By Priscilla Looi, Senior Manager, Institute for Adult Learning, Singapore 

Job interviews are tough. Right? There’s the nerves, the competition, the uncertainty and the ever-present fear of ‘Am I good enough?”

This year I have conducted 3 sessions of using Why are you like that? (WAYLT) as a process to help build confidence and courage with Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) who are in the midst of a career transition. They want to learn more about themselves as well as others.  The participants are a mix of PMETs who are retrenched, unemployed, employed or even fresh grads. 

There are some concerns for these mid-career transitioners – Am I too old? ( this is on top of many of their minds ) Do I have the transferable skills to change to another industry or another job function?

One of the huddles for a career transitioner is to ace the interview process. Therefore, I have included an activity that enabled learners who also played interviewees to practice with a range of people. My intent was for my learners to build confidence in themselves and their capability to reach all four Elements during an interview. (Please note that TetraMap is not used for recruitment)

It was really heartening to see them going all out. When they were able to identify their interviewers, it enabled them to build rapport easily. This places both the interviewee and interviewer at ease. However, there were some learners who were “too literal” with fully adapting their nature to match with the interviewer’s nature. The awkwardness was obvious to both, and the interviewee felt like they were not being true to themselves. And if they were not who they said they were, it may be a “pretend fit”.  

In fact, we should not assume that the hiring manager is looking for someone who is just like him/her but rather someone who can fit in the team and organisation or someone who their team is lacking. A wise manager builds a diverse team where the members leverage on each other’s strengths.

And what if we find ourselves in a panel interview with various Elements, which Element should we adapt to?

The solution to all the concerns mentioned is: To flex all 4 Elements throughout the interview session.

We all have all 4 Elements in us Earth, Air, Water and Fire. So during an interview, (in my opinion) the way to ace the interview is to demonstrate that you are able to:

See the big picture and work towards organisation goals (Earth)

 

Analysis problems and offer possible solutions (Air)

 

Work with others and leverage on each others’ strengths (Water)

 

Inspire and motivate change/innovation (Fire)

 

Of course, you tweak the focus/emphasis further based on the nature of the role, organisation culture and YOUR personality.

Remember TetraMap does not label you, it appreciates who you are, and how you are different. Your difference is that unique proposition that you bring to the table. Be confident with how different you are, and you may just land your next career progression. 

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