Tips and Secrets to Help You Change Careers

The following tips and strategies are guaranteed to boost your behavioural interview performance:

1. Ooze STAR Quality – Whilst gearing up for the behavioural interview, bear in mind that interviewers want to hear thorough descriptions of past performances. To satisfactorily answer a behavioural interview question, you must include the following three components (characterised by the acronym STAR): the Situation or Task you were involved in, the Action(s) you took in order to make changes and the Result(s) that were achieved by those actions. For instance, if asked to narrate how you turned an angry customer into a happy one, it is not sufficient to say that you apologised to the customer. You must narrate what led to the customer’s dissatisfaction, describe how you stepped into the situation and how, as a result of your timely intervention, the customer who was previously threatening to take his business elsewhere happily purchased new products and services. In a nutshell, the best interviewees are talented ‘true story’ tellers.

2. Flaunt Your Talents – Resist the temptation to base all your narratives on job related proficiencies. If you are a talented musician, do say so at the interview. If you are a former Olympic contestant who climbed Mount Everest barefoot, let your interviewers in on the secret too. If you’ve written a book, bring an autographed sample copy or two along. Employers want to interview (and hire) talented people. Be interesting if you want to stand out amidst the dozens of interviewees who claim they can do the job. Frankly speaking, it is not enough to get the job done; one must also bring valuable talents to an organisation. If you want to make a good impression, show off your talents where appropriate. Varying your narratives will also enhance your credibility because capable people tend to put their talents to work in their everyday lives. For example, if you are an effective time manager during working hours then you should be demonstrating those time management skills at home also.

3. Perfect Your Practice – Rehearse answers to likely behavioural interview questions with the help of family and friends, co-workers and career counsellors, mentors and managers. Everyone has unique perspectives and nuggets of wisdom to offer. If possible, get your line manager to go through likely interview questions with you as he or she is likely to know what interviewers look out for in a candidate. Maintain a great relationship with your boss and you’ll be let in on the trade secrets.

4. Remain Confident – Even the most talented actors and actresses get nervous before a big performance so it’s natural to feel a little apprehensive before your behavioural interview. A good way to keep calm whilst waiting for the interview to begin is by focussing on the talents and activities you enjoy tremendously e.g. singing, painting, or playing golf. When you walk into the interview room, be sure to smile, make eye contact and shake hands firmly. It also helps to create rapport by making small talk. For instance, ask your interviewers what talents and activities they enjoy in their spare time and draw emphasis on common interests during conversation. Remember that people respond more favourably to those who are like them and behavioural interviewers are no exception.

5. Listen Carefully – Make sure you listen to each question intently and stop to think before you answer. For instance, many behavioural interview questions are multi faceted i.e. several questions merged into one. For example: What do you do when priorities change quickly? Give one example of when this happened AND There are times when we work without close supervision to get the job done. Tell us about a time when you found yourself in such a situation and how things turned out. If you fail to listen attentively, you may forget to answer certain parts of such questions! A good way to keep track is by discretely holding out multiple fingers before attempting multi faceted questions, dropping a finger after each sub-question has been answered.

6. Speak Naturally – Speak clearly and confidently, in keeping with your natural style. For instance, if you are a slow talker don’t try to talk fast just because you want to sound really keen on the job and if you are the serious sort don’t try to be funny either. Maintain eye contact with your interviewers throughout the behavioural interview as this will make you come across as honest, confident and intelligent. Just be your best self and you’ll make a positive impact at the interview.

Behavioural interviews are not difficult for those who have taken the time to find hidden talents and discover their purpose in life. By passionately communicating how your talents, skills, values and behaviours benefit your prospective employer, you can put yourself miles ahead of your competitors and make the career changes you desire.

Develop a Mindset for Success With Your Next Job Interview


Interviewing is not easy and searching for the job in the construction, engineering and environmental industries is difficult enough on its own.

Interviews are almost like first dates where you are being challenged and judged by the organization you are interviewing with. Most job candidates do not realize though that they have more power than they think in an interview situation.

There is a lack of highly qualified professionals today in the construction, engineering and environmental industries and the truth is that you are also interviewing the organization just as much as they are interviewing you. Is this a company you actually want to work for as a civil engineer? Is this the ideal environment for a biologist? What would be your career path within the organization to achieve your goals?

Having the basic realization that your voice matters in an interview can empower you to take control of your career and find an opportunity that fulfills your career expectations. You are on a mission, after all to find the best job that suits your career needs.

By keeping these basic tips in mind as you interview it will help you find the best job for your career:

Demonstrate Your Desire To Stick Around

The interviewer is most likely swamped, wanting to fill open position quickly with qualified personnel. This is especially the case if you are applying for a position with ongoing projects that require immediate leadership and technical expertise. Hiring managers want to know that you are somebody they will not be seeking a replacement for in three months, especially if you are undertaking a major construction project for the company.

Demonstrate Your Institutional Knowledge

Do your research ahead of time and demonstrate to the interviewer that you are aware of how they operate. Show that you understand their projects and marketplace. You may even want do some research to gain an understanding of their existing projects. Make yourself aware of their competitors and past accomplishments; so that you are ready to ask intelligent questions about the organization and their future growth plans.

Ask Questions

Asking questions demonstrates interest. Feel free to ask if the position you are interviewing for is new or if there has been another employee working in the role? What projects you would have responsibilities for? Ask the Interviewer their thoughts on the position? Just make sure that you are asking professional questions that will give the employer a favorable impression, as well as, lead you to make a good choice in accepting a position with an employer for your career success.

Take Advantage Of Opportunities To Meet Staff Members

If you are asked to meet other members of the team, jump on the opportunity. Not only will you be able to see if you are a good fit with other team members, but you can also ask other questions about work-life balance and each employees professional backgrounds and expertise.

Be Aware Of Red Flags

Look for deal-breakers as you interview including difficult managers, odd personalities, lack of long term work or an uncomfortable workplace. Ultimately, it is important that you trust your instincts and look for work environments that suit your needs.

Just remember: even if your interview does not lead to a new career opportunity, you have gained great experience for the next interview. It will allow you to create a helpful set of skills that will aid you in the future.

Top Reasons to Use Career Advice Services

Should you be looking for and using career advice services? Nearly anyone who is looking for a job or who is hoping to move up in their industry can benefit from these professionals. Do you have goals outlined for yourself? Are you taking every step possible to move from where you are today to where you need to be in the future? For those not happy with their current position and want to do something more, this type of service can be ideal. Depending on the location you visit, they can often provide you with ample training and help that can make all of the difference.

Assessing Your Future

One of the first reasons to turn to career advice services is because they can help you to set the goal. You may need to talk to someone to determine what your needs are, where your goals are right now, and where you want to be at in 10 years. In short, it is a good idea to know what you can do and what you want to do so that you can plan to close that gap.

Exploring Your Options

The next thing for the provider to help you with is to find out what options are available to you right now. You may need to go back to school or get some additional training at this point to achieve your goals. In other cases, you may need to move into a different position or entry level opening in the field that you want to be in. It is important to know where your options are so that you can work towards getting to that point.

Creating a Powerful You

These providers will then work with you to ensure you have what it takes to get into that position. For example, they will help you to create a resume that shines. They will work with you to create cover letters and correspondence that can help you to get the interviews you need. They will provide you with help in preparing for a job interview, including helping you to handle the tough questions that interviewers often ask. They can even help you to negotiate a contract or salary with the company you hope to work with after a successful interview.

Career advice services can help you to get from where you are today, unhappy and unappreciated, to where you want to be in the future, in the job that helps you to feel good about yourself. The key is to know how to get there. That’s what these professionals can help you with – getting to your goal in the shortest time possible.

Behavioural Interviews Tips And Strategies

The following pointers will help you excel at behavioural interviews:

1. Become Career Wise – It is important that you first of all define what you want to get out of the behavioural interview. Would you be content with an average performance or do you dare to be outstanding? Are you seeking valuable interview experience or are you determined to make a major career change? Does the role fit in nicely with your long term career goals or will it merely be a stopgap? Before commencing interview preparations, take time to identify and define your career objectives.

2. Get Nosy – Whilst preparing for your behavioural interview, bear in mind that employers are searching for multi talented individuals with experiences, knowledge, behaviours and skills that will add long term value to their organisations. Thankfully prospective employers don’t expect you to figure out these desirable talents and behaviours all by yourself; they provide plenty of information via job advertisements and specially trained career personnel. Way before the behavioural interview, it is wise to ring your prospective employer and ask if you can come round and spend some time at the recruiting department. During sit-ins at the recruiting department, be sure to closely observe appropriate employees (e.g. the staff you will be working closely with if hired) for the talents and behaviours that the advertised job demands. Whether or not your prospective employer is able to arrange a sit-in, find out as much as you can about the company by visiting its website, speaking to its staff, reading relevant press articles and asking family and friends for helpful information.

3. Master the Ad – Job advertisements are often filled with clues as to the specific talents and behaviours employers find desirable. If you are serious about your career change, read job ads slowly and carefully until key points have been committed to memory. Pay particular attention to the style of language in which the advert has been written. For instance an upbeat style implies that the company is informal in its approach whereas a serious tone is typical of more conservative organisations. After you’ve read the ad at least five times, grab a pen and map out three separate columns on blank paper. In the first column, write down all the skills and talents required to perform the job successfully (e.g. computer, supervisory and organisational skills), in the second column write down the typical behaviours required of you (e.g. career minded, self starter and team player) and in the third column list the ethos and values of the organisation (e.g. creative, puts the customer first and so on). Next, read the ad a few more times to make sure all the useful information have been extracted from it. Memorise the lists in the three columns repeatedly.

4. Make Believe – You will improve your performance at behavioural interviews if you can first put yourself in the prospective interviewer’s shoes. Imagine for a moment that you are the person conducting the behavioural interview. Would you hire yourself? What kind of interviewee would you be on the lookout for? Which questions would you ask candidates at the interview? What sort of talents and behaviours would you find indispensable? Write down your thoughts and ideas and take them into account as you prepare for the behavioural interview.

5. Know Thyself – Do you know who you are? Generic personality tests aside, have you made concerted effort to discover your purpose in life? Before attending your behavioural interview, take time to find hidden talents and discover your unique purpose. Employers love behavioural questions because they are an excellent tool for discovering talents and behaviours that candidates may not even be aware of. For instance, when a behavioural interviewer asks you to ‘give an example of how you dealt with a difficult colleague in the past’, that interviewer is trying to find out if you are a talented people manager. By narrating the various ways in which you have gotten the best out of difficult co-workers, you are demonstrating your people skills whether or not you have ever thought of yourself as a people person. However, interviewees who know themselves to be talented people managers will be able to prepare real life case studies that showcase their people management skills to maximum advantage. It certainly pays to be self aware when preparing for a behavioural interview.

6. Use the Clues – Return to the lists of talents and behaviours that are crucial to the job role and ask yourself how many of those qualities you possess. Reflect on your career history, paying mind to the many ways you have demonstrated these desirable talents and behaviours in the past. For instance if adaptability is one of the desirable behaviours, ask yourself when you have had to adjust to changes over which you had no control. If ambition is one of the desirable attributes, ask yourself the last time you undertook a project that demanded plenty of initiative. Recall projects or ideas that were implemented primarily because of your efforts. Think of numerous real life examples that demonstrate your willingness to adapt to change. Repeatedly practice likely questions based on the talents and behaviours you extracted from the job ad. Search engine searches will also throw up websites that list frequently asked questions.

To be honest, people who fare best at behavioural interviews are those who have taken the time to find hidden talents and discover their purpose in life. By passionately communicating how your talents and purpose complement your prospective employer’s ethics, values and business objectives, you can put yourself head and shoulders above your competitors and make the career changes you desire.