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The 3P’s of Interviews: Prepare. Perfect. Perform.

An interview does not start when you walk through the door.

It doesn’t even start when you get that magical email invite from a potential employer.

Interviews start the moment you think that you might want to work for someone. And they don’t end before you get either an offer or a rejection. The moment you consider looking for a new role is the moment that you need to switch your brain into preparation mode and you are most definitely performing long after you have walked out of the interview room. You are still influencing them right up to the moment when they press send on that offer letter (or not).

For me, amongst other pearls of wisdom, there are three Ps of interview success:

Prepare. Perfect. Perform.

Preparing to find a job is not just about reading an employer’s website and practicing a few stock interview answers. Getting your mental attitude into a place of “I need to seize the opportunity to change the trajectory of my career” is about much more than that.

When you are in the middle of any transition, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the many unknowns in the scenario, and even easier to settle for second best. The most important part of your preparation to to approach every activity with an attitude of “I owe myself only the best.” A positive attitude will lead to better decisions, challenging situations and unexpected opportunities. Preparing to fail will not lead anywhere.

There comes a time when preparations are over and you have toperfect your approach. Successful job searches are all about subtle attention to the details that employers will notice. Tailoring your CV for a certain role and using the industry-specific language that you find on an employer’s website might seem like a waste of effort, but you owe it to yourself to give yourself every chance.

When you are in the interview, it is important to be mindful that your answers should be as specific as possible for the role in question. Making that extra 10% effort to adapt your responses according to both the question and the background of the interviewer is critical to giving them that warm and fuzzy feeling. If they think that you are lazily giving generic answers, they will feel anything but.

Lastly, an attitude of performance must be adopted throughout the process. When you are talking to a recruiter for the first time, they are assessing you. When there are hiccups in the hiring process, it will be noted how you react. It goes without saying that you need to build on your perfect preparations and boss the interview, but it is equally important to remain faultlessly employable in the potential salary negotiations afterwards. A polished performance is the difference between an employer thinking “well, let’s see how they do” and them thinking “wow, I can’t wait for them to start, let’s make sure we are ready.”

Maybe this is why a three-month (or much longer) interview process can be rather exhausting. It is important that you give yourself regular down-time, although that is a separate blog entirely, but if you fail to prepare, perfect and perform, you won’t get the job that you deserve.

If you are thinking of changing jobs or struggling with an aspect of your job search, maybe my coaching services might be of interest? Sometimes you simply need a fresh prespective.

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