Lori is on a mission to propel people forward with poise and self-confidence and to bring the beauty within each person out in the best possible light. As a career advisor to college students turned image consultant to musicians, Lori has an excellent take on the big picture for how personal image plays into career development planning.
In this book, she points out the nuances of why and how to strategically manage your image for the desired result of connecting with the audience, be it a potential employer or your network of supporters. Lori champions work you can do to improve your image as a fast-track to improved self-confidence which then leads to making better first impressions and being received better by others…a win-win!
Lori also weaves together your in-person appearance with your job search marketing materials and online presence in a practical and easy to understand way. She outlines a helpful rule that I had never heard of before called the Rule of 12 within her powerful strategies for making a good first impression.
One step that people miss when they do interview preparation is to do a preparatory visualization. Think about and feel how you’ll have confidence at interview time. Feel how you know that the answers are going to come to you. When you need an answer, it will be there. You can be relaxed and know that the interview is going to flow well. You’ll be well prepared. You’ll have everything you need right on time.
When the interview is coming up, stop what you’re doing each time you think of it and let yourself feel that you’re going to do a good job at the interview. It’s all gonna work out. Let your confidence grow and keep your thinking positive.
This is Law of Attraction action here. The idea is that you understand that things are unfolding as they should. You can calm and release any anxiety about any judgment that is gonna happen in this process. Yes, they’re going to compare you to other people. That is part of the interview process. It’s to be expected. It’s gonna go well. You’re going to have a good experience. You’ll be able to be yourself. If it’s a good fit you’ll get an offer and that will please you.
Continue to focus on how it’s going to go well, how you’re happy to have the interview, and how it’s going well. Reflect on that any chance you get. Make it a part of your interview preparation.
Of course, when you go into an interview for a position, you will have done your research. You looked into what’s going on with the company. You checked out their website. You prepared for potential questions. You have questions of your own. You reviewed your power stories.
Now realize that the people who are hiring, they have a problem. And they need to find someone who can solve that problem. So be sure you are aware of why they are hiring right now. Make that a part of your research. Begin to think in terms of how you can be a solution to that problem. That’s what they want to hear, and that’s what will make you stand out. They’re looking for a solution, and you can be that solution. Position yourself to show that you’re aware of what they intend to accomplish by hiring someone. Check in with them too. When you go into your interview, say, “I imagine that blah blah blah is a problem, and I think that I could contribute by blah.” Doing so will help you demonstrate how you want to be a solution to their problem. They’ll like that.
Much of what goes on in an interview is the interviewer seeking to understand your personal brand. It is often an awkward situation because each question is basically, “What makes you the best choice for us?” And, that is such a mind trick of a question. You can get into this idea of, “Oh my gosh, is it okay to say that I’m special…that I’m the best one?” You know what, it’s okay. You have a personal brand, and they want to know about that to determine if you are going to fit into the company culture. Be okay with saying, “This is who I am. This is what I do especially well. This is how I contribute.” Take pride in that.
Prepare yourself by losing that awkwardness about how they’re going to ask you what makes you unique. What makes you better than the other applicants? Understand, that is your invitation to tell them about your personal brand. What you embody. Go ahead and be yourself and stand for something. Know in advance, who you are and what you are looking for and say it with calmness and pride. Question them too. It’s the only way to find out if the match is a good fit for you both.
It is likely you may be fired at some point in the course of your career. This, of course, can come as a total shock but it is imperative to come to terms with such an experience so that you can recover quickly and be able to represent yourself well in upcoming job interviews.
Spend some time processing what happened and practice verbalizing the lessons learned in a non-emotional way. Keep a positive attitude that you are preparing to go on to bigger and better things. The reality is that even to employers these days being fired isn’t necessarily a mark against you depending on how you recover.
Many successful people have been fired at some point in their career before becoming a superstar.
Most people don’t land a great job or create a wonderful career by being open to anything, not at all. Instead, it’s done by checking in with themselves about what they really want and going for it a hundred percent. This focus makes them more attractive candidates, too. Think about it as if you were the one hiring. You have two people to choose from. One candidate has done a job for several years and is keeping her options open. The other candidate is committed to being the very best at the job she knows she wants. Who would you be more likely to make an offer to?
We typically don’t practice interviewing very often yet each interview we do have is pretty important. Here are three quick tips for interview preparation.
Tip 1 – It is best to think of an interview as a two-way discussion. Yes, often a stressful discussion but remember not only are they checking you out, but you are also checking them out. In fact, one of the most important actions you can take to prepare for an upcoming interview is to research the company. It is easier than ever to get on the internet, enter a search word and come up with relevant information. Most companies have a web page of their own where you can read up on company history and recent press releases. Be thinking about questions you can ask during the interview as well. Make relevant observations about what is going on with the company and ask your interviewer to comment. You may also want to consider asking some questions like the following.
Is this a newly created position?
What do you think is the most important thing for a new hire to understand about this position? This company? Or this department?
Why did the previous person leave this position?
What do you think will be the biggest challenge for the new hire?
Tip 2 – Another good way to prepare for the interview is to put together 3-5 well thought out power stories and a couple lessons learned stories. Power stories are your stories about times that you solved problems or had a positive impact in your work. Keep your power stories in a notebook in Evernote and save them forever. These stories are very important to think about in advance of the interview for responses to behavioral interviewing questions which are used very often by skilled interviewers. Behavioral interview questions are ones that ask you to describe times in the past when you solved this or that type of problem.
A good format for the stories you give as a reply to the question is to describe the problem, describe the action you took, then describe the result. This is called the PAR technique for Problem, Action, Result. Once you write these stories out, list in the margin the characteristics these stories demonstrate. Then you have ready answers for some questions like “Tell me about a time when _____?” or “What is your biggest strength and why?” Don’t forget to rehearse your answers out loud. It is best to have someone ask you the questions in order to practice most effectively or do a selfie video to critique yourself. At a minimum, record your answers into your voice recorder or leave a message on your phone so you can hear yourself and adjust as needed.
Tip 3 – One often overlooked key to good interviewing to have clear starts and stops to your questions and answers. This helps to set a good rhythm for the discussion. It also demonstrates your ability to be concise and listen to others. Don’t be afraid of a few seconds of silence after you finish your answer. A good interviewer will use silence as a tool to get you to rattle on about stuff you did not intend to reveal. Also, silence is an important tool for you to learn use as well, especially come negotiation time.
To learn even more about strategies for job interviewing, I recommend the books by Carole Martin, The Interview Coach. A great one to start with is Boost Your Interview IQ*.
I ran across this article predicting jobs that don’t exist yet and wanted to share it. Looking at changes coming down the pipeline in your industry is a great way to navigate your career development and learning plan. Take time once a year or so to think forward in your career and look for neat niches you can steer toward as one strategy for knowing what learning experiences will best add to your repertoire.
Other ways to stay ahead of the curve is to host discussions with colleagues, to have periodic informational interviews with experts in your field, and to read the professional literature related to your occupation. All the while asking questions in order to encourage your brain to make connections and notice developing trends.
Ask questions such as:
What is the biggest problem in my career field right now?
What industry is my industry starting to merge with?
How will changes in the industry influence what happen in my occupation?
I want today to be different. I want a new start. I want a more peaceful life. I need a change. I want to love to wake up in the morning. I want to be appreciated. Challenged. Inspired. I want more flexibility in my work. I want financial freedom. I want more time. To pamper myself. To play. To laugh. I want to work with passion. I want to join like-minded people for synergy. I’m on my way. See you there!
“There are two things which will make us happy in this life if we attend to them. The first is never to vex ourselves about what we cannot help; and the second is never to vex ourselves about what we can help.” –Anonymous
“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” –Ovid
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” –Sir John Lubbock
“A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.” – Charlotte Brontë
“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” –Etty Hillesum