Get the tools successful career changers have to avoid interview jitters and to land the job over other candidates – even those with more experience than you

So you wanna change careers in 2015 but you’re feeling overwhelmed – how on earth are you going to compete with others who have more experience?  The answer often lies in having the confidence to sell yourself – with all the experience and skills you have – and don’t have.

In the spirit of the holiday season, I am going to gift you some confidence.  I am giving you tools to become a successful career changer yourself in 2015.  Over the next 6 blogs I will share secrets with you about what belongs in your interviewing tool kit so that you never have to feel interviewing jitters again – whether you are changing careers or just going after a new job.  So let’s get a jumpstart on the new year right now!

One way to get that confidence is to give yourself the tools to explain yourself.  If your interviewing toolkit includes a handful of key things – you will not only feel less anxious at interviews – you might actually enjoy interviewing – it can be fun to take your new tools out for a test drive.  So what should be in a good interviewing toolkit?  One thing that is essential is …

a good career story.

Anytime we listen to another speak, whether they are a teacher, presenter, actor, singer,  etc. we want to hear 3 things from them in order to feel like they were “great!”.  We want…

  1. to laugh
  2. to be inspired
  3. to have 1 thing we can easily do that we believe will make a difference in our life

This is also true of “great!” job interview’ees.  What if I told you it was possible for you to accomplish all 3 things by answering 1 question right at the beginning of your interview?  Don’t you think you would not only have that interviewers attention – but you would have them downright captivated?  You can – and you would!  Here’s how…

Successful Job Changer’s Interviewing Toolkit – item #1

My Compelling Career Story

Everyone’s job in an interview is to determine if you want to hang out with each other all day from 9-5.  You find this out by having a conversation – sharing your stories.  Everyone loves a great story – so tell yours and find out theirs – but first, share your story.  The elements of a good career story include…

  • early motivators for your initial career/educational path choice
  • how you landed your jobs
  • mistakes made, successes enjoyed and passions discovered along the way
  • how you knew the time was right to move from one job to another (what happened that made you move from job to job – even if you were fired for performance or job eliminated due to budget constraints – what was the silver lining you later discovered from losing that job – demonstrate that you can see purpose/opportunity even in seamingly negative circumstances)
  • the most important thing you did differently that contributed to your happiness/success (something others can apply to if they are inspired to do so – think about something that happened in your career that made you say – “I don’t want to ever experience this again in my career” – how did that experience inspire you to behave or think differently and what were the personal and professional outcomes of your changed ways)
  • progress in understanding yourself and what you have to offer – what “ah-has” came up for you that made you see how past career or job changes were a better match with your interests, skills and personal or professional values
  • what did people that you served in your jobs say that made you feel like you were on the right career path – or helped you gain confidence to expand your knowledge, skills, services
  • what happened that made you feel the time was right to look for the role you are now seeking – include experiences you have had in other jobs/occupations that can be leveraged for the job you are currently interested in
  • end your story with what you are most grateful for in your career (to date) – show that you are a person of gratitude – favor follows those who are grateful!

Journal these answers out for yourself – see if you can draft a story either in writing, on video, record it on your smartphone – whatever medium works best for you to get it out.  Then, skinny it down to a memorable 5 minutes or less story you can verbally share that inspires, shares the most important thing you did differently that contributed to your happiness/success (something others can apply to their career if they are inspired to do so), and for sure – be funny!

The point is to share your rich and unique path – your story about how you got to where you are now.  In the process you also demonstrate that you can be engaging, charming, personable and charismatic – show them YOU!

About Gina Calvano

Gina Calvano is a certified coach and Senior Professional in Human Resources, with over 20 years of experience as a talent management professional in both the private and non-profit sectors. With a unique approach, she combines her strategic corporate expertise and accreditations with metaphysics and transformational thinking which has resulted in people all over the world feeling good about themselves and connected to a sense of purpose.

She created the Success Readiness Bootcamp™, a step by step process that enables people to easily discover their unique talents and abilities and match them to majors, jobs, industries and leisure pursuits. Gina is also the co-author of Breakthrough! Inspirational Strategies for an Audaciously Authentic Life with NY Times Best Selling Authors Marci Shimoff, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood and Powerful Connections Made Easy™ with Aprille Trupiano, and is currently working on her next book — Caged in My Cube: The Turnaround Guide For Loving The Job You Hate.

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