Thursday, 16 October 2014

Fear and Loathing on LinkedIn

Should you link with your boss on LinkedIn? Yes. It can be great fun.
We all know the signs of the LinkedIn shuffle.
You don't update your profile if everything is going OK.
You tend not to link with half a dozen recruiters in a week for 'fun'.
You don't suddenly get a load of recommendations for no reason.
A devious mind might want to strengthen their position leading up to a review by stacking the odds in their favour.
Update that profile. Accept that request. Have a chat with a few old colleagues about how wonderful you are. Maybe get the wife or girlfriend to call a few times a day for added paranoia.
Enjoy. You never heard it from me.

Reverse Interviews

Interviews are a cruel and unusual punishment. We prepare our knowledge ready for the inevitable questions that we will be asked but have little control over how the conversation will go. I find myself wishing I had said things in a different way or brought up more of my skills where I had the opportunity to.

Recently, I have been using technique which has helped me focus on selling myself and what I am capable of. Essentially, I use a mind map to record my ideal, imaginary interview ahead of the real thing and use that as tool within the interview.

I imagine and role play how the interview would go if everything were going my way. They ask me the right questions, in the right order and my answers are obviously elegant, free of swearing and technically correct. I am awesome in this world!

As I do this, I use a mind map to record what came up in my imaginary interview. I usually do this on the day so I am in the zone and the imaginary interview is in the same context as the real one. I start with the company name and expand out to incorporate areas of the company and finally questions or words that remind me of the thought process I was going through.

Obviously, in the interview things will be different. But I have my map of the things that sell me, so I use it to guide my responses. As we talk about things on my map, I cross them off since I know I repeat myself. I have also found I can guide the conversations to my stuff, which can sometimes help too.

When the inevitable 'have you got any questions' question comes up, the answer is generally a 'you're darned tootin' I have some questions' and I look to cover any missed items on my map. I generally clue the interviewer into what's going on or simply leave them wondering with 'Do you mind if I refer to my notes?'.

This has served me well of late, I hope it helps you too.