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Interview Empathy

Published over 3 years ago by Elkie Holland
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Today I am one of 7 finalists being interviewed by a panel of judges for the Vitalise 2013 Business Woman of the Year Award
 
Interviewing is what I do every day and have been doing pretty much every day for most of my working life.  I also spend copious amounts of time giving out advice on how to behave at interview, so why is it when someone wants to interview me I get a very strange feeling which must be nervousness ?
 
Could it be a little bit of pay back?  I am beginning to realise how it feels to be on the other side of my desk.  For years, I have counselled candidates on interview techniques and have come out with loads of clichés like: 

  • Plan your journey and arrive at least 10 minutes early
  • Do your research.
  • Smile.
  • Remember the interviewers are only humans.
  • Talk and stay on topic.
  • Just be yourself

Now, sitting here on the train on the way to be interviewed I’ve found myself hearing my own advice, but I’m feeling the candidate emotions.  Yes, I get you …… it’s hard. 

So I prepared – I remembered my CV, (well in my case the nomination form and my career history and highlights !).  I planned my journey and I’m hoping that I’ll be on time. 

Researched – Difficult one in this case.  I’m being judged, (I guess that’s the same as being interviewed). I looked at the previous Business Woman of the Year Award winners.  Bad idea, they are awesome !!!  Now I’m even more nervous!  I often tell people to know your subject and be honest.  For me today, I couldn't be more knowing on my subject as it's me and what I've done.  Here's hoping I can remember it all.

The interview - Stay calm.  Talk, but don’t ramble.  Remember that an interview is no good with single word answers as this doesn't help an interviewer get to know you and your skills and experience, but equally don’t over talk and say too much as you will lose the interviewers attention.  Goodness, so much to remember.

You are who you are - I'm me and I've done what I've done - no more and no less.  It's now up to the Judges to decide how they weight and what they weight and who they wish to choose.  All I can do is be me !
 
So today I’ve felt the flip side again.  A strange, humbling and empathy invoking situation. Glad I’m not a candidate!  I know that if I win or remain just 1 of 7 finalists, I've done well to get this far and I’ve done my best.  I’ve been me and I’ve been true to myself.

 
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