“Job Interview Confidence” is the first part of this two-part article series.
I need to be more confident so I can sell myself in an interview for a leadership position I want. The interviewing process will be very competitive.
New technologies have transformed leadership position interviews. The pressure and pace of interviewing is often quite intense. You may be interviewed by people at many levels, from upper management to employee team members and HR representatives to clients in field positions. In global organizations, you’ll likely be interviewed across multiple time zones as people in a variety of countries ask you to prove yourself.
The first part of this two-part article series identified the voice of your inner critic. You discovered why most strategies that are supposed to calm this negative internal chatter usually decrease your confidence. We also began to explore effective ways to elevate your confidence during your job interview.
Now it’s time to explore your strengths, weaknesses, authenticity, and transparency. I want to make sure you’re clear about how each potential leadership position will align with your life purpose, mission, vision and values. This congruity will build a solid foundation to elevate your interview confidence.
Have You Updated Your Strengths Inventory?
One proven interview confidence builder is to conduct a vigorous strengths inventory and match your core and peripheral strengths with the duties, challenges and priorities of the position you apply for. Have you recently conducted a 360-degree appraisal? This is a validated way to gain essential information that can help you prepare for your interview.
Once you know how to use a 360-degree style of evaluation to discover your hidden strengths, you’ll be able to present your positive results during your interview. I can provide you with easy instructions so you can get started right away.
We also need to identify your transferable skills regarding potential new leadership responsibilities. I’ve listed a few examples below. As you read the examples of possible professional growth opportunities, remember the goal. We want to focus on identifying transferable skills
Examples of Possible New Challenges:
- You could be leading personnel at a higher level, larger teams or teams with diverse skills and markets.
- Perhaps you will lead people located in distant places.
- You might be recruiting and training personnel to develop entirely new teams as your organization expands.
Even if you’re currently an emerging leader, there have been times in your life when you’ve felt confident sharing ideas, delegating, making decisions, coordinating tasks and facilitating change. This means we can prepare you for your interview by discovering how your transferable skills can be used in the new leadership position you want. Depending on your circumstances, we may also discuss “managing up” (managing your boss) as an additional confidence booster.
What Should You Do About Your Weaknesses?
Most people preparing for a job interview worry about their inadequacies and compare themselves unfavorably to other individuals. Women tend to underestimate their strengths and overemphasize their weaknesses.
It is truly important to inventory your weaknesses so you’re prepared to discuss any flaws that could make you vulnerable to problems if you’re hired for the position you want. A 360 degree assessment can help us identify hidden weaknesses.
Usually, the people interviewing you know they also have imperfections. If not, you wouldn’t enjoy working with them, so choose another place to interview. Assuming you’re not interviewing for a position demanding excellence in areas where you’re clearly unfit to perform, you just need a realistic plan to compensate for your weaknesses so you can lead with your strengths.
I’d like to teach you how to overwhelm your weaknesses with your strengths. During our conversations preparing you for your interview, we’ll develop your strategy to improve or manage flaws and highlight your strengths, especially your unique strengths.
In many interviews, job candidates are asked questions like, “What are your weaknesses?” Easily acknowledging your personal weaknesses in a factual way will illustrate that you’ll be transparent as a leader.
Many leaders have gained excellent positions after admitting they are human. Below are some examples from successful leadership position interviews:
- “I’m a big picture thinker with a clear vision of where we can go together. If I’m selected for this position, my job will be to support and empower you to do your best work. I’m aware of at least some of my weaknesses. For example, some of you are probably much more gifted with important, day-to-day operational details about ____ than I am. All of our brains are wired differently. I use technologies and other reminders to make sure I stay on track. I also reach out for help when I need it.”
- “I believe all of us perform better when we know our limitations.
Great teams make sure members leverage their strengths and delegate tasks in their weaker areas. My goals include identifying how all of us can feature our strengths and help each other compensate for our limitations. If I’m hired for this position, I’ll absolutely want to hear from employees at all levels about how I can improve. I promise to listen carefully instead of becoming defensive.”
Be Prepared to Share Your Mission
Even if you aren’t asked about your personal leadership mission, you’ll significantly elevate your interview confidence when you etch your mission into your brain. Focusing on your mission, vision and how you want to contribute is a proven way to overwhelm fear, self-doubt and anxiety. There are also well-tested methods of honoring the brain that resides in your gut so you can access your intuition when you feel uneasy. I want to share simple, proven tips with you.
Before we talk, begin working on your mission statement and reflect on the questions below.
- What are you most passionate about achieving as a leader?
- What simple phrase would clearly communicate the purpose of your leadership?
- How do you want to hold yourself accountable to the people you’ll be leading?
- How would you want people to remember you when you leave the organization or position?
Thinking about the questions above will also create healthy reflection about your values. Most interviewers want to discover if your values are consistent with theirs and the needs of their clients. Identifying your work values will enable you to understand what drives and motivates you when you’re working. You’ll also know what you may want to avoid in the workplace.
Whether you’re investigating a new role, a career change or you just want to improve your current situation, clarifying your values will unveil essential information you need. It will also elevate your interview confidence. Knowing your work values empowers you to choose roles, careers and activities at work that support and enhance your values, while avoiding those that contradict them. You’re more willing to show up as Your Authentic Self.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People or to an Unrealistic, Ideal Leader
If you have perfectionistic tendencies, as many high achievers and people with high standards do, there are a few special things we need to address so your interview will be as relaxed as possible.
I cannot over-emphasize that you only want to be offered a position you interview for if you can be 100% Your Authentic Self on the job. Attempting to “people-please” by pretending to be someone else (employ a leadership style that isn’t authentic) would create anxiety and deflate meaning and enjoyment. Like “The Emperor Who Wore No Clothes” in the classic fairy tale, who was eventually exposed for his nudity, all of us eventually present our true selves to the world.
Remember, you are not merely an interviewee. You are interviewing the organization to see if you may be a good fit for the position. Consider shifting your perspective from “I need this job” or “I really want to work for this boss / this company” to “I am a person of worth. I always have choices. The company or boss I choose to provide my services to must perceive and respect my value.” I definitely want to teach you proven ways to self-advocate and communicate to gain the influence you need during the interview and beyond.
Sign up for coaching so I can help you become crystal clear about how to ace the interview process after exploring your strengths, weaknesses and your unique leadership style. Just complete the short application form so I can contact you for a complimentary 20-minute consultation. If we decide we’re a good fit as client and coach, we’ll discuss a coaching agreement. I look forward to being of assistance so you can gain the compensation and job title you deserve.