Monthly Archives: February 2015

How To: Communicate In An Interview

You’ve cracked the nerves, now you have to impress your interviewer with knowledge, confidence and experience – becoming more than just a CV in a pile of other, perhaps more impressive, CV’s.

There is only so much you can pick up from a piece of paper. I have met some people who, conventionally, tick every box – they have good grades, great experience, are fully qualified – but as soon as they walk through the door, they are as dull as dishwater. You can be mediocre in content and experience yet still convince the interviewer and get the job. It’s about how you present yourself, about your communication skills. If I listed the things that stood out about every person I have ever hired, personality and the ability to communicate would rank the highest. Here are a few of my key ‘take home’ tips on how to communicate in an interview.

Break the ice

It’s always good to connect with the interviewer on a personal level, this will not only show your communication skills, it will humanise you both. Look at your surroundings; perhaps you might see a family photograph or an award certificate. Now you can say ‘I notice you won X award, that’s a great achievement. Who were you up against?’ engaging in conversational dialogue is an essential skill and your interviewer will be impressed.


Once the conversation has started to flow, it’s time to engage with the interviewer and apply the research you’ve conducted about the business and the role in question. I will always ask a candidate what they have learnt about my business in every interview I conduct and expect a little more than a quick Wikipedia search response. You should be able to tell me about our ethos, our competition, who we’re comparable with and any interesting news we’ve shared recently – now that tells me you’re serious about the job on offer. Here is your opportunity to ask as many questions about the role as you can, ready to match your experience with the required skillset and prove you’re more than competent.


The pinnacle of the interview process is illustrating how you can add value to the role and become the missing part of the puzzle in the interviewers’ eyes. This is where STAR comes into play.


Start by giving a backstory and setting the scene – the who, what, where and when. Introduce a challenge you faced by giving your interviewer a little context.

JC example: ‘When I was a young boy I spent a lot of time watching my father and knew that one day he would want me to carry on the family business , but didn’t want to’.


Next you explain what was required of you, what did you have to achieve? Share your thought process and how you intended on accomplishing the task.

JC example: ‘I had to find a way of starting out on my own and find an alternative route that would help convince my father I was able enough to make my own decisions’


What did you actually do to make it happen? How proactive were you in ensuring the completion of the task? Here you can highlight any personal attributes that were tested, always referring back to your desired role.

JC example: ‘I decided to challenge traditions and start my own business. I was continually challenged throughout my journey and like many other entrepreneurs, sometimes questioned whether the long hours were worth it or not’


What did you learn and how have you effectively applied this? Explain what your actions achieved and whether or not you met your objectives.

JC example: ‘I managed to identify a gap in the market and used every bit of passion, drive and dedication I had to make it happen, whilst continually developing essential soft skills such as communication, teamwork and decision making.’

If you have followed this process, 9 times out of 10 you’ll be in a very good place. You will instinctively know whether the interview has gone well or not but leading the interview like this shows you are eager yet respectful and sure to make a lasting impression.

Then it’s time to play the waiting game…

For more interview tips, download my app for free.


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7 Lies Employers Use To Trick You Into Working For Them

I got this letter from a LinkedIn reader:

Dear J.T.,

Why do employers lie to get you to take the job? The last two companies I’ve worked for have done the same thing. They promise me things, but once I’m in the job, they don’t deliver. I’m tired of getting taken advantage of and don’t now how to make it stop. What am I doing wrong?

This happens a lot. And frankly, it’s going to get even worse as the talent shortage increases and companies play dirty to get candidates to take their jobs. Here’s an article which explains this growing trend…

Why Some Employers Have Rose-Colored Recruiting Glasses

While some employers are starting to properly reveal their Employment Brands, it could take a while for others to recognize the need to accurately convey what it’s like to work for their company – and that will hurt their ability to hire effectively.

For example…

Companies that pull the bait-n-switch (like what the poor professional experienced above), are usually desperate to improve their troubled company – and assume hiring new talent will fix their problem. They make promises to themselves, “If we can just get the best talent in here and turn things around, we can actually make good on all these promises we’re making while recruiting them.” In their minds, hiring you will give them the results they need to make those promises a reality. Unfortunately, hiring alone can’t fix a failing company or a broken corporate culture. Before you know it, the company is making excuses why they won’t deliver on those promises – and may even try to make you feel bad for asking. As if it was your fault!? Sound familiar?

7 Potential Lies Told In The Hiring Process

Any time a company makes the following claims, you should push back and try to get more information before assuming it’s the truth. While some can deliver, others can’t – and it’s up to you to figure out which ones are sincere. The potential lies are:

  1. There’s a lot of opportunity for advancement.
  2. The bonus structure will double your income.
  3. Your territory is protected and we won’t change it.
  4. You’ll get extensive training.
  5. You’ll have scheduling flexibility and can work from home on occasion.
  6. We’ll hire you some help when it gets busy.
  7. Once you fix this problem/department/project, etc., you’ll get to work on something new and exciting.

In order to avoid being taken advantage of, the secret is to learn to master the very same technique recruiters have been taught to spot a fake in an interview.

Use “Reverse Behavioral Interviewing” To Reveal Employer’s True Self

Behavioral interviewing is a technique recruiters use to help determine the personality, aptitude, and true experience level of a candidate. They’re historically open-ended questions designed to force candidates to provide more detailed answers to questions that address things like their:

  • ability to work in teams
  • work style
  • track record of success
  • ability to overcome adversity
  • capacity to cope with change

Recruiters use behavioral interviewing to explore candidates’ depth of knowledge and ability to answer the questions in a way that matches the goals, values, and needs of the organization. [A free tool with some of the most common behavioral interview questions can be found here.]

They’re also trying to identify and eliminate any liars, under-performers, or high-maintenance candidates. Hiring is expensive. Behavioral interviewing is meant to help minimize bad hires.

What If You Could Do The Same?

You can!

When your turn comes to ask questions in the interview (usually, at the end of the conversation), you can prepare a list of open-ended behavioral questions that will force the employer to articulate more clearly how they deliver on the promises they’re making. For example, check these seven questions as they relate to the potential lies above:

  1. Can you give me an example of someone who was hired in the last two years to a similar role who has already advanced in their career here? In particular, can you explain what they did to make that happen?
  2. Can I meet someone in the company who has doubled their income with the bonus structure? I’d like to learn more about how they accomplished that.
  3. I know territories can change as the business changes, what do you put into place to ensure this never happens? Is there a written legal contact of some sort?
  4. Can you break down the formal training versus the informal training I will receive? And, may I speak to someone who has been in this role a year to see how they best used the training to their advantage?
  5. What is the procedure for requesting to work from home? Can I speak to someone who uses this scheduling flexibility so I can learn what he/she is doing to make sure she is meeting the company’s goals when working remotely?
  6. Can you share with me a recent example of someone who was hired on to help due to growth. What is the company’s process for identifying and funding additional headcount?
  7. Can you share with me a recent example of someone who was hired on to fix a problem and has now gone on to a new project? What did they do to ensure they were given the opportunity to move on?

Each of the questions above are positively framed to show your sincere interest in the company’s approach to delivering on these promises. It’s up to them to give you an answer that sounds accurate and compelling. If they start to dance around the subject, or don’t have a clear cut answer, you know they aren’t telling the truth.

Difference Between Working “For” An Employer & Working “With” Them

Learning how to reverse behavioral interview a potential employer is a very important step in becoming a more sophisticated and successful job seeker. When you realize you want to work “with” employers and not “for” them, you can begin to approach the job search with your eyes wide open. You deserve the best opportunities, and that means improving your interview skills so you can spot the less-than-ideal employers. Use the technique above to help you get better at finding the right fit for you!

One last thought on being a better job seeker… If you really want to become a more sophisticated job seeker, I strongly suggest you take control of your search by creating an “Interview Bucket List” of employers you’d like to work with. You can read how to do that in this LinkedIn article.


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Happy Birthday Pastor Saki



Josh Dreey Blog Sends a Big Happy Birthday Shout Out to A LEGEND in the Making!
PASTOR Tamunosaki Boywhite. (Pastor Saki)
Grace and peace is multiplied unto you!

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This is the Jam of the Season!
If you don’t sing this song to your spouse, your love should be questioned!


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