Latest guest post by Colm Cavey. The, providing Corporate Outplacement and private one to one career change services at all levels throughout Ireland.

I frequently hear clients comment that they seem to get called for Interview with a reasonable level of success, but not getting a second one?

If you think carefully about what’s going on here, you can say with certainty; the fact they invite you for an interview is a clear indication that your C.V. is of interest. They see content, experience and skills that appeal to them and so would like to speak with you, as a prospective candidate.

Then at the interview, they find that what you say on your C.V. and how you verbalise the issues you refer to are miles apart.  In other words, the person they met is not living up to the claims they made on their C.V.

As a rule in these situations, there is usually one of two reasons for this.

1    They wrote their C.V. in a hurry, not giving enough thought to their achievements. They wrote the first thing that came into their minds and continued to do so until the page was full.


2    They paid someone to write their C.V. for them and, more likely than not, was done remotely with a ten minute, telephone conversation somewhere in the middle, which is wholly inadequate to script an accurate and factually correct account of one’s career.

3    The most important point of all. No matter how good you are, no matter how good your C.V. is, you will never succeed at interview until you know the details of your C.V. intimately; like you know your name and address.

With the above in mind, you need to review your situation and be confident you are a good match for any job to which you apply. Carefully read the job description and make sure you meet most of the requirements, Very few people meet them all so don’t be despondent if you miss out on one or two required attributes.

Review your C.V. and make sure every claim and success made is 100% correct and accurate.  Do not write content just to fill a page.  Remember, sometimes ‘less is more’. Keep your statements short and factual. The comments you make on your C.V. are only a taster and should invite further questions from the interviewers.

All this brings me to the most important part of your interview presentation. I say again and again that you will never be at ease at interview until you know every detail of your C.V. You might write something like;

  • I secured the largest contract for the company this year, valued at over €1.5m.

Now you say to yourself, yes that’s 100% accurate. However, that is not enough. You must think through every step of the process you went through to win the contract. How did you approach the company, what offers or discount did you make, who did you deal with, how long did it all take etc.?

In other words, relive the whole event, refresh your memory and have all the details fresh in your mind so if asked further you can respond instantly and with full details of the event with dates, times and most of all the success without hesitation.  If you repeat this exercise with every event you claim on your C.V., you will be viewed as knowledgeable, responsive or in other words ‘on top of your game’.

This also applies to your skills which should also be included on your C.V.  Think them through carefully and avoid the text book horrors like;

  • Work well alone or within a team.


  • Good communicator.

So give your C.V. careful consideration, keep it short and concise and needless to say, 100% accurate. Tell what employers want to hear

At the interview, you will be asked about two things, your Career History or your Skills, which relates to the kind of person you are and your attributes. So know them both, thoroughly. When I say thoroughly, I really mean thoroughly. In the stressful atmosphere of an interview, you will forget lots of relevant material unless you have prepared meticulously.

Lastly, professional assistance is always available to help you with any or all of the topics mentioned and in particular, Interview and Presentation practice. Your presentation is not dependent on what you think but on what others see and think. Their view is what counts. A small practice with a third party is always helpful. In the past, I have always found that the clients who profess they did not need any interview practice, were the ones that needed it most.

The Summer Holidays at last, or maybe the last Summer Holiday. By Colm Cavey

The very best of luck.

Top Tips by PCC, provide professionally delivered, supportive and most importantly, successful career change and re-deployment assistance to private clients from all sectors of Industry.   Enquiries are welcome and treated in the strictest confidence.

E-mail: [email protected]   Tel: 086-3017207. 01 2819056.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This!

Share this post with your friends.