As with all things in life you can’t be an expert before you train and prepare for the unexpected, changing job is no exception.

For the purposes of this article we’ll liken your preparation to that of a top athlete and for your Job Search we will use the analogy of the four hundred metres hurdles event.

Preparation starts months in advance of a big race. Athletes will seek to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Areas of weakness will be practiced more and special attention will be given to examining alternative approaches. For example, if the athlete is not quick enough out of the blocks they may alter the starting blocks or even change feet. If they are tiring over the last few hurdles they will seek to improve their stamina.

For you the Interview preparation is similar. Well in advance of sending out Applications, the preparation of your CV must be given careful consideration. You too must identify your strengths and work to improve on any weaknesses.

Top athletes require a high level of skill in all aspects of a particular discipline but it is not uncommon to find top athletes with different styles. Some will accelerate hard out of the blocks, others will finish strongly. In short they choose a style that ensures that their strengths outweigh their weaknesses, as you must. No athlete will dwell on their weaknesses over the first hurdle, they will put it behind them and stride on. Think through how best to present the various stages of your career to date, ensuring that your strengths are emphasised.

Be realistic about the roles for which you are applying, our four hundred metres hurdlers are highly unlikely to run the Marathon.

Our athletes will study the track and mentally plan every footfall along the way. They will measure their stride pattern and practice their hurdling technique. You must evaluate the information you wish to share with a potential Employer.

On the day of the race the athlete will block out all other thoughts, they will focus on the race and rehearse every step in their mind . They will limber up and ensure their shoes are on tightly, take off their track suit and approach the blocks.

For you the approach must be similar. Go through the interview in your mind. Know the hurdles and prepare yourself to deal with them. Dress appropriately and get to the interview in good time.

As the athletes stands beside the blocks, they are focused and in peak condition. They will stand straight with their well toned muscles loose but ready. They will adopt their starting stance, remember, this is well practiced. They will listen attentively for the starters gun and launch into their well practiced routine. The athlete who is best prepared on the day will win the race.

Interviewers look for confidence and demonstrated skills. They hire people who explain themselves well and can do the job. If you have trained well and know what to expect from the interview, you are in the best condition you can be to win and get the job.

Good luck and please share.