• Anita Ryan

Understanding your story

You have a great CV and are getting noticed by recruiters so how do you get interview ready. If your strategy is to wait until the call for interview arrives, you are doing yourself a disservice. There is a lot you can do now that, should that call come with 24 hrs notice, you will be in a great place and can focus on the more immediate concerns of what to wear. Preparation 1. Understand your CV fully: This may seem ridiculous but if you know your CV inside out you will be able to answer any questions that crop up. For each role you have mentioned, make a list of your key achievements. This is especially important if you have been in the workforce for several years as you will have forgotten some of the great things you have achieved.

2. Tell the story: Your CV is the story of you and your career to date. There was a show called ‘This is your Life’ in the UK (1955-2003) where the presenter surprised a celebrity with their past career in a big red book. Everyone they ever knew or worked with were paraded in front of the general viewing public and funny anecdotes were revealed. If this were to happen to you based on your CV, would you be happy with what is presented. For example, if they brought out your last boss would he/she agree or dispute your story.

3. Facts and Figures: If you have mentioned facts and figures, are you clear on what they are and how you contributed to them. This is the kind of thing that can really trip up an interviewee e.g. Implemented new procedures which drove productivity up by 20%. What were the procedures and where does the 20% figure derive from?

4. Bullet points: Think of your experience in bullet point fashion and this will help you to be more succinct about your experience especially if it was a long sequence of events to get to the achievement. It is easy to get lost in the detail if you do not note down the key points.

5. What else?: If you volunteer, play team sports, are part of social groups etc, make sure it is mentioned in your CV. Interviewers like to build a picture of the person before they meet you and it is good to show that you exist outside of work. If this is the only preparation you do before you send out your CV, it will stand you in good stead. Research into the company is also important but that’s for next time, first get your story straight.

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