I have had an extraordinarily hard time sealing the deal for most jobs I have applied for. Despite having an admirable stack of skills, valuable experiences that make me a good fit, and strong performance reviews year after year, I have been getting turned away after interviews sooner or later - inside and outside my current company. Sometimes I have advanced to the supposed final rounds of interviewing only to get rejected eventually. I know I am not a very articulate person and probably come off a little flat despite all my attempts to rehearse responses and improve my delivery. Companies seem to judge me more on my lack of charisma than on my knowledge and work ethic. I know that practice makes perfect and I have been doing that but I'm just not getting any better and feel like I am stuck at this point. Can anyone offer any constructive advice?
Play offense, not defense. Flip the conversation to the company and what it needs. Ask questions about issues the company is facing. Of course you need to have the info in your back pocket when you walk in so do your research. Then be ready with examples of how you've faced those issues in the past. Best of luck.
You might consider joining a local Toastmaster's group. I too had trouble sealing the deal but after joining Toastmasters and getting a few speeches under my belt, I gained my confidence and learned how to speak more effectively.
Thanks for your services!
In many cases, it is not only what you know but who you know. For your current company, if you can find a rising star senior management person to be your mentor, one call from him/her after your final round interview could seal the deal. Seen that works many times. Done that myself for my associates. For external jobs, network is the key. Not sure what is your job interest/function, join the local chapter could improve your chances.
Practice and preparation -- I agree with key points from other responders. Here are some additional ideas for you. I'd strongly recommend taking a look at the C-A-R Mini Story presentation. It's great preparation for interviews.
Try a different tack. That is, rather than tout your education and experience, focus on your TALENTS. Here is a free website that will help you know what they are and give a descriptive voice to YOUR talent-assets. If you want a deeper spin (also free) to the meaning of the results, email to me the letters and numbers assigned to each attribute - it should look something like I-42, N-8, T-45, J-50] to my e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
The web site for the assessment address is: http://www.humanmetrics.com/personality
I agree with both of the previous responses. You can never get enough practice at representing your qualifications for a role and selling yourself amongst a crowd of applicants. Companies do consider personality fit as part of their hiring process so you need to come across as someone that with have a good fit with the rest of the team and with the culture of the company. This is totally different than your technical skills. Maybe you could try networking with existing employees to ask them what the culture and environment is with their company or their department.
Matthew, I would be happy to do a mock interview with you, and provide feedback. If you are interested, send me an email at email@example.com with some times you might be available.
Matthew, rehearsal without feedback will not lead to improvement. So 1) Strongly suggest you join Toastmasters, 2) Find a mentor. I worked in Dayton for 20+ years, so if you tell me your field, maybe I can find someone there.
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