After having spent nearly 10 years as a wife and mother (a “career path” I chose right out of college), I suddenly found myself single and unemployed with children to support, no professional experience, and very little self-confidence.
As fate would have it, I began a journey into the scary world of dating again, as well as seeking employment. As I look back on that time (one that had a happy conclusion), I recognize a great deal of similarity between the two experiences.
I offer this simple analogy for your consideration – The Job Interview: A Blind Date From Hell!
Think about it and follow along.
Decide what to wear. You want to consider the image you are hoping to project and the audience you are trying to attract. Do not believe those who recommend always wearing a suit to an interview.
A corporate management position? Yes to a suit.
A warehouse worker? Then dress one-step-above what you would on the job (slacks and loafers versus jeans and sneakers). A good rule of thumb is to always dress “one-step-above” and make sure you “look” like someone who fits in. (Looking like a dowdy housewife may get you a job cleaning houses, but not a management job — or even a date!
Prepare. Find out as much as you can about the company in advance.
How long have they been in business?
Who are their customers?
What is important to them?
Who do you know that has worked there who can give you some inside tips? (Would you really go on a blind date without finding out about the person in advance?)
Come up with some questions to ask during the interview. The most interesting dates I ever had were with people who appeared to be interested in ME and what I wanted versus how they could get their needs met. Employers have job openings because they have needs. Find out what those needs are and show your interest in fulfilling them. Do not make the employer carry the whole conversation by only providing “yes-no” answers and do not monopolize the conversation by talking incessantly about yourself.
Clarify expectations. Do not leave the interview until you know the game plan. How many other people are interested in the position? How soon does the employer hope to make a decision? Will the employer call you or should you give them a call? There is no greater stress we put ourselves through then the agony of the “wait.” It looks somewhat like this:
“We spent an hour (or more) together. I thought things were going well. I liked him; I thought he liked me. She said she would call. It has been over a week. Did I do something wrong? Am I being rejected again?”
Get a grip! This is not high school and you are not 16. Pick up the phone; restate your interest in the job and ask about the status of the position. If it has been filled by another candidate, this does not mean you did something wrong. It may be nothing more than the chemistry was not right. Be honest with yourself: if the employer did not “feel the fit”, you probably did not either. Consider this fact: you will spend more of your waking hours in a relationship with your employer than you will with any other relationship (spouse, children, or significant other). Choose that relationship wisely.
Professionally express your disappointment; ask for feedback that might help you with the next interview and thank the employer for their time. Then get back out there to try again, always reminding your family and friends that you are still interested in meeting new people (employers) and that you are still looking for a steady relationship (a job).
Good luck on finding your perfect match.
Guest Article — Written by Norine Dagliano, of ekm Inspirations. Norine is an independent and nationally certified professional resume writer (NCRW, CPRW, CFRW/CC) and job-search coach. With more than 20 years of experience, Norine has crafted powerful, achievement-focused resumes and provided logical and straight-forward job seeking tips and advice that has helped literally thousands of professionals in overcoming the anxiety of looking for working … and finding their ideal job. Learn more @ ekmInspirations.com