I explained in my recent part one article the need to ensure that your interview is memorable, and we ran through the first three elements of my M.E.M.O.R.A.B.L.E acronym :
So in part two, let’s explore the next three elements in turn: Optimistic, Realistic and Articulate.
I can hardly think of a single job where an interviewer would not like to see an optimistic candidate. Optimism is an attitude which says: We can do great things together! I’m upbeat on my chances to contribute to your organisation! I see a bright future for me in your team!
So, without actually saying these words (I guess you could, but they are a bit corny), what’s a good tip for conveying optimism? By understanding the work that is done, and demonstrating how your skills could bring something new and additive to the process. Perhaps ask questions about what new responsibilities you could look forward to in 1-2 years if you are successful.
Anything that you can do that shows that you are upbeat about the future and your capacity to be part of that future is a winning play.
“How can I be both optimistic and realistic”, I hear you ask.
Well, the realism is that you can’t do all the really exciting stuff on day one. Don’t rule yourself out of a job by suggesting you are too good to handle the menial stuff at the bottom of the corporate ladder.
I once interviewed a super-bright guy who literally refused at the interview to accept that for the first 6-12 months he would be required to do relatively dull spreadsheet entry work. Sure enough, I didn’t offer him the job.
So even if you are set to change the world, have the humility to accept that you won’t be given control of the Starship Enterprise on your first day.
Articulate simply means expressing yourself well, and clearly.
Why do I like articulate? Well, it hints at deeper talents such as a good intellect. And intellect is pure gold for most employers (at least in the services industries) as it brings to mind creativity, strategic thinking, problem solving – all great qualities for being effective in a large organisation.
People who read a lot, and think a lot, and debate a lot are typically articulate when they speak. Being articulate is critical to being persuasive, a talent that anyone who is ambitious needs to master.
So think about how you speak – perhaps you need to slow down, emphasise well, argue well. Practice sounding articulate and rehearse with your friends.
So, there you have ingredients four to six. Think through how you can be all these things in your interview. In my final post on this topic I will cover the last three ingredients to memorable interviewing.
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