they will question you on it.
I survived the job interview and I think (well I hope) I did quite well. I was researched up to the eye balls, I had all my stories ready to go and I felt confident in myself. I will hear back next week if I have made it to stage 2… More to follow…