Be on Message and On Track: That’s What Interviewers Want

by | Oct 9, 2011 | Interviews | 0 comments

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“Next!” calls the Casting Director, inviting the actor onto the stage.

“So”, he says flipping through the notes on the table. “It says here that you were the understudy for the lead role in Phantom of the Opera, correct?”

“Yes sir” says the actor nervously. “I also played Macbeth in the Shakespeare Company’s latest production of the same name, and prior to that was Judas in the production of Jesus Christ Superstar”.

“Ok, says the Casting Director, “Anything else you want to share before we get started?”

The actor smiles enthusiastically.

“Yes! I’d like to point out that I’m a web designer and I know a lot about search engine optimisation. In fact, I helped my friend Jodie, get his small business website on Google’s first page without the need for paid advertising which was great”.

Picking up confidence, the actor continues. “Oh and I consider myself an excellent cook. I have dinner parties on occasion and my guests always compliment me on my prowess in the kitchen. In fact, my mushroom and beef pie was actually used by a national supermarket as a winning recipe and placed in the meat department! I am also a great team manager and I know a lot about the telecommunications sector and retail sales”.

Sharing an amused glance with others in the crew, the Casting Director turns to the young actor. “I meant”, he said sternly, “Something relevant to share”.

Instead of tailoring examples of professional experiences or skills essential to the job being sought, job seekers like our young actor here, frequently find themselves revealing unimportant, personal or irrelevant insights to people who haven’t asked for them and don’t want them. In this case, the actor would have been better placed describing his competencies and training in dancing, singing and choreography, instead of embarking on a Facebook-style “Things you don’t know about me” narrative.

Remember, in interviews and resumes, keep your information on message, on brand and targeted solely and uncompromisingly to the job being sought.

For every non-relevant piece of information you throw at decision makers, you are distracting them from seeing you as the ideal candidate and instead, you are prompting them to question the reasons behind your odd communication choices.

How could that ever be a good thing?

 

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