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I keep underperforming at interviews...

(13 Posts)
ThreeBecameFour Sat 27-Aug-16 13:25:28

I have recently had 3 interviews for different jobs and they were awful and I didn't get to the next stage.

I am currently a fairly senior member of a charity and I'm great on the job and where I currently work, everyone really values me but I am very underpaid and the is no chance of this changing in the foreseeable future. People like me and I get people collaborating and have brilliant feedback.
I am looking for a new role as I need to be earning more money or I would stay where I am as I love it.

Feedback from the interviews has been that I am nervous, they know they didn't get the best from me but they really liked me.

Basically I have lost confidence since having my children and I find it difficult singing my own praises because I just feel like I am winging everything juggling life! I know I have great experience and I am a good team leader. I prep for interviews like crazy, lots of practice, examples etc but when I am in the room never manage to say everything I know I should. I feel really low after my last experience. It is such a shame I can't say at the beginning of interviews that am terrible at interviews but brilliant on the job!

Can you give me your tips on how to overcome this please?

Pisssssedofff Sat 27-Aug-16 22:18:03

I recorded myself with an iPhone. I have a massive tendency to waffle so I recorded it over and over again until I sounded like the person that I would give the job to.
Google competency based questions and get your answers finely tuned, there's only about three that come up, planning, influencing and team work. I tend to answer those three whether they are the question or not lol
The one thing that helped me the most though was meeting a complete dick who I knew had no skills and weren't half the employee I was and they were in a more senior role than I. Real eye opener, if he can blag it, so can we

daisychain01 Mon 29-Aug-16 05:16:48

Interviews are a bit like exams, some people are great at knowing how to come up with all the right answers but fail to translate that into the 'every day job'. Others, like you are great on the job, but find it difficult to be under the spotlight.

Can you gain access to any career coaching or mentoring to help you rehearse and fine tune your interview techniques? It's all about prior planning, which you are good at, but you also need to simulate the feeling of being in the interview. Doing it in a safe environment first, so you can polish the bits you stumble over, will give you a positive feeling of being in control on the day.

VashtaNerada Mon 29-Aug-16 06:21:31

I see interviews as acting, and play the role of a competent person even if I feel insecure inside! I find it helps to do a mock interview at home with DH asking me a list of questions I think will come up. It's mortifying at first but you have to get through it as it's such good preparation.

VashtaNerada Mon 29-Aug-16 06:22:49

Oh and positive visualisation helps too. I imagine myself walking in with confidence saying "Hello I'm Vashta", smiling and shaking hands.

DrLockhart Mon 29-Aug-16 07:12:14

Do you answer questions using the STAR technique? This helps you stop waffling and focus on the question.

I can send you a list of questions we ask in interviews (competency). Like pp said, it's a bit like an exam; you need a model answer that you can tell the interviewer.

I'd also recommend taking in notes / folder.

Have one a4 sheet with examples of things to prompt you to mention.
Eg communication = example of giving bad news and getting a good result; leadership = example of meaning a project or team and the result.

ThreeBecameFour Mon 29-Aug-16 08:01:09

Hi everyone thank you for your help. I do use STAR and competency based q's in my prep. I just seem to not be able to translate it into the actual interview. II am so used to being on the other side interviewing I think I just seem to mind blank. It is just, well, embarrassing. I do all the notes with me thing but arghhhhhh! Underperform!

I really think it is a confidence thing looking back on the last situations. I just don't know why my confidence is so low. Very frustrating.

I'd really appreciate the q's you use DrLockhart...thank you.

thesandwich Mon 29-Aug-16 08:06:00

Could you get someone to do a mock interview with you?
Also look at Amy cuddy body language ted talk and patsy rodenberg YouTube clips on presence- second circle. Good luck

Wigeon Mon 29-Aug-16 08:12:35

You say you practise in advance - have you asked colleagues (or someone you trust) to give you an actual mock interview? And then give you good feedback, and you can practise your answers again with them?

Comptency based questions - if you look at the competencies listed in the job description, you can guess the questions. Eg if one of the competencies is "ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team", one of the questions is likely to be "tell us about a time you worked in a multi disciplinary team - how did you get the best out of everyone?" or similar. Do you try to predict those kind of questions?

There is usually "why do you want this job" and "what skills and abilities do you have to offer us" - do you prep answers for those questions?

Agree about having a mentor too, so you can talk about this in a bit more detail with someone. Is there someone you could approach?

Wigeon Mon 29-Aug-16 08:14:03

A friend of a friend found a mentor through these people - Aspire Foudnation

ThreeBecameFour Mon 29-Aug-16 09:07:24

Thank you. I am going get someone to help me more with interview mock ups and also find a mentor. I think I need to definitely do more interview drills and a mentor would definitely be of benefit.

Muddle2000 Mon 29-Aug-16 12:59:32

Watch your body language as well. It is important to give a good first impression . If you have some twitchy mannerisms find a way of dealing
with them. Make sure you keep appropriate eye contact and you are
not forgetting to address everyone if there is a panel

Crinkle77 Tue 30-Aug-16 14:35:31

OP, I can so relate to your problem. I am exactly the same. I will practise, go through scenarios and use STAR but in the interview just go to pieces. If I am asked something that I hadn't anticpated or if they ask a question slightly differently to how I rehearsed I just panic and go blank. Even with questions that I have rehearsed sometimes I still go blank. It's like I have all this stuff in my head and just can't verablise it. The feedback that I get is generally quite positive so perhaps I don't do as badly as I think but I just don't seem to say enough to clinch it. I am just hoping that practice makes perfect.

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