Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more. – Nikola Tesla

How to improve job interview skills?

I love how creative my friends are, but using real job interviews as mock interviews? Now, I’ve heard it all. Allow me to explain.

A friend of mine has been on a career advancement search in recent months and as one of his references I was privileged to the positions he has applied for. While all of them were within his “wheelhouse” sort to speak, some didn’t look quite aligned to what he was conveying as the next stage in his career so I asked for clarification. His response came as a surprise, yet it did make some sense.

“I don’t have enough recent in-person interviewing experience so I’m sharpening my skills” is what he said. He’s been applying to a wider range of positions in hope of interviews (without really expecting much) just so he could practice his job interviewing skills with strangers and be ready when that perfect position presented itself. Crazy and a bit over the top, but it clearly worked for him.

How do you improve your interviewing skills?

Spend company’s money as you would your own

Fiscal responsibility of a budget is exactly that, a responsibility, not a right. This privilege should not be treated lightly and should be approached with rationale, integrity and accountability. As you are making purchases focus on the needs of your team and those you work with and support. Once the needs are addressed and if budget permits, only then should you turn towards wants of staff and colleagues.

Leverage available expertise

Work with your colleagues, peers and counterparts across different functional areas in order to produce contributions of the highest quality. None of us know everything so it is time to act that way and leverage available expertise within our organizations and invite others to contribute and share both the work and rewards.

Like it or not, you still have to work together

Personalities clash and people have disagreements, but those shouldn’t become insurmountable obstacles towards collaboration, productivity and advancement. Difference of opinions, ideas and originality is what makes organizations what they are and what they are yet to become. Whether you have initially (un)successfully collaborated with someone or not shouldn’t determine your long-term relationship and collaboration efforts. Make an effort, reach out first and build a new beginning together.

Leaders speak last

You are a part of a brainstorming session or a project update meeting and folks are sharing their ideas, suggestions and plans. Last one to speak is the leader of that team. Well, last one to speak SHOULD be the leader of that team.

The reason for this tactical decision lies in the desire to empower others to contribute and share their ideas, logic and reasoning. Generically, if a leader speaks first they have already set the tone for that meeting or a project and by doing that have limited creative exchange of knowledge and experiences. One should always want and encourage others to speak up and share what they know, that’s why they are part of the team after all.

Take your talents where they belong

If you are unhappy, unfulfilled or lack challenges where you currently are, please leave. Life is way too short for you to waste it away where you don’t belong. Think about your talents and capabilities and then take them where they would have the greatest positive impact on lives of others. Providing value to others will result in revenue generation and best of all, you will have fun doing it.

We should all act on focusing on our strengths by finding careers that inspire us and where we can really contribute to the success of people, ideas and organizations.

Is your current job your destiny?

How did you arrive to your current professional destination? And more importantly, is this your final stop?

Have you ever asked yourself those questions and what were the conclusions to which you have arrived? Was your career path a straight line with smooth, strategic, well planned transitions or have you taken a number of unexpected turns along the way? What would you have done differently and what will do you differently going forward?

I know, all questions today, but they are important to reflect on as we advance in our professional lives.

Who are you to your friends?

Who are you to your friends?

What’s your role in a sense…are you their rock, the confidant, the shrink, a class clown, party animal, the traveler…what are you to your circle of friends? Which of your qualities do they associate with you and really value in you? Once you have that answer, think about how can that help you in your career as well. While it clearly won’t always be applicable, that quality is one of your innate abilities, it is something that comes naturally and as such it may be worth some time for further consideration and leverage.

Think about it. Who are you to your friends?

Ask your team for honest feedback

Are you failing your staff, your coworkers, your team? How do you know? Did you ask them?

While most of us will annually reach out to our customers, clients and partners to get their feedback on our performance we often neglect those we work with closely.
How often have you asked your coworkers, your staff, your immediate team members about your contributions to their success? Are you actually contributing to the success of your team?

Innovate first, take the lead

As you notice opportunities for improvements, both strategic and operational, take the lead, innovate first and get those advancements in place. Don’t worry about getting the credit or recognition and don’t do it with that motivation in mind.

Focus on improving lives of others, such as your clients, your team, your partners and after all, yourself. Recognition for achievements will eventually come, but what will become more evident sooner is the satisfaction on faces of others whose lives you have improved and made easier.