Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 10th 2015 Contents B15
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Good entry-level jobs are scarce, and extreme-
ly competitive when they become available.
In this economy, you re not only competing
with other new grads, but also with grads from
previous years that are still looking for a place
What can you do to make your candidacy
Prove You Are the Best Candidate
All job descriptions objectively state the skills
required for a role. Your job in preparing for
the interview is to provide evidence that you
have those skills based on your experience to
date. Pretty straightforward, right?
But what if there are skills that are required
but are not stated? If you could prove you have
those skills you could potentially create a com-
petitive advantage over other candidates.
Two Required -- But Unstated -- Skills
There are two skills that are considered essen-
tial by all employers for all roles, but they don t
always make it to the job description. Those
• A keen eye for detail, and
• The ability to juggle multiple and often
Whether you have an interview coming up
to be a financial advisor, nurse, teacher, event
planner, or anything in between, rest assured
that your attractiveness as a candidate is going
to be enhanced significantly if you can provide
evidence that you have these two skills.
Why Are They ALWAYS Applicable?
Regardless of the job or the employer, these
skills are always in demand:
1. A keen eye for detail is critical for all
employers because -- no matter how good a
manager is at paying attention to detail -- s/he
can always use an extra brain at work to make
sure that there are no typos or missed details
in the work product (e.g. client presentation,
treatment plan, syllabus or schedule of events)
or oversights when implementing plans
(e.g.missing WiFi connection, not enough elec-
trical outlets, no vegetarian meal options).
Everyone has had the experience of getting
caught in an oversight, be it large or small.
No one wants the experience again.
If you can provide evidence that you will serve as an
additional line of defense against any of those things
happening, you will likely develop an edge over other
2. The ability to juggle multiple and often competing
priorities is part of everyone s work life (and most people s
An admin may have three bosses who all need their
expense reports processed by the end of the day. An
engineer may need to generate a three- dimensional
model by 3:00 pm, when a budget draft and testing plan
on another project are also due.
Juggling multiple priorities at once is a skill that
everyone needs to develop at some point. Again, candidates
who can demonstrate they already have this skill are
going to have an edge.
How Do I Demonstrate I ve Got Them?
As you prepare for your interview, make sure you
prepare at least one story that provides evidence you
possess these skills. It doesn t matter if your story comes
from experience as an intern, student, camp counselor
or parking valet.
What does matter is that you can tell a simple, cogent
story about a time when you used these skills to perform
well in a pressured situation. For example:
If you and a group of friends got stuck in a bus terminal
overnight when headed to a soccer tournament and you
were the one who stayed up all night figuring out how
to exchange the tickets to get everyone where they needed
to be -- that s your story. Don t be shy about stating
Your attention to detail allowed you to figure out
how to correct the issue.
Your ability to focus on the solution, in addition to
figuring out where you could find food and brush your
teeth in the bus terminal, demonstrates your ability to
resolve a problem even though there were competing
smaller problems going on at the same time.
If your roommate talked you into being in charge of
parking for the bands at Spring Fling and your one-hour
commitment turned into an all day affair that included
negotiating with both campus and city police -- that s
your story. Be proactive about including that:
Your attention to detail helped you figure out before
the band arrived that their equipment truck was not
likely to fit in the space provided.
Under a tight timeframe, you rounded up the parties
needed to augment the space and keep things on sched-
ule.It doesn t matter how big the impact of the result.
What does matter is that your interviewer knows you
have these skills and are keen to use them.
When Do I Tell My Story?
You can use your story when answering a direct ques-
tion, such as
"Can you tell me about a time you faced a problem?"
"Why do you think you would be good in this role?"
You can also simply assert it as something you would
like your interviewer to know.
The trick is creating a transition, such as "I can tell
you about a time I really enjoyed being put on the spot"
or "Here s why I know I would enjoy the demands of
Don t be shy -- your interviewer will appreciate your
confidence and enthusiasm. Clearly communicating your
attention to detail and experience and ability juggling
multiple deadlines will impress the interviewer and put
you ahead of the other candidates.
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