Why Serious Job Hunters Need To Attend Toastmasters
The hardest stage of job application process is the dreaded interview stage. The thought of having to sit through a 45 minute face to face question and answer session leaves many people wondering “is it worth it? I know my current manger is rude and obnoxious, and the pay is rubbish, but at least I don’t have to sit through 45 minutes of hell!”
The modern interview is worse. Not only do you still have to attend the traditional Q&A interview, you now have to complete pre-interview task, take part in group activities and deliver a presentation.
You can book an Interview Coaching Session and/or a Mock Interview with an interview coach by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Who wins in interviews – the sector expert or the confident interviewee?
As an interview coach I meet thousands of professionals who are highly skilled and experience, but cannot seem to land that all important promotion or job offer. The fact is, the best person for the job is not always recruited, it’s often the confident interview expert, who lacks sector experience who is offered the desired position.
This can seem unfair to career professional, but the reality is, being excellent in your given job role isn’t enough. You have to be able to interview well, which means you need to be confident, know how to sell yourself and most importantly be a competent communicator.
Part of the advice I give to many of my interview clients is to join their local toastmaster group. When they looked surprised and asked why, I give them three key reasons.
- Interview Table Topics. A key part of interview preparation is predicting interview questions and preparing answers that highlight key attributes. But no matter how much preparation is completed you will always be asked at least one unexpected question. It’s these out the blue questions that throw the prepared interviewee off, creating confusion and a drop in confidence which leads to a lack of job offers.
Toastmaster meetings start each meeting with a round of table topics. This impromptu speaking gives members a key skill that can utilised in the job interview. No matter what question you are asked, the skilled table topic speaker can always create a cleaver and entertaining answer.
- Preparing for Presentations. As part of the process for many high paid positions and managerial roles, you will be asked to deliver a presentation often about yourself, an interview icebreaker. For many public speaking is so terrifying that they will decline the offer to interview. For those who give it go, their lack of experience and their lack of public speaking skills shines through like a grammarians nightmare, with every seconds word being an erm or an argh. The toastmaster member is king here, speaking is second nature. The interview doesn’t know what hit them, “ who is this guy who commands the attention of the audience, using vocal variety, gestures and eye contact.”
- Confident Communicator. The real reason highly employable candidates are declined positions is because they lack confidence. Nerves and anxiety kill your interview chances; you are seen as weak and unbelievable. You need to communicate with confidence, to highlight your unique selling point and to describe your past successes with such style and charisma that the employer has no choice but to offer you the position. The competent communicator manual does just that, it gives you the skills to speak with confidence, not just on stage, or in a job interview but in everyday situations.
Why I Attend Toastmasters
For me Toastmasters is much more than a public speaking club. The skills you learn do improve your ability to share your message with style, but these same skills can be used in everyday situations. The confidence you build from learning these skills can be life changing, and in the job interview situation these skills can be the difference between a successful career and a dissatisfied job.
Chris Delaney is an interview coach and the author of The 73 Rules for Influencing the Interview using Psychology, NLP and Hypnotic Persuasion Techniques.
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