I think looking for a job is a lot like dating life.
Each job is like a relationship. Depending on the length of the relationship, you can feel a variety of emotions when it is over. The end of a long, committed relationship may leave you feeling devastated like you don’t know what your next steps will be. Leaving a toxic relationship can make you feel relieved, yet undeserving of anything better.
Then you are thrown back into the dating pool (the job search) to seek out something new and hopefully better.
If you are unsure of yourself, it will translate in the interview and have a negative effect. Be confident in your skills and yourself. Kick self doubt to the curb and remember: you landed the interview for a reason.
One of the best ways to gain confidence is by practicing your interview skills with friends, family, or colleagues. To prepare for an upcoming five-hour interview, I practiced for over a week with my sister, mother, and several friends. Look on Glassdoor or Google and find typical interview questions for the role you seek. Tell your mock interviewer to choose random questions to ask you. Then once you have answered, have them give you immediate feedback.
In the interview process, it is important to let your personality shine through the technical questions and nerves. Your personality can end up making the difference between you and another candidate. The employer is looking for someone that fits in with the team, both with their job-related skills and their personality. Let your personal brand shine through in your portfolio and your personal style.
Send thank you cards or emails after your interview date. Try to make these unique and help you stand out. I once made a surprise sample for the hiring manager and a fellow ID, Jessie Matheson had the brilliant idea to make an e-card type of thank you note in Canva. You could use something like Genial.ly to make an interactive graphic, or even make something in Storyline to show your gratitude!
As much as the interview is to see if you are a fit for the company, you should also be assessing whether they are a good fit for you. Even if the job seems like a good fit on paper, during the interview process it is important to notice personality clashes or other red flags that cause you to question whether the job is right for you.
Many interview processes can be quite time-consuming. I have been through several interview rounds that have taken months from initial call to final interview. Asking your deal-breaker questions early can help decide whether you should proceed any further in the process. It is important not to waste the time of the potential employer, but even more important, don’t waste your own time! Going through multiple interview rounds when you aren’t sure is not the best use of your time.
Just like dating, interviewing can be a game. One of the elements that feels the most game-like is the recruiter process. As a former K12 teacher, I had never dealt with recruiters before. I quickly learned that there are many games played in the process. One of the most annoying to me is when a recruiter or company asks what your desired salary is. Why don’t YOU just tell ME what you are paying for this position and we go from there? Every time I have been asked that question, I feel intimidated.
Recruiters are like the best friend of the person you are dating. If they don’t like you, the relationship just isn’t going to happen. And just like in middle school, they are the ones to let you know that someone “likes” you or doesn’t want to pursue anything further.
Let’s face it, job searching is no fun. But if you stay organized, stay yourself, and stay in control, you can find the job that is perfect for you.
Other helpful articles that can help you in the interview process: