5 Important Leadership Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten
How to Avoid Team Decisions That Plop

In this guest post, Thabo Hermanus, owner of a recruitment firm in South Africa, offers sage advice that is helpful for people at all stages of their career, not just those actively seeking a new job.

Your life is one big interview!

People tend to think that the chance to shine is limited to when they sit in the formal job interview going through the motions of a Q&A session.

Every interaction you have with another person is an interview. Whether you are simply having a conversation, asking someone to do something for you, or doing something for someone who has asked you, you are on show. The nature of your everyday engagement creates the content for the discussions in your one-hour or less hiring interviews.

Before you sit before your next prospective employer, take some time to do your own self evaluation:

  • Your personality:
    1. Do you bring energy to the people you come into contact with or do you suck their energy levels dry?
    2. Look at the conversations you have had in the last week and honestly answer – when you left, were people feeling happy about life or happy at the sight of your back as you walked away?
    3. Do people want to spend time with you? This is not about being the centre of attention, but about how you make people feel.
  • What do you think:
    1. Are you conscious of what you think and how your thoughts determine your actions?
    2. Do you just go through the motions and hope not to “rock the boat” as you go with the flow? (I recently read somewhere that “even a dead fish can go with the flow.”)
    3. If I asked different people that know you about your point of view on a particular topic, are they going to give me a fairly consistent answer?
  • Your job history:
    1. Where have you worked, what did you do and why did you leave? The past is a good base from which to predict the future if I am trying to understand your behaviour.
    2. Some people are drawn to something and chase what they see as an opportunity. Some people are never satisfied with what they have and are constantly running away from something (ex. always leaving a job because it is not good enough). What is your motivation for seeking a new job?
  • Your work style:
    1. How effective are you at getting the things done that you are supposed to do?
    2. Do you only care about the results? Do you believe the ends justify the means? Some people work through people; others work with people and some plain simply don’t work with people.

The series of moments in your life create a story that answers these questions in no uncertain terms. It is difficult to pack this all into a one-on-one or panel interview. You have to be fully engaged during your interview and make sure that you are filling in the gaps for your prospective employer. Your charming smile is not going to get you hired, nor is being a nice guy. Giving relevant information about youself to the hiring manager will help make their decision as to whether they want you as part of their team.

If you are conscious of your daily behaviour, it makes your story easy to tell during that one hour interview.

Having integrity and being truthful about your performance over a period will make your story consistent and you all the more attractive and believable. Make your everyday style of engagement a remarkable one!


ABOUT THABO HERMANUS:  I am inspired by working with people who have a purpose and enjoy being the vessel in connecting them with their goals. Through recruitment, coaching for development and consultancy we help businesses attract and retain talented people. As co-founder of Find Inspired Talent, we provide recruitment services that consistently benefit both the client and the candidate. Our Executive Coaching offering to our clients is through our partnership with Metamorphosis Life Design.

Thabo blogs at Work, Life, Balance and can be found on Twitter @fit4Thabo


5 Important Leadership Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten
How to Avoid Team Decisions That Plop

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