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The C-L-E-A-R Approach to Interviews

Congratulations!  You’ve been successful in being called for the interview.  You obviously have the qualifications and experience on paper that you can do the job, now all you have to do is convince the prospective employer that you’re the best person for the job!  

“Easier said than done”, I hear you say.

By taking the C-L-E-A-R approach, you can be sure of giving that interview your best shot.

C – Confidence

Why wouldn’t you be confident?  You can do the job.  Believe in yourself.  Show the interviewer how confident you are.  Think about what “Confident” looks like for you.

  • Shake hands strongly
  • Keep good eye contact
  • Speak Clearly
  • Use positive language – don’t discount your abilities

L – Listen

Listen to the questions – I mean really listen to the questions.  Ensure you hear and understand what you are being asked.  Don’t rhyme off what you think you should say. The interviewer doesn’t want to hear buzz words, they want to know that you understood the question and can demonstrate your experiences clearly.  If you didn’t understand the question or didn’t hear it clearly, ask them to repeat it.  You won’t seem foolish.  Foolish is giving an answer to a question you weren’t asked.

E – Examples / Experience

How better to show the interviewer that your experience is important and relevant than to give clear examples of what you have done.  Ensure your examples are personal to you and that your examples demonstrate what role you played in the achievement of a goal, introduction of a new initiative or led to a cost saving.  Be clear on how those examples and your experience are relevant to the role you are applying for.  When preparing examples in advance, think about STAR (R):

  • Situation (What was the story?)
  • Task (What needed to be done?)
  • Action (What did you do?)
  • Result (What happened?)
  • Reflect (What did you Learn?)

A – Abilities

Have an awareness around what your abilities are – know what you are good at – your strengths, weaknesses and where you add value.  Reflect on what part you play in a team, are you the leader, the follower, the one with the ideas, the one who gets things done – know and understand how you contribute to a team or an organisation’s success.  Know the characteristics of your communication and/or leadership style. 

R – Relax

Interviews are stressful enough for the calmest of people.  So don’t add to the nerves by being late, unsure of where you are going, frazzled and in a state.  

  • Be on time and know where you are going
  • Do some deep breathing exercises before you go in to the interview
  • Strike some power poses as recommended by Amy Cuddy in her TED talk.  
  • Know the company and details of the role
  • Know your CV

P – Personality

I know, I know, there’s no P in C-L-E-A-R but this is important!

Show your Personality – whether this be a touch of colour to your interview attire or something interesting you have done or participated in (that’s relevant), let the interviewer know who “You” are and why “You” would be a valuable addition to their team.

So remember to take the C-L-E-A-R approach to your next interview and add a splash of personality to the mix.  It will definitely make it C-L-E-A-R to the interviewer that you’re the right person for the job.  Good Luck!

Valerie is a professional Life, Business and Career Coach.  She helps her clients to improve their confidence, identify their key skills and values and enhance their communication and interview skills.  

You can contact her via her website here