I was invited in for an interview for a Senior Records Management Officer thinking that this is exactly what I had been doing for the last 10 years, so I was a shoe in. Just to be certain, though, I decided to put to use some of the ideas and skills I learned at Right Management, so I researched the organisation that was going to interview me and I was amazed at the breadth of service they offered the community both locally and internationally. I researched the different facets of their role and I researched the types of questions that may be asked at a behavioural interview (I was advised that the questions would all be behavioural). I even went so far to take notes, I looked at the different categories that these questions may take and listed them, next to each category I wrote a short descriptor of a task or situation I had been in as a prompt for a relevant example that would answer their question. Each descriptor was at most five words, I even had one of the categories described by one word. When I got into the interview, after the introductions, I advised the panel that I had notes and asked if it was ok to have the open, as I had done so much in the last 10 years it was almost impossible to remember it all and they were absolutely fine with it.
The first question was, of course, "Why to you want to work for us?" and this is where the research was invaluable and the answer I provided was meaningful for both the agency and myself. As the interview continued, I did, in fact, have an opportunity to refer to my notes to respond to a question and it worked, the one or two word reminder really helped to bring out the information I wanted to share. Unfortunately we got to a point in the interview where it was decided that I did not have the necessary skill set to perform the task, so rather than continue, it was decided to finish the interview there, but they provided me with wonderful feedback on my resume, cover letter and how I presented. As a parting comment I stressed how fantastic it would be to work for the organisation and I reiterated my original comment on why I wanted to work for them so if they had any future position where they believed my skill set worked, to please call me. We shook hands and I left, feeling very disappointed but please about the positive feedback, I was finally on the right path.
About ten minutes after I left my phone rang and it was one of the members of the panel, they had decided to create a role for me to assist the senior records management officer on a fixed term casual contract and I jumped at the opportunity. It was my parting comments about how much I believed in what the organisation did for the community, my presentation at the interview and my positive attitude during the interview. However, I cannot stress enough, the major reason I believe I got this role was that I took the time to research both the agency and they types of questions that could be asked. Having notes during the interview was also invaluable to act as a prompt, so RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH is the key to success.