Interview Readiness Assessment

Topic Progress:

WHAT DOES THE INTERVIEW ASSESSMENT DO?

The questionnaire below consists of some quick and simple ‘yes or no’ answer questions to assess how well prepared you are to position yourself as ‘the winning candidate’ for any job you wish to apply for. This includes promotions. Your answers will be plotted as a graph to give you immediate feedback and recommended actions.

BACKGROUND

In lesson 2 ‘Getting to the heart of what employers want’ we cover the three things you must prove.

  1. Can you do the job? This involves proving you have the skills the employer believes you will need to successfully meet your objectives.
  2. Will you fit? This is usually broken down into proving you are a good fit with their team and that you will work well with their manager.
  3. Will you do the job? This covers whether you have the right attitudes in terms of desire, drive and commitment to make enough sustained effort to succeed in their job.

How well you rank against their ideal requirements in each of the above criteria can be plotted on a star graph as follows:

See diagram below:

On the vertical axis employers will score you out of ten against their list of SKILLS requirements.

On the horizontal axis going left they will score you out of ten in terms of how they perceive your TEAM FIT, and going to the right they will score you in terms of your MANAGER FIT.

Going downward on the vertical axis they will score you out of ten against your DRIVE.


The ideal score is a 10 out of 10 on each axis as shown by the green stars connected by the green lines. This creates the diamond shaped ‘ideal profile’ they are hoping to find.


If you apply blindly to a job with minimum knowledge of their requirements it is going to be difficult to position yourself as a good fit. Statistically you are most likely to score an average of around 5 out of 10 as shown by the pink crosses. Connecting these with the pink lines depicts a typical ‘unaligned poor fitting’ profile.

These kinds of profiles are common among graduates who have not targeted specific jobs and prepared their relevance for them beyond graduating with a degree. These profiles are also referred to as ‘generic’ because of their reliance on overused and unsupported generic strength claims which do not trigger ‘a desire to hire’ in the employer.

The Career Cycle provides an easy to follow process to expand your profile with relevant and compelling strengths to meet the specific needs of targeted employers on each axis.

See diagram below:

The closer your profile is aligned to the outer edge – i.e. the green ideal profile, the more likely you are to trigger the ‘This is who we want!’ emotion.

The questionnaire below is designed to assess whether you have taken enough actions to be able to trigger this emotion.

INSTRUCTIONS

Of course the questionnaire will only help you if you fill it in honestly. At the end it will plot your profile in pink so that you can see how well you did. The size of the gaps between your profile and the green ideal profile, should spur you on to take the necessary actions to close them. Below your graph are pointers to the relevant lessons in The Career Cycle to help you improve your profile.

  • TARGETING AND PRIOR CONTACT
  • OBJECTIVES AND SKILLS REQUIRED FOR THE JOB
  • TEAM FIT
  • MANAGER FIT
  • MOTIVATION/DRIVE
  • PREPARATION FOR THE JOB

    Note: You are unlikely to succeed with unsupported strength claims - especially generic ones. You have to prove you can do the job with examples from your past - ideally in the form of prepared and rehearsed S.O.A.R.s for each of the job requirements identified in section 2 above.

    Remember S.O.A.R. is an acronym for how to tell a concise, relevant story to prove you have the required skills and experience. It stands for the Situation you were in, the Objectives you were trying to achieve, the Actions you took (and hence the skills you used) – and finally the Results you achieved. For the story to be relevant and compelling the results have to be similar to the required results of the job you are applying for.

  • TEAM FIT
  • MANAGER FIT
  • DRIVE
  • SUPPORTING EVIDENCE
  • RECOMMENDED ACTIONS TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE IN EACH OF THE FOUR SECTIONS OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE


    1. TARGETING AND PRIOR CONTACT

    While you can do considerable online research about what jobs you might like, by far the best way to get reliable first hand and up to date information, is to network with people who actually have those jobs - and their managers.

    To refresh yourself on the importance of prior contact with any organization you hope to join (including the lists of questions you should ask) reread Lesson 6 ‘Building a Professional Network.

    The statistics from three years of studies by Accenture are clear. If you graduate without aligning yourself to the specific needs of a specific targeted job - you have a greater than 50% probability of being underemployed for 2 years. To refresh yourself on the importance of targeting reread lesson 5 ‘Targeting a Job’.


    2. KNOWLEDGE OF THE JOB

    To refresh yourself on why these questions on skills, fit and drive are so important reread Lesson 2 topic 3 ‘Getting to the heart of what employers really want.’


    3. PREPARATION FOR THE JOB

    To refresh yourself on the importance of positioning yourself as well aligned to the requirements of the job with tangible supporting evidence - reread Lesson 3, topic 2 ‘Four Steps of Alignment’.

    Once you understand the requirements you then need to align yourself by actually developing the skills and behaviors your employer is looking for. To refresh yourself on Targeted Self Development, reread Lesson 7 ‘Preparing for the Selection Process’


    4. SUPPORTING EVIDENCE

    For any of your strength claims to be believable you need evidence. To refresh yourself on how to do this read Lesson - 7 Preparing for the Selection Process topic 5 - How to build an Achievement Portfolio.

    Your most compelling evidence will come from previous bosses. Hence the importance of building the right professional relationship with every boss you work for. To refresh yourself on how to build a professional relationship with your manager that will lead to lifelong references - read Lesson 7 ‘Preparing for the Selection Process’ topic 6 ‘How to Use References.’


    SUMMARY

    Do not just leave this type of assessment until just a day or two before an interview as it will leave no time to make any material changes to your preparation. As soon as you have targeted a job, start using this form to see how you are shaping up and as an ongoing checklist.

    Many of these questions are also the type of questions a career coach might ask you. Using this questionnaire will enable you to start coaching yourself and make any subsequent dialogue with coaches or mentors much more focused and productive.

    Final note: This questionnaire is equally applicable to a promotion interview. Obviously not all the questions will apply but I highly recommend first going through it for your current job from time to time to make sure you are well enough aligned to be considered a good performer and promotable. (You would be surprised at how often people in jobs find these questions difficult to answer!) Going over the questionnaire will help you prepare for much better performance reviews too. Remember you will need elements from your performance reviews as supporting evidence in future job or promotion applications. When your over performance has been recognized for some time, start using the questionnaire to make sure you are targeting a promotion and building your alignment skills with supporting S.O.A.R.s and references.

    The key is to use this questionnaire regularly as a checklist to both drive and monitor your progress toward becoming ‘the one’ for any job you are targeting.

Need Help with a topic?

Contact our support team!

Contact Us