The job interview exercise is often stressful, but it can also be an opportunity to shine. FashionUnited addresses the growing practice of asking the candidate to complete a task to assess their skills.
Completing a task during an interview, or in some cases at the application stage for a new job, has almost become the norm with hiring managers and companies alike. While applicants complain about the time and effort involved, this is a great way for companies to compare you to other applicants; it can also give you the opportunity to showcase your skills, creativity and ideas. Therefore, the positive aspects of defining a task usually outweigh the negative aspects.
When preparing for the exercise, think about how to reflect your abilities and really showcase what you will bring to the job if you get it. You know how the tasks at hand can vary from company to company.
It is therefore important to assess the level of work to be done. Some tasks may be a simple draft of ideas, a plan or strategy, or even a presentation of yourself. All of this means that you need to prepare, plan, and execute properly in order to present yourself confidently and give yourself the best chance for success.
Analyze what you are asked to do
Receiving a task to complete can seem quite confusing. It is important not to rush and take the time to understand what you are being asked to do. Write things down and start taking notes of what comes to mind as you read them.
Talk to acquaintances or former colleagues working in a similar field
Do not hesitate to seek the advice of someone working in a service similar to the one for which you are applying. It is always helpful to check with someone else that you have correctly understood what needs to be done.
Before you jump in, check out the latest industry news, see if there is anything new that could impact the department you work for and how it could be incorporated.Start planning your points and ideas
Once you gain a better understanding of not only the role, but also the industry and what you are being asked to do, start planning! Divide the task into sub-tasks and take notes in these areas.
Gather your thoughts
Once you’ve gathered your ideas and thoughts, it’s time to flesh out your ideas with facts, pictures, and context. Businesses appreciate that you consider the market and the industry as a whole when interviewing.
Give your personal touch
While the ideas you generate are exceptionally important, it’s also a great opportunity to showcase your creative abilities. Make sure that any task you give is not only well presented, which is a no-brainier, but also has a little personal touch.
Get proofread by a friend or someone from the industry
Once you’ve done your best, go back to the person who analyzed the job with you and ask them to look at what you have produced. This is an important step to make sure not only that there are no errors but also that you have completed the task in its entirety. Allow yourself plenty of time for this process, in case any changes need to be made.
If necessary, practice!
From time to time you may be asked to make your presentation formally or informally. Make sure you practice and time yourself! It is by forging that you become a blacksmith, after all.
This is a great opportunity to prove what you are capable of, so good luck and come up with whatever you can with confidence and enthusiasm.