Friday, 4 May 2012

Interview or naked party?

I attended a CIPS local chapter meeting last night facilitated by Lynsey & Jack from Hays here in Scotland. The topic was CV's and interviews - and whilst I'm not looking for a job, and was there mainly to network and connect, I still came away with many things to do differently.

One overriding message, for me anyway, was a reminder that the words we use impact what's going on in our head and therefore have an impact on our state. This in turn then impacts our behaviour.

For example we use the word Interview. Our head may then form a picture of an interrogation. This may then lead us to start imagining angry people shouting at us, all the things we don't know the answer to and/or being asked questions that have us siting there in dumbfounded silence unable to utter a word. With these images going around our head it's easy to understand how stress levels increase and our ability to think clearly starts to diminish.

If there's a link then to the words we use, the pictures they create in our heads and the resulting actions we take I'd suggest it's useful to be aware when these are helpful and when they're not. If unhelpful we then have 2 options:
  1. Change the word we're using to a more helpful one.
  2. Change our representation of the word.
The tip most offered for interviews is to imagine the interviewer naked which is simply option 2 in operation. In the session yesterday Jack suggested we see an interview as a meeting where we're exchanging ideas. Where both parties are checking the other out to see if they like each other. Which unless you also get nervous in meetings may very well work. In a tweet today someone suggested we go a step further and imagine it simply being a chat or even as a party! Whether the use of party works for you is really down to the state the word generates in you and the actions you're then likely to take as a result. I'd suggest a naked party might be taking it a little far!

Alison Smith
Helping Procurement find the right words when dealing with stakeholders

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