Pitching to win: using a SWOT analysis in your job interview


stylised cricketerIt's May 30th 2019, and today is the first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, where Match 1 will see England face South Africa. Both teams will have spent months planning and creating a winning strategy using a SWOT analysis.  This involves assessing their own teams’ strengths and weaknesses to seek opportunities, and understand threats to help them reach the final in July.

You can use a similar strategy to help you optimise success in your job interviews. To help you reach the finals of your next interview, use this simple framework to SWOT up so you aren’t ‘caught out’!

What is a SWOT Framework?

A SWOT analysis (or SWOT matrix) is a strategic planning technique used to help a person or organisation identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or project planning. It can be used in many contexts, however it is a quick and simple process to carry out analysis ahead of an interview.

 (S) Strengths

When preparing for your interview, think about the value you can bring. Ask yourself why should the company hire you? What are your strengths and how relevant are those to the role?

This is your chance to demonstrate what can you offer the company in comparison to other candidates. To create a winning response, review the job description and identify their 3 priorities for the position, and think about how your strengths match.

(W) Weaknesses

The interviewer wants to see how you remain calm under pressure and that you are self-aware. You may be asked ‘what are your weaknesses?’ Are there any aspects of the role you haven’t had experience in? Where is your area for development?

Don’t drop the ball when you answer this question. Consider turning anything negative into a positive to demonstrate self-improvement.

(O) Opportunities

To set yourself apart from your competition, you will need to consider what could you bring to the role in terms of opportunities. Are there any good opportunities you can you spot where your experience lends itself? Do you have a network of contacts that could take the business into new markets?

By demonstrating not only your strengths but how you can develop and grow the job opportunity, will show to your potential employer the value hiring you will bring.

(T) Threats

Finally, to demonstrate your commercial awareness, you need understand any threats the company, sector or industry is currently facing. You could be asked ‘What challenges do you believe we are currently facing?’ or ‘Who are our key competitors?’

By conducting in-depth analysis, you will learn more about competitors, market conditions and how the economic climate may have affected their business.

Practice makes perfect

Each cricket team will have been in training and have had pre match warmups.  Similarly, while job hunting, the more you use the SWOT framework the easier the process will become. A SWOT analysis can be used in lots of different scenarios including considering a career change, creating a business plan or for any general decision making, so use SWOT to make sure you pitch well and are kept Not Out!

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email info@renovo.co.uk

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