All of us, at one time or another, have botched an interview. Why is it that when your heart is set on the creative job of your dreams, you seem to perform at your worst? Murphy’s Law? Most likely it's the attachment to a positive outcome which can cause nerves during an interview, even for the most confident person. You're asked a really simple question but your mouth goes dry, your heart starts beating faster, you cough nervously and shift around in your seat…nope, nothing…just the sound of tumbleweeds in your head.
Your interviewer lets you off the hook with a smile, thanks you for your time and walks you to the door. You walk briskly to your car, jump in and sit there numb for a moment turning over the interview in your mind. Slowly, one by one, you start to think of the perfect answers to their questions that, had you not gone completely blank, might have scored you your dream job. Arrgh!
There is a better way. Firstly, it's important to understand that the interviewer is doing their best to make a judgement call on whether you’re the right person culturally for their business and whether your skills will add value to their team. Therefore, being able to clearly articulate who you are, and what you do, in the shortest amount of time is essential; this is particularly important the longer you’ve been in the workforce. If you mess this up, you’ll confuse the interviewer and it’s all over red rover.
Are you ready for it?
You need to prepare and practice PAR’s. What’s a PAR? PAR stands for Project, Action, Result.
Project – Describes an actual project you worked on. Be clear about the elements you personally were responsible for.
Action – This section is where you describe the actions you took to complete the project. This is THE most important part of a PAR because everything you say here describes who you are, how you collaborate, how well you listen, problem solve and/or whether you’re solutions focused, just to name a few. You’ll be judged on your leadership capabilities, your need for training, your ability to influence, your conceptual thinking process and how well you’ll fit into their team.
Result – If you tell a good story your interviewer will be interested in the result out of curiosity. Mostly it doesn’t really matter whether the result was good or bad; the bad ones usually get a laugh though. What’s important to the interviewer is the actions you took during the project so perfect the Action to display your skills and attributes well.
At Creative Recruiters we advise our candidates, from juniors through to seniors, to have 4-6 well thought out PAR’s, which they are able to speak about in the most heartfelt manner. This requires practice, so practice in the mirror and practice with family and friends until you can confidently verbalise your PAR’s without a hitch.
In our experience you will be able to draw from the 4-6 PAR’s you prepared, to nail almost any interview question asked of you. It’s worth the effort and will go a long way to landing your dream creative job! Still unsure? Feel free to get in contact with me and I’ll walk you through it.
Have a great week everyone!
Director - Creative Recruiters
m: +61 413 453 563