The Performance Inteview – Your best differentiation tool

by A Guest Author

Would you drop a few grand on a designer suit without first trying it on? Even if the salesman talked it up until you could practically feel your foot on the accelerator, would you buy a hot sports car without first taking it for a spin? Probably not.

More and more employers are saying the same about university graduates (check Good uni guide report). It’s not enough to know what school they went to, where they interned or how they spent their summers. They want to see what these young graduates can do. Concretely.

If you’ve been in the market for a job anytime in the recent past, you’ve probably had at least one employer assign you a task, invite you in for a day or even a week, and allow you to strut your stuff. It’s extremely common in creative professions, even more so for junior positions where the candidate may not have had the opportunity to build a complete portfolio.

One Sydney employer explained to me that he’d advertised for a copywriting position and received more than 100 applications.

Overwhelmed, he chose twenty and assigned them a task: three short articles and a series of one-liners. Of the 20, only three bothered to complete the task. Many of them did, however, take the time to write grumbling emails about the absurdity of such a request given their obvious talent and experience. From his words:

"I knew a test work would tell me straight away if the person was good and ready to take on the job"

Many jobseekers complain about being asked to work for free. The more experienced they are, the more they tend to complain. All the more reason to participate, it seems. By agreeing to participate in such trials, you set yourself apart from the crowd. You are saying, “Pick me, I’ll do it!” You’re actually saying, “I’m motivated and eager for this position,” instead of just writing it in a cover letter. It’s your chance to stand out in a very real and concrete way.

Think of it as a sort of second or third interview, except rather than having to talk yourself up, you get the opportunity to actually show what you’re capable of.  Trust me, it might be worth it to put aside your pride and give it a go.

About The Author:

Amy Knapp is a business blogger based in Sydney, AUS. Educated in Law and the Fine Arts, her work champions the marriage of the creative and the corporate. Follow her on Twitter @JoyofWords. Amy Blogs regularly for . If this article helped you, check Insidetrak section for our full job list

This post was written by A Guest Author

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