Prepare Yourself Like Royalty

Prepare Yourself Like Royalty

The Royal Wedding was such a big occasion meant that all the international media were focused on the UK and I was really impressed by how the day went.  The intricate preparation over many months ensured timings on the day were perfect, thanks I’m sure to the dry-run that the couple themselves, and those working in the background at the Palace and Abbey had done.

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When William & Katherine’s engagement was announced last year, planning for the big day started in earnest and preparation was key to ensuring the day’s success.  The Royals gave the world what Britain does best, and the crowds and TV audiences loved it.  From what I could see, everything went right and no-one, even in the Middleton family, put a foot wrong.

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Reflecting back on the day made me think about job-seekers, and how much more successful individuals could be if they put the same amount of effort and enthusiasm into preparation for their job search.  Just two weeks ago, I had someone interviewing with an employer who would have received a job offer but for their lack of preparation about the company.  It still astounds me when I hear of people who put in very little effort for what is potentially a big day for their career.

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Employers often tell me that a lack of preparation is one of the main reasons for having to reject someone after a first interview.  I have sympathy for candidates who try their best and don’t get offered a job because of lack of skills in a specific area, their experience not being as strong as others, or test results just short of expectations for example – but not a lack of preparation.  For the candidate who didn’t get the job, it would of required just one hour of their time to research some background information on the company concerned.

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Thanks to the internet, anyone can find out about a company’s history, corporate goals, products/services they offer, and even financial data.   The point of this post though, is that preparation is still under-estimated by candidates and many think it is just not necessary, whereas the exact opposite is true.  I know of numerous occasions when it really has won or lost someone a job offer, as this candidate found out to their detriment.

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Everything else in the first interview was perfect – the candidate engaged really well with the interviewer, knew their career background in detail and were able to instill confidence about how they would resolve some issues the business had.  They were even told in the first interview that before coming back to meet the CEO, they would need to prepare more thoroughly on the company.  The CEO started the business on their own over 20+ years ago, and being passionate about their company, interview everyone who joins whether a Board Director or Junior Clerk.

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The candidate should of taken this onboard as they were so keen on the role, and I know they would have accepted the role if offered.  I met up with them in person again a few days later to give them some help with their second interview and what they needed to do.  To be honest, I don’t know whether it was purely a lack of effort on their part, complacency (because they knew they did so well in the first interview) or both that led to their downfall.  However, for such a senior finance position, the CEO was expecting much more than they delivered on the day, and the candidate just didn’t make the grade.

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As I told them afterwards, do not underestimate how important Preparation is for everything relating to your job search, not just interviews.  Sometimes, what you consider are little things that you can miss out because you don’t have the time or inclination to do them, may be a bigger issue for a recruiter or potential employer.  It was very disappointing that the candidate didn’t take the time required to prepare properly for what they knew was a concern at the first interview stage.  They were really gutted about the outcome and the reason why they were turned down, but they certainly won’t forget to prepare properly next time.

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If you need some further advice or tips on Preparation whilst in your job search, other articles we have written here will hopefully help you:

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The Ultimate Interview Research Checklist

Three Steps To An Organised Job Search

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Best wishes

Leslie Fearn

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Leslie has over 15 years Recruitment experience helping blue-chip corporates to SME businesses recruit for their Finance teams.  As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy, a Specialist HR and Finance Recruiter across the Thames Valley and London, he is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today.  Follow his helpful tweets on Twitter: @McGinnisLoy

Photo Credit

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