This weekend sees the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in the greatest show on earth: Super Bowl XLIX!
As I was planning today’s blog, I suddenly realised there were a few basic truths in American Football that translate to interviewing. Playing American Football is hard work, often long but ultimately rewarding (should you succeed). With that in mind I’ve put together what I believe are the three main interview tips that you can learn from this year’s Super Bowl:
Take time outs
In American football each team can call three time outs. The technical advantages of using a timeout at various points in the game are numerous and I won’t go into them now, but they illustrate a good point for interviews. Sometimes it is best to stop, take a breath and think about your answers rather than try to talk non-stop for as long as you can.
Don’t be scared of pausing or taking time to consider your answer. While pausing too much can make you look under-prepared, pausing for thought before answering questions can also make the difference between a well thought out and well-reasoned explanation and a garbled and confusing one.
Know your stuff
American football players know their positions inside and out, the movements they make for each play and their roles in every situation. There is no such thing as being over prepared. Research the company and the people you are interviewing with. Know your answers to common interview questions and be honest with yourself about your reasons for applying (even if it never comes up in the interview).
Try to avoid making the interview a performance. Don’t get bogged down in the minutiae but trust in the fact that you have prepared for the interview and that you know your skills and experience. Ultimately it is a two way process, they are interviewing you to see if you are suitable for the role and you are interviewing them to see if this is the sort of company you want to work in.
Communication is key
Even if you know nothing else about American football, you have probably seen film or images of quarterbacks shouting orders at the players around them. It is of the upmost importance that the quarterback articulates exactly what he is planning. It often makes the difference between winning and losing. Expressing yourself in an interview is even more important.
Make sure that you communicate in a way that is easy to understand and appropriate for the audience. If you are applying for a technical role but are interviewing with a HR professional, perhaps drop the jargon and explain your skills using the language in the job specification. Do not be afraid of answering questions that they haven’t asked. If you have skills or experience that you think make you better placed to fulfil the role and it doesn’t come up in the questioning, bring it up at the end. Better to get all your points across than miss things out.
Whether you are planning on watching the Super Bowl or not, and whether you are thinking of changing roles in the near future or not, remember these tips next time you go for an interview. They could make all the difference.
Source: Vine 13