Learn to nail that promotional interview!

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A recent client of mine asked for help in how to demonstrate that she could step up to a more senior job in her current team and outsmart her competition during the interview.

We spent some time together discussing a few ways to prepare and I was delighted when I heard she secured the role.

I thought it would be helpful to put together a few quick tips for anyone who finds themselves in this position:

Find a mentor

Ask them for support – volunteer this information in the interview to show that you are taking the right steps to be successful in your career and you are challenging yourself.

Be a master of your current role

Be able to demonstrate how you are an expert of your current role and therefore ready for the next career step. Talk about this when you are summarizing yourself in the interview, for example being able to solve problems or improve processes.  You need to show that you cannot just handle your current role with ease but that you are exceptional!

Focus on your impact on the company as a whole

Try to focus on how you can make a bigger impact outside of your current role/team, perhaps in the wider department or region. Use examples in the interview to show that you understand how your work impacts the organization.

Understand what is different about the job prior to the interview

Study the job description and understand the key competencies (managing a team, innovation, creativity) for the role so that you can prepare suitable examples to show you have had some of that experience prior to the interview even if it’s not necessarily part of your current job description.

Make sure your boss knows you want it!

They might be able to help you develop in any areas that need work.  Ask the question What do you think I need to do to move up to the next level?” See more here about taking on a growth mindset.

Talk about experience outside of work

Make sure you include any relevant evidence of leadership skills outside of the workplace. This is still relevant experience that can add to the success of the interview.

Thanks for reading these quick tips. I am truly passionate about helping people find happiness and fulfillment in their careers.  I’m able to offer coaching in the following areas:

⁃ Specific work goals such as how to prepare for a promotion at work or how to become an effective leader;
⁃ Decisions regarding career change, using a variety of creative thinking and planning tools;
⁃ Enhancing your LinkedIn profile or resume and learning how to use LinkedIn to network effectively;
⁃ General interview preparation, or interview coaching for a specific job as well as how to create a personal brand during your interview.

I offer a 10 minute free session to assess coaching needs prior to any payment. Please message me if you are interested at https://thewinninginterview.com/contact/

The importance of knowing your personal values for career fulfillment


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Knowing your personal values can help you keep on track with a happy healthy career

One of the first things I do when working with a client is to work with them to identify and solidify their values.  To me this is absolutely essential in order to be able to work through subsequent exercises such as identifying their vision, dealing with any obstacles and deciding on a course of action to move closer to their vision.

What exactly are personal values and why are they so important to your work and career?

Our personal values are simply the things that are most important to us.  They tend to be shaped by life experiences and people (such as friends and family) but you can also choose other values that are most important to you (we will come onto this process later on).

Your personal values will be most valuable when you are confronted by a situation calling for a difficult decision, perhaps at work or making a significant career decision. Your values will guide you and help you make the best possible decision.

values woman reflectingHow will you feel if your decisions/life actions are aligned with your values?

Aligning your decision making and actions with your values is the best way to live the life you desire and to achieve the career you want (as our values are simply just the things that are most important to us).  Why would you not want to ensure you are being respectful of the things that matter the most to you?

And how exactly do I determine my values and measure my decisions against them?

The goal here is to create a set of values (your judgement of what is important in life) that you can easily refer to when you are making key career and life decisions.  What I like to do is start by working through some questions which will identify things you like to do that get you most fired up, what your ideal day looks like, what positive traits people say you have, identifying key times in your life when you were amazingly content and understanding why and also getting to grips with what your biggest challenges are right now.  By working through the themes that come up and delving deeper in, you will get a good understanding of your core values and how they are currently expressed in your life. This can help you get a greater understanding of what is truly important to you. I love to use a colorful and vibrant mind map to really bring the values to life which helps with reflecting on, labelling and prioritizing values later in the process.  Finally and most importantly, finding a way to display your key values in a creative way that works for you is such a great way of being able to regularly check in with how your actions are aligned with your values.

In what sort of situations and how often should I refer to my values?

This is really up to you – you could refer to them every day as you will make decisions based on your values every day.  However, it is imperative that you refer to your values when making key decisions such as changing jobs or accepting a values tree fruit picturepromotion or relocating your job.

When considering a job, you want to be sure that the company has the same values as you.  You will have a much better work life if your values are aligned.  You can ask questions about the company’s values in the interview, such as “what is it like to work here?” or “what are the best things about working here?” or even more specific questions that relate directly to your values.

If you would like to find out more about how I can help you identify your core values, create a vision or work together on a career action plan, please contact me.


How to network your way to your dream job

blog picDuring the job search, there is always the question of how to find and secure that dream job – do you sign up to all the job sites, insert a list of relevant criteria or relentlessly search job sites using ‘keywords’?  My issue with this (having seen how recruitment works within companies) is that not all jobs are truly ‘open’ or ‘available’.  What I mean by this is that jobs are often posted as part of an internal recruitment process or policy, but really the job has effectively been filled before it even goes on line, i.e. an internal candidate or other known candidate has been identified and is being put through the recruitment process (including posting the job online) to meet company guidelines. In addition to this, employers often ask their own employees to help them recruit the best talent to save both time and money – often rewarding employees financially for their efforts.

Knowing this, it is not always going to be the best use of your time to apply for a list of jobs that you are not even sure are available.  And this is where the importance of networking comes in.

My true belief is that to be effective in your job search you need to be more targeted, either by going after a company or a specific role.  You need a process that you can use in your job search that is going to most efficiently get you the job you want and I’m going to outline below the stages I recommend to navigate your way in front of employers that are truly recruiting rather than spending all your time going through online applications.

“He or she who gets hired is not necessarily the one who can do that job best; but, the one who knows the most about how to get hired.” – Richard Lathrop (author of ‘Don’t use a resume’)

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to focus on networking online – since 2008 there has been a massive shift in the way that people are hired thanks to modern technology and most importantly GOOGLE.  Recruiters can just google your name and there’s a chance they will find information about you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and anywhere else you have an online social presence.  Suffice it to say, you want to make sure that anything that is there is going to help, not hinder you when it comes to your job search!  Google yourself or ask someone else to google you and check out what you find from a recruiter’s perspective!  You may need to make a few changes to your social networking site settings if you don’t have it set on private.  Of course you can also use social networking sites to positively influence your job search.

How to target your job search using online networking?

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  1. LinkedIn is an absolute necessity to any job search and is a great way to network with the right people.  It should be your first priority in any job search, or you will significantly be reducing your job search chances.  Get a profile together based on your resume and work hard to make sure it stands out from others.
  2. Use Linked in to learn about companies you’re interested in and identify jobs you’re interested in.
  3. Once you have your linkedin profile, if you haven’t already, send connections to past employers and colleagues (even and sometimes especially if they have moved elsewhere) and ask any that you worked with closely to provide endorsements on your skills and qualifications.  One effective way to do this is to provide endorsements to others first.
  4. Targeting a company or a specific job – you can search a company name on LinkedIn and use your 1st connections to ask for an introduction to a specific person of interest.  If you have no 1st connections, you can ask to link in with 2nd or 3rd connections but I recommend you have a very well written introduction of yourself politely asking if you can ask them a few questions about the company/their area of work and why you are interested in the company.
  5. What if I am not able to connect with someone who is of interest to my job search?  If you know of someone you want to connect with and they are a member of a group, if you join the same group as them you will be able to contact them directly through the group. Again you will want to make sure that you have something well written when you make your connection and its also worth being active in that group for a while before making contact –  you can like, comment or share threads.
  6. And once I have my connections I want?  Tell them what it is you’re interested in and a short synopsis of your background with something that stands out that they are more likely to remember you by.  Ask them what they like about working there.  Once you have built up a little rapport (this might be a few messages but make sure that it IS two-way so you don’t scare them away and just become a nuisance!), then ask them if they can help you one of two ways – either by asking them where you can get more information about a specific job or team you’re interested in OR ask them to connect you to another person if you have someone in mind specifically.  Next, you will want to build rapport with that next person you get referred to and slowly but surely you are getting closer and closer to your end goal.  It might be that there is no job available at this specific time and you are just exploring a team, but once you are on the radar and have given them something to remember you by, your name may just pop up when a relevant job becomes available.

For more information and support on how you can target your job search, please contact me here.  I can provide help with your LinkedIn profile, building your online brand presence and working with you on specifically how to communicate with your target employers.

Thank you for reading this post and if you liked it, I’d love you to share with friends/contacts on facebook or linked in.