Why You Need To Ditch Your Modesty At Job Interviews
“We need to start thinking like men!”
This is owner of Employmum.ie, Karen O’Reilly’s, advice to all women looking to nail that job interview.
Karen recently published an article on her website saying that women should have the confidence men have when walking into an interview.
“Confidence is the one thing we talk about every day with our candidates who register with us,” she says.
“Confidence, and the lack thereof, is rife among the many talented ladies who contact us seeking flexible work or to pivot in their careers.”
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Despite the name of the agency (Employmum.ie) about 20% of the placements here are actually men. “We don’t discriminate and everyone is welcome.”
She tells us about a guy who recently registered with Employmum.ie who was interested in a particular role they advertised in an accountancy practice.
“We were looking for someone at senior level with specific accountancy practice experience,” she says.
“This guy, although commercially experienced in running his own business, had no practice experience. He sent us his CV, followed up with a phone call more than once and reiterated on the phone that the company ‘would be lucky to have me’.”
At the same time Employmum.ie was also recruiting for a HR Change Manager, preferably with an engineering degree or background.
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“We had quite a few candidates who matched our job spec. Every single woman – with extensive HR experience – ruled themselves out as they did not have an engineering background.
“Who got the job? A guy with no engineering background who, again, felt that the company ‘would be lucky to have me’.”
She says it’s very noticeable how women almost never says that the company “would be lucky to have me”.
“Never ever in Employmum’s existence did that happen. Quite often they will focus on their weaknesses, the skills gaps in their CV’s, the one thing on the job spec that they do not have experience in or the fact that they have taken a career break.
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Karen’s top tips to develop the ‘Be lucky to have me’ mindset:
- Ditch the self sabotaging vocabulary – ‘I just have a masters in Business and only worked for a short time in X. I’m sorry for taking up your time but actually I just wanted to ask …’
- Modesty is not the best policy – they say modesty is a virtue but not in an interview situation. If you have the skills, competences and experience relevant to the position, be sure to outline these. We as women downplay our achievements and experience so much that this is a hard habit to break. Practice boasting in front of the mirror if necessary.
- Body language – Walk tall, smile, look your interviewer in the eye, have a firm handshake, sit up straight and breathe! You’ve got this! From personal experience I would advise against wearing the new pair of high heels that are unconformable and hard to walk in.
- A winning image – The old cliché: Dress for the job you want, not the job you’re in. This is even more important if your current job is scraping weetbix off the kitchen table in your husband’s old sweat pants. Wear something smart, professional and also comfortable. If you have a tendency to perspire under pressure, wear something that doesn’t show up sweat stains. Invest in an interview outfit that makes you feel powerful.
- Don’t be shy and follow up – When you feel the interview has gone well, ask for the job. Tell the person you are interested in the position and ask what are the next steps. Always follow up with an email or a call in a reasonable time frame.
- Remember: “They would be lucky to have me” is your new mantra.
Go to Employmum.ie
for more information and contact details on pursuing your dream career.