By Andrew Marwood – Customer Journey Agent
Back in July this year I started my ActionCOACH Kickstart journey at the Chesterfield Job Centre, and just last week I was back there again. However, this time the roles were reversed, and I got to experience what it’s like on the other side of the interview table. This was because the team was interviewing for new potential Kickstart employees, for assistant roles in Marketing and Business Development.
I remember how just over two months ago I was in the same position as these applicants; coming into the Job Centre to meet employers and I remember how nervous I had been, so I understood how the interviewees must have felt. Unfortunately, it is a necessary step, and although that is easier to say from the other side of the interview table, the objective is to find out more about the applicants and to see if they would fit into the team, not to stress and test.
I believe one of the most interesting aspect of being a part of those interviews for me was not only the range of experience and skills people brought to the table, but also their character and personality and how that came across in what is a relatively short space of time. It was interesting to see a person’s attitude to the people in the room, the job and the questions asked, and how that could really influence the impression left on the interviewer. Which is something you don’t always think about when you’re being interviewed because you’re so focused on trying to answer the questions correctly.
For example, we had one person who wasn’t scheduled in for an interview that day but who Fiaz had met briefly as he arrived at the Job Centre, that very person then asked after Fiaz, and due to a gap in the schedule we had a chat with them. To cut a long story short, the fact that this person, after having a conversation with Fiaz, then decided to also follow-up on that conversation the same day, left a great impression and meant they was still in the back of our minds at the end of the day. It was that bit of confidence and proactivity that stood out.
Essentially, what I’ve learnt from this experience is that demonstrating the right attitude and being proactive goes a long way for setting the right impression. You don’t need to answer all the question perfectly or have all the answers, but bringing yourself to the interview, showing that enthusiasm, researching the company, being honest if you haven’t necessarily got all the skills they’re looking for, but then talking about the skills experience you do have, sets a great impression. Because in most cases (not all) of you can be trained in the skills and experiences you’re missing. But attitude and personal drive is something you must develop yourself. And that can make a bigger difference than you might think.