You want to change careers. You just aren’t happy in your current job and you know that you need to change. You come up with a plan and you go after it, guns a blazing.
You are feeling the high, the "you got this", you are so in the zone and nothing, I mean nothing is going to get in the way.
Until something does. Life gets busy, the search gets real hard, you are constantly rejected or even worse, you don't hear anything. Your momentum slows to a snails pace, maybe even halting all together.
Time passes, maybe a few months, maybe a few years and then all of a sudden you have this burning urge. This urge to change careers. You just aren't happy in your current job and you know that you need to change. You come up with a plan and ... wait a second, you are hit with a sense of déjà vu. Didn't you go through this before?
I know this cycle, I lived this cycle for years before finally committing to my career change. And not just to the happily ever after aspect of a career change, I committed to the good, the bad and the ugly of the process. I created a plan to not only make my dream career a reality but also a plan to overcome the obstacles that were sure to come my way.
One big obstacle is motivation, when the going gets tough it is really hard to keep yourself motivated through the process. If you are there right now or are preparing yourself to be there, then here are 5 amazing TED talks to help you power through those challenging times.
1. Why you will fail to have a great career presented by Larry Smith.
This is a great TED talk when your FEAR is the only person at your career change party and throwing excuses at you hoping one will stick! Larry Smith is a professor at the University of Waterloo and this super blunt talk makes light of the excuses that we tend to tell ourselves.
2. How to Find Work You Love by Scott Dinsmore
Scott Dinsmore created the Live Your Legend after being frustrated with the career message that society told us. This talk helps you figure out what your purpose is so that you can find work you love and brings you joy. Scott passed away in 2015 while travelling with his wife but his legend and legacy still lives on through this video and his site.
3. Your elusive creative genius by Liz Gilbert
This isn't the first time that I have spoken about the power of Liz Gilbert in my life. This is a great video when the fear of failure is strong and when we rationalize giving up on our dreams because we aren't meant for it to happen to us. It is geared at creativity but is so relevant to any career change!
4. Why some of us don't have one true calling by Emilie Wapnick
There are some of us that are multi-passionate - we have so many interests and loves that drive us. It can be hard to choose a career when we feel pulled in all these directions. It is also hard to go through the challenge of a career change when we know that it may not last. If you are one, then this TED talk is for you!
5. The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain
Career change is hard. But it is harder for introverts for so many reasons. It is hard to put ourselves out there, we don't like attention, we hate networking, etc. But also because society hasn't been kind to us introverts, society tells us that being introverted is wrong, that we need to pretend we are outgoing, bold and assertive. Susan breaks all of this down. Watching this and reading her book of the same title, really gave me the courage to own my introversion as a badge not a weight.
If you are struggling right now and afraid that you may give up on your dreams then schedule a strategy call with me, let's talk you through this and get you motivated to keep going after your dreams.
Video interviews are the latest interview trend to hit the recruitment process. And it makes sense. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have become the norm in many organizations (read my article on how to optimize your resume and LinkedIn for ATS) as a way to get through the hundreds of applications without using too much manpower.
So logically the interview would come next. And just like the how the ATS changed how we submitted our resumes and cover letters so does Video interviews change how we present ourselves.
Interviews are already nerve wracking, and for most of us just figuring out how to create connections over the phone and in person is enough to make our heads spin. So to throw it yet another screening process can seem overwhelming! That is why I came up with 10 tips on how to sell yourself and Ace the Video interview.
What are Video Interviews?
But first, I want to define the video interview. There is a lot of confusion as to what they are exactly. I’m not talking about a SKYPE or video conferencing video where you and the interviewer are both “live”. I’m actually talking about a video interview where you answer a predetermined set of questions on video, sometimes you’ll hear it referenced as a one-way video interview or a recorded video interview.
How do they work?
You will be sent a link to their video interview platform and you will record your answers to a series of questions. The great thing is that you can do it on your own time with your own device (laptop, phone or tablet).
Each interview set up is different but some common options is to allow you to have some preparation time before answering, a note taking section for talking points (don’t worry they aren’t saved!) and the ability to keep recording your answer until you are happy with it!
How are they evaluated?
Each video interview platform evaluates the videos differently, as does each company so the evaluation options are endless.
Some recruiters will watch the recorded video and assess it themselves and then share the top candidates’ interviews with the hiring team to decide on next steps.
The more sophisticated video interviewing platforms utilize artificial intelligence in its screening including the analysis of facial expressions, vocal intonation and body language. On top of that are the language and semantic processing tools to evaluate the answers in alignment with the needs of the job, company culture and organizational fit. It works similarly to an ATS that uses keywords to match a resume up with a job. Which means that a person may never even watch the video!
10 Tips for Video Interview Success
So what does all that mean for you. And how do you prepare for an interview as unique as this? Well, in so many ways you will treat it like a normal interview. There will just be another added layer to your preparation work.
Here are my ten tips that cover all the things you NEED to do to make sure you shine in this newest recruitment trend:
Have you had a video interview? How did it go? Remember to reach out if you need interview help – you can schedule a Discover Your Career strategy call to discuss or book some interview coaching so that you create connections to get that job.
The weakness question. One of the most feared and misunderstood questions. Yes it is cliché, but that doesn’t mean it is going to go away. In fact what I have seen throughout my 15 years of recruitment is that the weakness question has evolved and that also means the expectations of a candidate and their answer have evolved too.
Just to clear the air, the weakness question is not meant to get you to show how you are NOT the right person for the job, it isn't a trick question meant to trip you up! It is a question to figure out your ability to recognize a weakness, problem or obstacle, come up with a plan to mitigate or overcome the issue and then move forward successfully.
It is a self-awareness question.
And right now the work world is changing drastically. The need has increased for management to focus on high level strategic thinking and not hand holding their employees. Employees who more and more are working from home. Therefore, organizations need to know that they can count on you to notice a problem before it grows into something that has wider ramifications. That is why this question is so important.
I want you to improve your interview skills and show you the key answers to avoid giving so that a recruiter is not rolling their eyes at your answer (it happens, trust me) and eliminating you as a potential fit for the role.
1. Strength wearing a Weakness Mask
The weakness that is not really a weakness. This was what we used to coach individuals on how to answer this (and how some still coach – but please DO NOT listen to them!). Like I mention above, recruiters, hiring managers and organizations want MORE now. And this answer doesn’t tell them how you actually deal with the difficult times that are sure to come and that are a normal part of a career. What it does tell them is that you are either a “smooth talker” always trying to talk your way out of situations or someone who lets others do the fixing for them.
2. “I’m a perfectionist, a workaholic, scared of public speaking”
If I had a dollar for every time I heard one of the above I would be one rich lady. These are so overused! So even if these are your weaknesses, you can’t use them. Well, you can’t use them with these words, there is another way to handle it but that is a recruiter secret for next week. Using one of these common answers tells the interviewer that you are unimaginative and that you just googled a answer.
3. A Hard Skill
Hard skills are something that anyone can learn and overcome. Yes it may be easier for others but think about it, how easy to realize you aren’t good at a technology or a hard skill! Does it actually take some self-awareness? Not really. So what it tells the recruiter is that your Emotional Intelligence is low and that you would rather look at easy things to fix instead of the hard work required to overcome a soft skill weakness.
4. Not My Fault
This type of answer is rage inducing as a interviewer. It is defensive, it puts the blame onto others, and it makes you look bad. Make sure you aren’t using the words “it wasn’t my fault”, “it seemed to my boss that I”, “I was surprised that my manager had that feedback as…” – all of those mean that someone else’s perception is faulty, not you. It tells the hiring manager that you don’t take accountability for your actions, that you will always point fingers and that you are clueless.
5. I don’t really have a weakness
Major eyeroll. Honestly this was so annoying as a recruiter to hear this, even if it was a joke! I couldn’t help but think I was dealing with someone who was truly delusional. Everyone has a weakness. Everyone.
So if you can’t use any of those to create an answer well then what can you use?
An honest answer.
One that talks about an obstacle you faced in your career. Maybe you received feedback from a boss on how you handled a client, or maybe you made the wrong choice in a key decision or maybe you failed in some way.
Tell them about that time. And then about what you did to overcome it. Finish with how this helped mold you to become the person you are today.
That is a formula that is sure to show that you are self-aware, that you own up to your own actions and are willing to do what it takes to succeed, even if it means doing a lot of work on yourself.
If you need more help, schedule a Discover Your Career strategy call with me or think about Interview Coaching - your dream job is worth the investment.
Sara Curto, Career Management Specialist. Working with you towards Career and Job Search Success.
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