Alchemize with Lauren

Turning the Tables

Let’s play “Devil’s Advocate” for a minute. Or do the exercise of picturing yourself in the “other person’s shoes”. A little role-playing works wonders when you are trying to analyze a situation, solve a problem or hopefully win an argument. If you can truly imagine and work through a scenario as though your roles or positions are switched, how much strength do you have? Do you have the assets you need?

There have been literally hundreds of movies that apply this very same theme. They help us see “the other side” of a person or situation. In “Trading Places” Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy reverse their positions as a con artist and a snobbish investor.  In Freaky Friday, a mother and daughter switch roles. Dustin Hoffman shows us in Tootsie how much there is to learn about being a woman. In Big, Tom Hanks sees what it’s like to be a child again. And let’s not forget the 1937 classic, “The Prince and the Pauper” where two look-alike children, one is a prince and the other a street kid who exchange places to see what the other’s life is like.

How could this apply to your job search? If you can put yourself in the position of the interviewer, it will help you better understand the obstacles you may be faced with. What do they see in you when they are trying to make a hiring decision? How can you subtlety help them to understand that hiring you would be the best choice they could make? They see you amongst all the other candidates. Are you the best selection? Will hiring you make them look like a hero in the eyes of their own boss? Or, if they are themselves, the boss, will they feel that hiring you was the best decision they ever made? When you want the job, this should be exactly how you want the interviewer to feel.

When you, you are in a position of hiring a professional in any capacity, how do you evaluate and select the best person for the job at hand? It doesn’t matter whether you are seeking an auto mechanic, an accountant, a housekeeper, a babysitter or an attorney. What you are looking for is a person who is qualified to do the best job possible, someone who knows what they are doing, will perform in a professional manner, be on time and depending on budgetary concerns, do the task for the best price.  You may not want to give someone a chance that does not have any experience. There’s too much at risk. After all, it is your house, your child, your car, your taxes, etc. and there are risks involved with hiring the inexperienced person.

If you don’t feel that you have the experience or the credentials for the job you are a applying for, take a hard look at your accomplishments. Hopefully there is a way to make your present skills work for you. You can somehow show the hiring manager your strengths and how the job is a perfect match. They will draw the natural, logical conclusion that choosing you for the job is the best possible choice. If this isn’t the case, and you really feel that more skills are necessary prior to even tackling an interview so some investigating and find out if there is a way to strengthen some of your skills. Seek out an opportunities to do so – take a class, hire a tutor, do some volunteer work to expose yourself to the environment where you can learn the skills to can improve your odds. But once you’ve placed yourself in the position of the person interviewing you, and can honestly see what they see, your chances for success will be greatly increased!

Lauren Castle is the owner of Impress Express, a professional image firm, focusing on career development, resume preparation, presentation skills, etiquette and interview coaching. We are members of the Professional Association of Resume Writers. For help with your image, posting your resume, or preparing your internet-friendly resume, contact Lauren directly at 858-459-7400. And, as always, please forward your image and career-related questions to for further information.