Career Corner: Presenting Your Very Best Self in an Interview
by Heidi Kay, Co-owner, PediaStaff
Recently, we talked about interview questions that you might get asked about your “rough edges,” and tips on how to best answer them. More challenging for most interviewees, however, is the issue of how to present your best attributes and accomplishments without bragging.
What you say and how you say it are both important. Planning out your messages ahead of time can be quite helpful. This area is a perfect one to explore in a Reflective Journal. Here are some typical questions to answer for yourself at home before you start the interview process:
- Tell me about your greatest achievement with a kiddo/client that stands as your proudest moment.
- In your work or professional life, where do you shine the brightest?
- What can you do for us that other candidates cannot?
- Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.
In many cases, you can let your achievements speak for you. Create a “brag book.” This can be a folder or notebook and can include letters of recommendation, documentation of awards, a copy of your license, and even special cards and notes that you’ve received from parents and former clients (with names of minors x’ed out, and permission granted in advance) that show appreciation for your work and caring. Do you have photos of your favorite bulletin boards, or copies of some favorite activities that you’ve done with the kids during the years (or if you are a new grad – during your clinicals)? Put those in your “brag book too.”
Use a positive tone without resorting to a boastful air and use of superlatives. You might talk about what others have said about you “I’ve been told that I am good at…” Practice with a friend or family member to role play this portion of the interview process.
Be “likeably confident.” There is so much to say about interviewing with confidence. We will tackle that in a future post. For now, get out that journal, write out some strong answers to the above questions and start compiling that “brag book.”
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PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.