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Hidden Skills - how to show them in an interview!

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Emma Gregory

We’ve all seen the words, “transferrable skill set” when searching for jobs, we’ve all said to recruiters and prospective employers that we have them. But do we really know what it means? What are we claiming to have and how do we demonstrate in a relatively short time at an interview that we have what the employer is looking for?

A transferrable skill set, does, quite literally mean, “skills you can transfer from one job to another”. But at Urbanberry we see it as being more than that.  Does it only refer to the skills you claim to have on your CV? Absolutely not. Does it refer to those skills that are hidden away inside of all of us, obvious to others but not to ourselves? It most certainly does!

Take for example, a Business Travel Consultant. On a daily basis they book flights, answer calls/emails, liaise and negotiate  with suppliers, handle quotations, calculate fares (and that’s just before 10am hey?!). They would probably class their skills as being:

  • Competent on a GDS
  • Able to reissue complicated fares
  • Organised
  • Able to work well alone or in a team

Now obviously these are all skills that are relevant and necessary in this role. But if it was as easy as writing down what we do every day, then what differentiates one business travel consultant from another in an interview?

Honing in on skills you may have that will set you apart from the competition can be an excellent way of getting yourself remembered at interview stage. You could be competing with 10 others for one coveted role, or, you may have been told by your recruitment agency you’re the only  in the frame and yet you still don’t get the job.  But some of these skills can’t be demonstrated on a CV, they have to be shown on a phone call or in person- and here’s some examples:

Confidence:  Very hard to demonstrate written down. Your CV may appear as if it’s been written by a confident individual through use of language, layout etc.. but we all know there are services out there who can be paid to do this for you. So if your CV gets you through to interview stage then showcase your inner confidence with body language, eye contact, positivity and belief in yourself. It will shine through and instill that same sense of confidence in your prospective employer that you’re one to watch.

Endurance: Employers demand more and more of their staff than ever before. Do you finish work, come home, go to the gym/pick up the kids/cook dinner/chat to family/do the washing up/clean the house/log on again? We’re sure that’s not an unfamiliar routine to most. And to top it all of you  repeat it 5 day in a row!  Now that’s endurance, you can surely hack a fast paced office, an ever changing environment and the odd difficult client!

Passion:  Everyone has a passion for something – their family, their home, their hobby, their pets. You might spend all your free time at dog shows or volunteering at a refuge shelter for the homeless.. whatever you do, it demonstrates dedication, passion and care. Show us an employer who doesn’t class those as important skills to have in an employee and we’ll show you one with an unhappy work force. So work it in to the interview somehow – don’t think that mentioning something that makes you human isn’t appropriate.

Listening: Sounds like a strange one but most definitely a skill you can’t prove on paper. You listen all day every day – to clients, to colleagues, to suppliers. Both over the phone and in person, if you didn’t listen effectively how would you remember the top three things your client wanted you to find for their conference venue?  So in an interview, be it an initial telephone interview or a face to face, make sure your listening skills don’t fall by the wayside. Don’t let your mind run away with you and start anticipating the next question before you’ve even answered the current one. Don’t talk over the interviewer or fail to answer the question effectively.. it will appear your listening skills aren’t up to scratch when it’s likely nothing could be further from the truth.

We hope this has sparked a little inspiration for those of you with upcoming interviews. Remember, here at Urbanberry we are committed to helping you secure your dream job so follow our Facebook/ Linkedin/Twitter page for jobs, tips and lots of fun, like our blogs, share our articles and give us a call if you want to chat!