Making a decision about your career path can be tricky. Whether you’re new to the workforce or you’re looking to change the career path you’re already on, this can be a scary choice. After all, what you choose today, could set the course for the rest of your life, right? Well, yes and no. Let’s explore it in this post!
I don’t often share personal posts here at Pop Your Career, but I am sharing this one today because I thought you might be interested in the thinking behind my decision to close the resume writing arm of my business.
Let’s talk about how to find your perfect role for a minute. Not just any role. If you’re not picky, you can find a shed-load of jobs with a couple of clicks of your mouse. But if you’re looking for a role that fulfils you instead of just being a stop-gap, the process is a little more strategic. But let’s get things straight. Strategic doesn’t necessarily mean difficult. In this post, I am breaking down the process to find your perfect role into 3 simple and easy to follow steps.
I know that searching for jobs can be soul destroying, especially if you haven’t been gaining any traction. Before you give up, let’s talk about how we can increase your chances of securing a job by making some relatively simple changes to what you’re already doing.
So, you’ve been invited to do psychometric testing for a position you have applied for, and you’re starting to freak out a little. What will they find out? What if you make a mistake? What if your personality isn’t what they’re looking for? All these thoughts will be mulling around in your mind, especially if you haven’t done psychometric testing before.
Do you have some epic health and fitness career goals? I don’t blame you! Health and fitness is a popular industry as it allows you to merge your work and your hobbies. It also means that you can increase your focus on your health and wellbeing, not to mention the affects you can have on your clients. You know that saying, “Live what you love”? A career in health and fitness allows you to do exactly that. It’s no wonder people are leaping into these types of careers!
I know what it feels like to hear nothing after applying for a job. You send out your job applications and hearing nothing back but crickets. This can make you feel hopeless, helpless and completely confused. But there is hope. If you aren’t getting any bites from your job applications, it doesn’t mean there is no hope. It does mean that you need to take a time-out though and think about why your job applications aren’t hitting the spot with potential employers.
“A video interview? You’ve got to be joking.” “What am I going to say in front of a camera for ten minutes?” “I don’t think I want to work for a company that does video interviewing – it’s so impersonal…” These are some of the comments I have heard and seen about video interviewing this year and I get it. Video interviewing is new. It’s not all that common (in Australia at least), and if you don’t know much about it, it can be nerve wracking and can conjure up all sorts of conscious and unconscious blocks.
Ahh, the good old ice-breaker interview question. Tell me about yourself. Whether your interviewer is planning a behavioural interview or not, usually they will start off with one or two ice-breaker questions to warm you up for the main event. As an interviewer, I love ice-breaker questions, because they do exactly that. They break the ice and allow a candidate to start by talking about the topic they know the most about. Themselves.
Have you ever been asked a hypothetical interview question? If so, you would be forgiven for misunderstanding the point of a hypothetical and responding with a real life example of when you have done something similar. With so much information and advice available on the internet about behavioural interviewing, and with most employers now preferring the behavioural interviewing method, you’ve had it drilled into you over and over again. Use an example. Provide an example. Use the STAR method.
But, when an interviewer asks a hypothetical interview question, they’re actually trying to elicit a different response from you. And if you fail to pick up on this slight distinction, you could lose marks in your interview. In this post, I’m going to break down the difference between hypothetical and behavioural questions. You’ll be able to spot a hypothetical interview question a mile away in your next interview!
First of all, what is a behavioural interview question?
A behavioural interview question is one where the interviewer asks you to “tell me about a time when you did XYZ.”. Behavioural questions are designed to get you talking about specific experiences in your career, where you have demonstrated a specific skillset, knowledge or capability. The idea behind this is that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. Your interviewer want to know how you have handled a situation like this one in the past, so that they know you are capable of handling similar situations if you are successful in winning the role.
So, how do I respond to a behavioural question?
This is where it is imperative that you provide an example. Use the STAR method to walk through your example methodically and provide your interviewer with all the information they need to assess your suitability. Make sure that your example is as relevant as possible. Listen carefully to the question to ensure you don’t miss any sneaky details or nuances, that aren’t immediately apparent. You can always ask your interviewer to repeat the question if you aren’t sure.
What about hypotheticals? What does that even mean?
A hypothetical interview question is one where the interviewer asks you, “what would you do if you were in XYZ situation?”. Hypothetical interview questions are not trying to elicit examples of your work, but are instead focused on assessing how you think on your feet, as well as your problem solving, logic and abstract thinking skills.
How should I respond to a hypothetical interview question?
This is where you need to use your imagination. If it helps, you can think about similar situation you have experienced, but avoid falling into the habit of talking about a specific example from your past, rather than explaining what you would do in the future. It’s all in your language – use “I would”, instead of “I did”, when providing your response.
What if the interviewer asks me to provide an example of a similar situation, once I have responded to the hypothetical interview question?
Ooh, sneaky! If that is the case, then go for it! There is no harm in backing up the rationale for your thinking by providing an example. In fact, I have seen candidates provide an example after explaining their hypothetical response, even before being asked. As long as you complete your hypothetical response first, this can be executed really well.
Is that it?
Yep! That’s it! I know this was a much shorter post than usual, but that’s all I’ve got to say on the topic. In summary, listen to the language in the question. If it starts with “tell me about a time when you…”, then tell a story from your past with pride. If it starts with “what would you do if…”, let your imagination run wild, think through the steps involved and provide an example to back up your response.
Best of luck in your interview! Be sure to let me know if you get asked a hypothetical interview question. I’d love to know if these tips help you to win your dream role.
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