Dear Lifehacker, My employer has just dismissed a bunch of people from my workplace. My role is now being combined with another, and myself and the other person in the other role are having to complete a merit process to see who "keeps" their job in the coming weeks. Any tips on ways to make yourself stand out between now and the interview stage for the job? Thanks, Jobfight
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You have our sympathy: it's never any fun having to compete to keep your own job, especially when even the best-case outcome presumably means you're going to have a heavier workload than before.
The essential requirements should be obvious: be punctual, be cheerful, be productive. Beyond that, the most important step is to establish who will actually make the decision, and make sure you know which criteria you'll be judged upon. Under the circumstances, there's no point being coy about this: better to ask up front. As we noted recently when addressing the question of how to make a temporary position permanent, you need to make it clear that you're interested in keeping the position.
Equally important: don't slag off or undermine your rival for the position. It can be tempting to try and demonstrate your superiority by pointing out your opponent's flaws, but it's a strategy that's very likely to backfire. In a workplace with fewer employees, teamwork becomes more important than ever.
Since there will be a formal interview process, you need to prepare for that too. Update your resume and make sure it reflects your achievements in your current position, as well as emphasising the experience which got you there. Prepare for potentially difficult questions using the STAR technique, and plan carefully so you will stand out.
I'd love to hear from readers on this one: what would you do in these circumstances? Share your ideas in the comments. Good luck Jobfight!
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