Job interviews and the art of (celebrity) reinvention

Posted by | April 27, 2016 | Job interviews

Job interviews and the art of (celebrity) reinvention blog header 

How approaching a job interview can feel like making a celebrity comeback

From Puff-daddy to P-diddy, from Prince to the artist formerly known as (rest in peace), from Beyonce to Sasha Fierce and back; what do these celebrity reinventions have to do with job interviews, you ask? Each time you approach a job interview, you essentially bring the same set of skills, experience and personality traits, just as a singer has a certain voice, genre, media persona. However, each time you come to a new job interview, just like a celebrity making a comeback, you need to think about how to shape your skills to the role and company at hand and the kind of image you are wanting to promote to your fans…ahermm…I mean prospective employers.

Here are a few tips on how you might go about this based on some common interview questions.

INTERVIEW QUESTION:
“Tell us, what made you interested in this role?”
“What skills and experience do you bring to the company?”

These are two commonly asked questions near the start of an interview. The trick here is to do some some strategic thinking before the interview.

First, ask yourself, ‘who is wanted for this role and this company’: look at the position description, do your homework on the company via their website and asking friends and friends of friends, google the company under “news” and see what comes up.

Second, look at your CV and think about your experience and link this with how you can be that someone.

Finally, bring it all together: build an answer around the skills you bring from your past experience and the opportunities taking on this role and working for this company will bring to you in terms of your next career goals and interests.

INTERVIEW QUESTION:
“What is your 5 year plan, and how does this role fit into it?”

This is a difficult question. Some people have a clear vision of the steps on their dream career ladder. Conversely, many people tend to just put one foot in front of the other with no clear route in mind on their personal career path.

Personal aspirations such as having a family, relocating, earning a house deposit, (selling records and increasing twitter followers) while a high priority for you, may also be inappropriate or uncomfortable to reveal to potential interviewers.

Personally, I don’t want to limit myself to any particular job title as being my 5-year goal post. Thus my approach has been to build an answer around the kind of skills I’d like to be using at the time, the kind of work environment I’d like to be in, and what drives me or what I find purpose in, career-wise.

INTERVIEW QUESTION:
“Do you have any questions?”

Asking your interviewers questions about the role and the company is quite important. It gives you an opportunity to demonstrate the background research you have done and also find out some specifics about the workplace that may be important to you.

For example, you may wish to ask the interviewers about the challenges and rewards they find working at the company; you might want to ask about work/life balance or professional development opportunities. You may even wish to float some ideas you’ve had for particular contributions you could make to the role or to extend the company’s work portfolio in order to demonstrate innovation and forward thinking.

Don’t be a Sasha Fierce when you are really a Beyonce

Beyonce says she ‘killed’ Sasha Fierce

A final piece of advice, while it may seem to contradict the title of this piece, even though you need to reinvent yourself for each individual job interview, you should always be your confident, skilled, smiling self. Demonstrate your value and your fit through your preparation, background reading and giving targeted answers with examples to interview questions. Remember to ask your own questions which gauge whether this is the right workplace for you, too.

Best of luck with your moment in the spotlight – they’d be lucky to have you!

 

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