Skills You Need
August 1, 2014
In my many years of working with various organizations I have been privileged to sit at many interview panels; I notice candidates make the same mistakes at interviews all the time.
Today I will like to help address such mistakes and equip you with the necessary skills required for interviews and the workplace.
Some of you think your peers who pass interviews and get the job of their dreams are just “lucky” or “fortunate” or “know someone on the panel”.
Yes maybe you’re right! Let me help you to get “lucky” too.
The truth is that 85% of the people who get the job have the right skills and they also say or do the right thing at such interviews.
#Mistake no 1:- You are a fresh graduate with no structured work or professional experience and you have a 4-page CV.
I have 4 questions for you…
1. Do you have any work experience
2. Do you have any professional certificate course
3. Have you attended up to 4 certified trainings?
4. Do you have any significant or out-of-this-world achievement at any organization?
If your answer is NO to at-least 2 questions above then your CV must be filled with irrelevant junks.
I have over 8 years work and professional experience with outstanding and proven achievements and my CV is just a little above 2 pages.
The truth is that Employers/recruiters do not have time to look at your textbook CV. They receive at-least 2,000 CVs daily for a particular vacancy; where is the time to look at a 4-page CV for every candidate.
My answer to #mistake no 1:-- please make your CV as precise as possible—1 page won’t hurt if you have the right information on it. (if there’s time I will tell you what information you need on your CV)
#Mistake no 2:- You talk too much
Most times you talk too much and say too many irrelevant things. This could be because you crammed some tenses from the internet or you are probably trying to speak one or two big grammars.
For example, please read this conversation below:-
Interviewer:- Tell me about your strength and weaknesses
Candidate:- I like to work under pressure and I also like challenges(these are all interview clichés) and I don’t have weaknesses
Interviewer:- Tell me about yourself
Candidate:- My name is Brox Jones, I am born into a family of 4 and I am the last born. I was born in the city of Lagos and grew up in Jos. I had my primary education in Ogbande pry school (not real name) and my secondary school in oxford secondary. I graduated from the university of ……bla…bla…bla. And then you go on and on until the interviewer stops you.
My answer to #mistake no 2 is -- “don’t talk too much”.
I want to teach you one trick here and that is what is called an “Elevator Pitch”
An Elevator pitch is that speech that you make in a few minutes that captures all the relevant topics that is needed for the occasion.(my definition)
First of all, let us define what an elevator is…. “An elevator is a moving platform or cage for carrying passengers or freight from one level to another, as in a building in about 60secs”.
So imagine yourself with the United-State President in an elevator and he asked you to talk about yourself…..… What exactly can you say in 60secs that will make him remember you or insist that you follow him when the elevator finally opens???
Think about it!
Learn How To Pitch Anything In 25-seconds.
Use this formula to achieve a successful elevator pitch/speech
I call this the INTRO-WHAT-NOW Formula. (you will not see this formula in any book because I developed this formula myself)
1. INTRO--- introduce yourself in 3secs. Your name and who you are or what you do.
2. WHAT---what you do that will benefit your audience or the person/s you’re talking to.
3. NOW---your now is that moment when you state what your desire/conclusion is, for making the speech (you could start with the word NOW or you may not)
I always practice this often before I go out in the morning with a stopwatch. Below is my 25-seconds elevator pitch.
I want you to do the same; use the formula above and use a time watch, make sure it’s not more than 40secs; you will get better at it when you practice often.
See my own sample below:-
1. “( INTRO)--- Hi I am Lara Garuba, I am a trained attorney and a retail banking specialist with over 8 years work experience in banking and telecoms. ( WHAT)----I love to train young people to acquire the right skills for the job of their dream. ( NOW)----Now for example… I have trained over 10 people who have gotten the job of their dreams and are excelling in that field”.
2. “Hi, I am Lara Garuba the principal consultant at …………….. We offer management consulting, trainings, entrepreneurship support and career/self-development helps to individuals and companies alike. Our number one goal is to be part of the success story of our clients. We can schedule a meeting this weekend if you will be available”.
Here is also a sample I did for you as a job candidate—this is just about 32secs long. Read below:
“Good day I am ….………., a law graduate of university of lagos. I grew up in the city of benin and I am the last child of my parents. I love to write and take pictures. I have acquired great presentation and communication skills from my years in school, trainings I have attended and I am able to work in a team and prove my worth in any situation I find myself. I will really like to work in this organisation so I can learn, add value and put in my possible best.”
I will really like to hear from you and I wish you the best at your next interview or sales pitch.
I will find time to take you through “rewriting” your CV in my next article. God bless you.
© This article was prepared for BBbuzz by Lara Garuba, a certified Attorney and Retail Banking Specialist and this should not be copied, published, re-written without the express permission of the author.
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