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...

Book Launch! Good Work: How to Build a Career that makes a Difference in the World

Joel Makower interviews Good Work author, Shannon Houde, about the evolving impact economy and how to shape a career that makes a difference. DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up

By Shannon Houde
purpose
How to find your place in the purpose economy

We’re all looking for a little more purpose in our lives Even more so with the uncertainty that currently swirls around us on a daily basis. In fact, a strong desire to make a difference within their professional lives is one of the key reasons that two thirds of women say they want to substantially shake up their career in 2021. The great news is that there’s rarely been a better time to find your place within the burgeoning ‘purpose economy.’ A

By Shannon Houde
Webinar: A Deep Dive Into Sustainability Careers

Careers in sustainability are increasing in demand but how do you break into this highly competitive market? What are companies looking for in employees and how do you set yourself apart? Whether you are new to sustainability, a recent graduate, looking to make a career change, or looking to advance your current career in sustainability, this discussion hosted by Net Impact Amsterdam is for you.  DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up  

By Shannon Houde
Green jobs for graduates: what should you study and how can you reskill?

As the UK moves towards a more environmentally conscious society, more roles will be needed in the emerging green jobs market. So which degrees best prepare graduates? Leah Bennett has always wanted to make a difference. The 23-year-old graduate from Preston has volunteered to clean up beaches, investigated the politics behind the Amazon forest fires, researched alternatives to plastic packaging and given up her time to edit a digital magazine for the environmental organisation Louder Than The Storm. DON’T MISS OUTON

By Shannon Houde

NEED SOME SUPPORT?

Book a 30-minute trial session with Shannon

BOOK A TRIAL