How to Approach Job Interviews

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Job hunting is a job in itself. If you are looking for a new role, it can take TIME. I mean a lot of TIME. It doesn’t happen over night and if it did for you? Well Congratulations! You are the exception to the rule (or you do something super specific- I’m looking at you engineers and doctors!). It’s just a part of the game and even if it doesn’t take long to land a job, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the right one either. And when it comes to getting an offer, there are so many varying factors like timing, team re-org, HR policies and just about a million other things that could get in the way of there being a match for you and a company/team/role.

It can be disheartening because of course sometimes you can get your hopes up and there is a lot of waiting involved and it may not work out. But keep the faith, things have a way of happening in better ways than you could imagine. (Though this sentiment used to bug me every time I was in job hunting mode, especially after a disappointment).

However, after years of auditioning and being an interviewee and interviewer, I have some good advice. My feedback has always been positive and I know I can credit that to my theater days of just learning to comfortable in front of people, and sometimes in awkward scenarios. Here is what I’ve learned and taken from my own experiences and hopefully they can help or give you some perspective if you are starting your own hunt.

Take Nothing Personally

There are factors that play into why you perhaps didn’t get a position and it has nothing to do with you personally. You need to make the best choice for you and a company needs to do the same for them. Sometimes the stars don’t align but dust yourself off! Don’t take anything too personally and keep that sensitivity chip at bay. It is okay to feel bummed and disappointed but don’t tear yourself a part in the process.

Ask for Feedback

Always ask for feedback on the interview. There could be some factor that is missing that you need to work on that could help you in the future. It can be totally awkward and annoying to put yourself on display like that, especially after a rejection, but if you are genuinely curious, it can’t hurt to ask.

Be Patient

The worst one and the most important. Nothing happens over night and teams take time to deliberate. Just relax, get some popcorn, and enjoy the show because it more often than not is never a quick process.

Accept

Sometimes it can be hard to keep pushing forward, especially if you are in a scenario where you need to get a job STAT! That is stressful! But it is important to get some perspective and accept your situation because that extra anxiety on top of it can actually negatively affect how you interview and your whole attitude.

Put Your Ego in Check

This is crucial. Don’t ever get too big of a head for anything. Know your worth and stand by it but be willing to listen, negotiate and take all things into consideration. You have no idea the opportunity that something can bring you so remember to not focus too much on how shiny or sexy things look on paper but more so what you can get out of it.

Always Say Thank You

Write your thank you notes, tell everyone who helps you thank you and express gratitude whenever you have a chance to. It goes a long way and creates positive juju!

Don’t be Afraid to Network

I know it can feel weird to reach out to someone who don’t often talk to and you may not want them to feel like you are using them but honestly? People are usually very willing to help! We’ve all been there and sometimes people get a generous bonus when a referral gets hired so they REALLY are happy to help!

Don’t Burn Bridges

Always play nice. The world really is small. People know each other in ways you wouldn’t expect.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Just be open. If you are having doubts about a role, salary or anything, talk to the recruiter. You want to find a position that’s right for you and it is always best to just be honest. This sort of dialogue also strengthens relationships with companies/hiring managers/recruiters and could help you down the line!

Persistence is Everything

I do this to a fault. To the point where it stresses me out completely. I always have. It’s a blessing and a curse but once it works out, I always recommend to keep at it and don’t let anything get you down. Push forward and do your part and do not get complacent. I always felt like if I drag my feet, someone could swoop my dream job and that would be devastating.

Speak Up

Say what is on your mind. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Everyone loves a good communicator no matter what role you are seeking.

Do You Research

Make sure when you go into an interview, you know what the company, team and role is about. It seems like an obvious thing but you’d be surprised how many people wing it. Know your stuff! Be impressive!

Work on Your Craft

Whatever is special about you that you can offer, work on harder. Play to your strengths, advertise them, and be at the very top of your game! There is nothing like being prepared!

….And most importantly…once you get the job…enjoy a nice glass of champagne! :o)

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