Charisma and your Career: Seven steps to killer interviews

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Thursday, April 19th, 2012
Advertising Feature, Featured Story, Jobs & Careers
Niamh Shiells is a woman on a mission. That mission is to help people be the very best they can be in an extremely competitive job market. With unemployment figures at unprecedented levels, hundreds of people are competing against each other for every single job. The onus on each individual to ‘stand out from the rest’ reaches a whole new dimension. We’re all well aware of the incredibly tough economic climate we find ourselves in – allegedly the worst since the Wall Street Crash of 1929 – and the serious lack of employment opportunities, so Niamh believes that simple, small steps can put you ahead of the pack and drive you to success. People skills are key. According to research, 85 percent of the reason you get and progress in a job has more to do with people skills than technical knowledge. Charisma is the personality trait that will make the difference and in an interview; it can be the vital ingredient that gets you the job. Therefore, Niamh’s job as a coach becomes even more important. So why is charisma vital? Interview panels ultimately give jobs to people they like, people they see fitting into the company and able to bring lots of positive energy to the table. So while you are focusing on displaying your technical skills, remember it is just as important to serve up a little charisma to connect with your interview panel. Some people just seem to be naturally charismatic. Perfect examples of that include Barack Obama in the run up to the US presidential election and Mother Theresa through her work fighting poverty. But if you’re not ready to lead a country or save one you can start to learn how to feel and project more charisma.

7 Steps to a new and charismatic you:

Be Confident – You have to feel good about you and then you have to help your interview panel feel good about you too. Have a confident purpose and plan for your interview – What do you want to achieve? What impression do you want to make? What key message do you want to get across and leave hanging in the air when you exit the room? Take Charge – Often we make the mistake of believing that interviews are a passive affair for the candidate. This is far from the truth and you can start to identify ways in which you want to influence the process and the panel. You do have to answer their questions but you can be proactive and take charge on the additional information you provide. Be Likeable – Give a firm handshake on arrival; look the panel straight in the eye, treat each person you meet as if he or she is truly important. Don’t interrupt. Don’t mentally cut off the other person. Listen and visibly respond to all the panel members, not just the one asking the question. Smile, nod in agreement and address them by name. Focus – Focus your answers closely to the question and always ask the panel to repeat if you think you may have gone off track. Structuring your answers to three points can be very helpful as we know that grouping in threes makes information more engaging and memorable. Have a killer Question – Always have a “killer “question that demonstrates your ability to see the big picture or emerging trends in your sector/role. Asking a question is your opportunity to sell yourself, so don’t waste it on “filler” questions on induction or training or opportunities for development. Prepare your Pitch – Finish with a strong closing pitch summarizing three or four key relevant competencies that you bring to the role and your eagerness to work with the company. Our brains tend to remember the beginnings and the endings and so make sure to go out with a bang not a fizz! Put on a performance – Remember that interviews are a performance and while it is not an Oscar winning performance you are seeking to emulate, you do need to present a slightly brighter, more energized and boastful version of you. Turn up the charisma and career and interview success will follow! Do you want to know more about charisma, interview tips and job market solutions? Contact Niamh Shiells for help with Career Progression, CV’s, Applications and Interview Preparation at or Facebook:  
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