By Mark Fierle
Wow, I usually say, what didn’t I do wrong? That’s usually the start of it, especially in today’s world, when we are going out on interviews and coming up with no meaningful job offers.
What could be the reason I didn’t get an interview, didn’t get a second interview or an offer.
This might be true even if we are the best qualified, etc, etc.
Here are a few ideas on the subject, starting off with the fact that maybe you did nothing wrong, just didn’t get selected.
- Interviewing is not an objective process
- Many people are often part of the process
- Seemingly good interviews are often misleading to candidates
- Others change of job specs in mid-stream, jobs go on hold, President’s girlfriend gets the job, and many other factors you have no control over.
Here’s the difference: with opportunities somewhat limited in recent times there are a whole bunch of professional interview types out there. They do the right things, dress appropriately, say the right things and so forth. That doesn’t make them more qualified than you, they just know how to work the system.
What can you do to improve the odds? First of all read the soon to be published book Adapt or Perish. This will give insights into how you can differentiate and set yourself apart from the competition. By the way this is a whole lot different than working the system! It is what I call “being prepared” by knowing the product you are selling (you) – a good salesman’s #1 rule.
How do I prepare? Here are a few thoughts:
- Arrive on time or a few minutes early. An old analogy goes something like 80% of success is showing up!
- Dress professionally or at least professionally casual
- Exhibit a firm handshake when meeting people, not the limp fish type you normally give
- Look people in the eye when answering questions. Avoiding eye contact generally means you are lying or making something up!
- Bring along some examples of your work
- Make believe you are interested all through the process
- Be able to describe what you have done, not what you think you can do. People get hired and paid for what they have done not what they think they can do.
- Be sure you get correct spelling, titles and pronunciation of names. “Ole what’s his name” doesn’t work. You’ve got lots of competition out there. Then send a thank you letter, not e-mail.
- Based on questions you ask, like “how can I help you?”, develop a plan of what you would do- and ask for a second interview to discuss. To really be prepared develop more than one scenario. A good lead in: I’ve got some ideas to discuss with you.
- Make sure your discussion is a dialogue not a monologue.
These are just a few ideas. Most are time tested but often forgotten in the heat of the battle. Using these strategies will help you keep from wondering why and may even help get you that position!