This weeks top tips are all about how to be assertive in an interview. A lot of women I work with are working hard to accelerate their career and land the next big promotion but are concerned about how they come across, are they credible? Or they lack in confidence and self belief.
I’m not a fan of trying to “fake it till you make it” so Developing the skill of Assertiveness can help in all these situations.
So here’s my 8 top tips if this is you:
- Everything we do starts with mindset and the mindset that will serve you well is “I’m interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing me”. This is your opportunity to see if this is a good enough business for you to spend most of your waking hours at. It’s not all about whether they want you. I’ve been offered jobs in the past and turned them down because I actually didn’t like the vibe I got of the business. So, make sure you have your own questions prepared too to ask them.
- Tip 2 – On that basis, it’s really important to check that the values and culture of the business match yours. If not, you’re going to really struggle to settle in. Square peg, round hole springs to mind.
- Thirdly, work hard to have congruence between your words, tone and body language. This demonstrates authenticity. To be assertive practise eye contact which might be difficult if you’re quite passive, but equally don’t burn a hole in someone’s head with your laser focus! Opt for the bridge of the nose if that helps. Have a firm handshake. Smile. Stand or sit up straight and be succinct, now is not the time for a chronic case of waffleitis! (Yet this is the situation where most people get struck down by it)
- Tip 4 is to use language with certainty. Get really good at talking about your strengths and achievements. Now is not the time to be traditionally British about it!Instead of ‘I think’ or ‘I believe that I’m good at x’ use statements like ‘I did’, ‘I am’, ‘I achieved’ or ‘I delivered’. On that note, women in particular are more likely to say things like ‘I helped’ or use inclusive language like ‘we’ whereas men are more likely to comfortably claim the credit.
- Number 5 is how to address the dreaded weakness question. It’s important to demonstrate self awareness and acknowledge that we all human and can’t be brilliant at everything. Be confident in stating your gaps AND demonstrating how you bridge them or mitigate them and play to your strengths.
- Tip 6 is if you get asked a situational question that you have no relevant experience of. Don’t fluff it. It’s really obvious. Be honest and offer a probable answer of what you would do in that situation if you were faced with it, showing your application of logic and common sense.
- Number 7 is a tip for if you are super nervous and you’re certain that it’s apparent to the interviewer. In this case, own it with a little bit of humour if you can muster it to show that you’re human and explain your reason being because the outcome of the interview is really important to you – rather then you’re not confident!
- Finally tip 8. If you really want the job, ask for it! For example, “I’m very excited about the prospect of helping your company grow. I hope you choose me for the position”. Remember…. assertively, not aggressively or arrogantly.
If you’d like some specific support with an upcoming interview you’re preparing for and you want to absolutely nail it then my 2 hour Assertiveness Accelerator might be just what you need!!! Get in touch to know more.