What Barack Obama Can Teach Us About Job Interviewing

Job interviewHe’s got one of the most prestigious positions in the world and to the delight of many supporters all over the globe, Barack Obama has just secured his job for a second time.

Why is he so successful? Some say it’s because of his policies, while others claim it’s thanks to his charismatic confidence and his ability to relate to the American people.


While you don’t necessarily have to be a President in the making, there is much to be learned from this great leader when it comes to job interviewing.

He is extremely well spoken…

Like all public speakers and Presidents before him, Obama is extremely well spoken. He rarely falters, stutters or becomes lost for words. He knows his topics and he knows them well. In job interviews, it is imperative that you are the same – you must know your experience, your values and your capabilities. You must also be able to articulate these in a confident, engaging and succinct way. Just as Obama builds rapport with his American followers (and no doubt he’s great at it), you must build rapport with your employers and interviewers.

He addresses the right issues…

Obama is a leader who is very much in touch with the issues and events surrounding daily American life. As a result, his actions and goals revolve around developing a better nation for all. When it comes to job interviewing, your vision should be the same: you will want to address the right issues and the right questions that are not only important to you, but important to your employer and the position on offer. Many candidates head into an interview prepared to talk about themselves, but without assessing what the employer really wants or how their particular skills fit into the job requirements or the organisation at large.

He has a sense of humour…

It’s not all doom and gloom when Obama addresses his audience. He’s been known to make jokes about himself, come up with amusing responses to political happenings and even sing songs. While you don’t have to go this far in your job interview, and while you should remain professional at all times, having a light sense of humour can help build rapport with your interviewers. It also shows that you’re a positive person who has the ability to relate to other co-workers and employees. Beware of being too arrogant or making inappropriate jokes however; there is a fine line between being personable and alienating your employers.

He’s determined…

Part of being a great leader is not only having the ability to make important decisions, but to find the determination to ensure the right outcomes come to fruition. The same goes for job interviews; being determined (without being pushy) is an invaluable trait, particularly when it comes to chasing up opportunities and addressing any concerns the interviewers might have over your suitability for the role. It’s hard work, but being determined often pays off!

He’s got the right support…

One of Obama’s key tactics as President has been to surround himself with informed people who share his values, but also know how to challenge his opinions and views. The same goes for your career – you’re the “President” of your own job seeking campaign and surrounding yourself with mentors, executive coaches, search consultants, resume writers and interview coaches can all help you secure your success.

Are you an emerging leader preparing for that next job opportunity? Executive Interview Coaching is just one of the many coaching services available at Resumes Australia. Get in touch with us today or learn how we can transform your resume too.
kylie hammond

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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