Head hunter’s advice for job interviews

Communicators know better than most the importance of presentation when it comes to a job interview. But a polished performance is more about your attitude than anything else, according to executive head hunter Tim Vincent.

Tim is founder of Rembrandt Consultants, a global headhunting company, and has just published a new book, called ‘Nail that Job Interview’. I caught up with him this week to find out more about how communicators can become more successful in these critical situations….

In any job interview both candidate and interviewer are expected to answer some big questions.

The interviewer asks, ‘Do I buy this candidate? Am I sure this person can help me? Will they fit into my team?’ While the candidate asks, ‘Do I buy this job? Do I want to work with this person for the next three to five years?’

In this bizarre meeting the interviewer is looking out for attitude.

Head hunters need to take a clear brief before they go hunting and one of the questions we have always asked our clients is: ‘When all is said and done what one word do you feel best describes the person you are looking for?’ Fifteen or so years ago clients would answer the question with, ‘Experienced’ whereas today the universal answer is, ‘Attitude’.

So the good news is that the candidate can make this weird meeting work in their favour if they clearly exhibit the right attitude.

Adopting the right attitude

Consider the market trader who hails, ‘Look these strawberries now two punnets for £1. Come on don’t miss out!’ is likely to be more successful than his neighbour who prefers to simply stand beside their stock. In that fleeting moment when we pass a market stall we will respond to a trader’s confident attitude and belief in his stock if it is broadcast clearly.

The confidence within

The right attitude emerges from confidence within as opposed to any veneer we might apply to our surface. We aren’t talking about the false smile, the insincere laugh or feigned interest, rather the reverse so take a good look within yourself. Begin with the headline question: Do I Want This Job?

In order to answer this question it follows that you are going to need some idea of the sort of job you actually want. Try capturing it as a set of criteria. In so doing you are beginning the process of self-assessment so important here. In fact when you have really pinned this down what you will have gained from the insight is a vision of what you are working to become and how today’s job (wherever and whatever that may be) fits into the career trajectory that takes you there.

Using your attitude to reach your goals

Your attitude has now become that of the critical and demanding buyer and you are asking a more intricate and personal question, ‘How can this job act as a foothold to get me to my vision?’

Now that question has attitude! You need to couch it in a way that your interviewer can handle it.  Do not lead with this or ask it too directly. However with your attitude founded within, your ability to broadcast is already programmed in. It is genuine, you are genuine and your positive attitude will be received and believed.

‘Nail that interview’ by Tim Vincent is available in paperback, published by Vermilion, priced £9.99.

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