You’ve landed the interview! You’ve practiced and prepped for days! You know exactly what past accomplishments you want to speak about and what skills you want to show. And then…
You completely space out and forget to share the most valuable information about yourself with your interviewers.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone if so. Stop beating yourself up! You’re only human, and that means you’re inclined to forget things, especially under pressure. A job interview is a high-stress event for most people, so relying on memory is a disaster waiting to happen.
Don’t let all of your hard work and interview preparation go to waste. There’s a simple tool anyone can use to help prevent these kinds of frustrating memory lapses.
Building Your Accomplishment Spreadsheet
Most people walk into an interview with their resume in hand. This is the tool they usually rely on to jog their memory. But unfortunately, a resume is—by nature—very concise. It doesn’t provide all the details you likely want to share about a particular project or achievement. It’s designed to capture attention, which is useful, but in the interview, you want to expand on those resume highlights by offering more specifics and facts.
All too often, those important points you want to make get lost, due to failing memory or simply because of conversational tangents. Without some additional reference material, it can be easy to get sidetracked. Before you know it, you’re driving home and kicking yourself for leaving out the key information that would certainly seal the deal on your job offer.
To overcome this, try building a detailed accomplishment spreadsheet to take with you in addition to your resume. This will be helpful for keeping you on track during the interview itself, but it also makes a great marketing “leave behind” piece to give your interviewers when the conversation is over.
This document need not be anything too fancy; a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet will do.
- First, create a list of important projects or achievements you want to discuss.
- Then, create columns for the information you want to share, grouped together in a logical fashion.
For example, you may choose to list the technology you used, the number of people you managed, the specific challenges you encountered and what you did to overcome them, the results you achieved, and any other relevant details.
As you’re grasping for answers to the interview questions, you can glance at your list and gain inspiration. Feel free to say something like this, “I actually noted some details of my past accomplishments here…” so they interviewers know what you’re looking at.
Once the interview is wrapping up, offer to leave the spreadsheet for them to review further if they’d like.
It’s that simple! With the help of this tool, you’ll never again be at a loss for details during an important job interview.
Also read: 5 Things to do The Day Before an Interview