EVENTS & INSIGHTS / INSIGHT

Interview with impact to land your dream job

by Shannon Houde

‘I’m experienced, educated and articulate – so why can’t I get through interviews to a job offer?’

If I had a fiver for each time I’ve encountered a jobseeker with that problem, I’d be meditating on a beach rather than tapping away on a keyboard! Selling yourself on paper – whether through the traditional CV or on LinkedIn – is a skill in itself, and here at Walk of Life, we’ve written plenty on how to do it. But wowing the interview panel and making a strong impression in person is a different challenge altogether. Which is why you should take a strategic approach.

If you’re already ticking the ‘essential’ boxes by turning up to the interview looking the part, knowing something about the company you’re interviewing for and articulating yourself well, it’s likely that you’re doing a good interview. So why aren’t you getting the job? Probably because you’re not doing a great interview – and the competition is. Sustainability jobs typically receive over 100 applications. It’s very much a buyer’s market. So set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd by following my top three tips for interviewing with impact.

DON'T MISS OUT
ON MORE FREE TIPS

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up

1. Map your career journey

Interviews are an opportunity to show off your interpersonal communication skills, so a key part of your preparation should be a coherent and descriptive response to that classic interview question: “Walk me through your CV”. Take a creative approach and bring in a colourful, one-page Powerpoint slide that shows in simple bullet points how each step you’ve taken in your career led you to the next, and ultimately brought you to the job you’re interviewing for.  Call it “My Career Journey”.  Doing this will force you to build a strong career narrative and help you side step around the less relevant areas that lose your audience.

2. Show off your competencies

Giving tangible answers to competency-based questions will impress your interviewers, but doing it well requires some preparation. Go through the essential and desirable criteria in the job description and select specific achievements in your career to date that best demonstrate each one. Start by briefly describing the Situation, then describe the Action that you took, and finally explain what the Result of your action was for the project, team, boss, company or client. This is my tried-and-tested ‘Situation/Action/Result’ framework – trust me, it works!  But you have to prepare in advance so that you know which achievement you will choose to use to best prove that required skillset.

3. Share your knowledge of the impact agenda

If you’ve been offered an interview, the hiring manager already thinks that you can basically ‘do’ the job. The live interview is testing you on who you are and links to the notion of values and traits (read more about these here). You need to show you are committed to the impact sector and passionate about creating long-term results for society and the environment, so come armed with the specifics on your passions and theories. A question that I hear a lot is ‘Where do you see the sustainability (or climate change adaptation, CSR, carbon) agenda going in the next five to ten years?’ Some other key questions to consider here are – What thought leadership have you built in this space?  How will you grow a niche for yourself around two-to-three key sustainability issues?  Interviewees are usually not ready for it, but it does get asked, so do your research and have your sound bite ready.

I’d love to hear how these techniques work out for you in your next interview. Contact me for more bespoke advice on landing your dream job.

Photo credit: Unsplash via Pixabay

comments

You may also like...

6 reasons why it’s ok to hate networking

It might be billed as one of the best ways to get ahead but in reality, relentless networkers end up making more enemies than friends. Is there anything worse than that person who LOVES networking? We’ve all met them. There you are standing at a conference minding your own business when they barrel in, reel off their resume, drop a few high powered names and thrust a business card (“it’s new, embossed, cost a fortune”) into your hand. DON’T MISS

By Shannon Houde
The Big Picture: Sustainable Food And Career Choices

Shannon was thrilled to be featured in Forbes as part of Erik Kobayashi-Solomon’s My Big Picture column. My Big Picture articles focus on making sensible choices in the resource-constrained Anthropocene world in which we live. Some of these articles deal with wonkier topics related to economics and resource usage; some (like the one you are reading now) concern topics related to managing our lives on a day-to-day basis in the Age of Climate Change. Executive Summary The Netflix documentary Seaspiracy offers a

By Shannon Houde
career
How to get a career in sustainability: hard work, talent and perseverance

You’ve seen the light. After a decade as an accountant or sales manager or marketing executive, you decide a career in corporate sustainability is the thing for you. And why not? The power of business can potentially help to resolve some of the most taxing social and environmental issues of the day. Being part of that promises plenty of exciting development and brain-twisting challenges along the way; not to mention the quiet satisfaction that derives from doing a job that

By Shannon Houde
Your complete lowdown on how to be more water wise, from the experts

The Environment Agency has issued warnings about UK water shortages by 2050—here’s how to take action. If you’ve Googled, ‘how do I reduce my water usage?’, chances are, you’re aware that it’s a scarce commodity – and one that we need to be using less of. Case in point – the sheer scale of British water consumption from laundry alone has been revealed in a new study. DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up

By Shannon Houde

NEED SOME SUPPORT?

Book a 30-minute trial session with Shannon

BOOK A TRIAL