Here is the easiest, and least stressful approach to finding work opportunities, applying, and then getting through the process of getting interviews and then job offers. Tell your story.
The easiest way to make it through the nerve-wracking days before a big interview is to have a plan to Be Yourself. In practical terms, here is a checklist that will help.
- Is your resume 100% accurate and truthful?
If it is all true, then you don’t have to worry. Talking about your achievements and experience will come more naturally (practice helps too). Creating success stories is the easiest way to practice talking about yourself in the context of work.
- Are you a fit to the job? Do you feel you could do whatever is asked of you?
If you somehow got a job interview and you aren’t totally qualified, but you want the opportunity. Disclose your weakness at the start of the interview in a positive way before you are asked about any weaknesses or concerns. Say something like “I can do 90% of this job and the other 10% I may need some guidance” You may be surprised that this honesty gets you the job!
- Are your references on board and aware you are on a job search?
References like an ex-boss usually want to help you succeed. Talking to them on a regular basis will make you feel more confident about yourself and that they will say good things about you. As a bonus, your reference may have some job opportunities to tell you about.
There are lots of other suggestions such as meditation or relaxation techniques. My opinion is that if you aren’t regularly doing these things, just before an interview is not the best time to start until everything else is already prepared; from your 3 second resume (bring 2 clean copies) to interview tips and success stories.
Sleeping and eating well. Dressing up. All good.
Here are some more tips on how to reduce the fear and anxiety of a job interview from Undercover Recruiter @undercoverRec and Casey Fleischmann @caseyjfleisch
Have you thought about coming to the job interview with your success stories
You only have 3 Seconds to let someone know “What You Can Do for Them! On a resume, don’t waste the space above the fold with your career objectives, your volunteer work, or even your education. Get to the point! Show your experience, show your results, show your fit with what they are looking for
With a Success Story, you demonstrate communication skills, in addition to talking about your achievement.
A few thoughts about job interviews; before during and after
So why aren’t you getting the interviews? The answer is so simple its crazy.
A Job Seeker needs support and encouragement but a job group is the wrong place to get it – anyone at a job club who gets a job will disappear so fast they won’t even leave a vapour trail. Why? because they are happy to brush off the stink and misery of not having a job. That’s the truth.
There are different Candidate “mindsets” around getting a Hiring Manager to offer you an interview. One mindset is “I could be really good in the job, and if they just gave me a chance, they would see” This mindset is usually accompanied by a resume that is generic, and not customized to the opportunity…Another mindset is built around improving your statistical chances of getting the interview. It involves more working and less hoping.
Here is a short list of lackadaisical job seeker behaviors:
1. Returning calls days later rather than hours or minutes later.
2. Losing self control in conversations and either talking too much or not answering questions.
3. Spending the majority of time at home applying for jobs online.
4. Sending out mass emails asking for help.
5. Finding escapes from working at it, such as television or shopping or golf.
6. Attending group networking events, job fairs, etc.
7. Wasting time and precious energy blaming a boss (or the economy or a spouse or others) for the current situation.
Get Out of Your Own Way. You have to make it easy for a Hiring Manager to figure you out in the context of what they need done in the job. Make a decision. Are you in love with your resume? or in love with the idea of getting the interview and a job offer?
Typically people apply for jobs in one of two ways. They send in an online application based on a posted job opportunity, or they take advantage of their network of connections and send in their resume. In either case, a job seeker should keep track of every time they apply for a job. Why?
The face to face interview provides the interviewer with the opportunity to obtain detailed information about the job candidate’s feelings, perceptions, and opinions while being in the position of clarifying any ambiguities in their responses and pressing for answers to incomplete responses.
Your job interview is over, and it went on for a long time, and you think its a match! Sometimes this is true, but more often than not, a long interview doesn’t mean you have the job. Many Candidates have told us the interview went on for a long time and was great, and when we talk to the Client, there isn’t any serious interest in them.
Getting a face to face interview is hard, and if you manage to get one, whether its short or long, consider being prepared for the moment when you are asked… Any Questions?
The first five minutes of an interview are critical; of course there are the first impressions about you, and usually the interviewer will share the key requirements of the job and their goals for the person they hire. Listen carefully! and make notes if you can. This will help you later when you are invited to ask questions.
Probably towards the end of the interview you may be asked… Any Questions? The best way to ask the questions is to first start off with a thank you for the interviewer’s time, then get outside your “internal script” and the thinking of everything I have done and switch over to what they want… “What I Can Do For You!” Your questions should capture the key requirements they have already told you, and drill into:
- “Are there any concerns about me from my experience or today’s interview that would prevent you from hiring me?” – Its direct, but you get an opportunity to clarify or fix issues that you won’t get a second chance to do.
- “What are the company’s long-term goals?’ (if not discussed) – here is your chance to get onside with “What I Can Do For You!”… beyond salary, job, hours
- “How will you measure my success if you hire me?” – You get a chance to close the distance between you, the company, the hiring manager and the opportunity. Its great for understanding expectations, and prepares you for a follow up and the rest of the interview process.
Remember, finish strong and don’t worry about risking chances with a few questions
and, here are a few questions you shouldn’t ask (also from source: Forbes)
For many of us in western society, the idea of meeting your spouse on your wedding day is ridiculous (and very frightening). Maybe the fear is strongest when your Mother or Father is the one setting up the love connection. Many traditional societies recognized the downside of having Mom and Dad setup the marriage so they use “professional” matchmakers who are experienced at making an unbiased assessment of two people, to raise the potential for a happy couple.
Can you imagine this working if the matchmaker never met, knew and interviewed both parties!? After the man and woman meet and begin a courtship, or see each other for the first time on their wedding day, the matchmaker’s job is done.
Doing the upfront work and research at modern day matchmakers like eHarmony and match.com is the central part of their business. So… when it comes to hiring people, if you are not hiring yourself, and you are relying on the experience of a Recruiter, why choose one who doesn’t do the work up front when it counts?!
A Recruiter that doesn’t do the work up front (research, interviews, testing, reference interviews), and just fires off a resume to a Client wouldn’t last very long in the matchmaking business!
“We need to celebrate the candidate in the recruitment process”
After I circulated this article to the people working with me at zenPeak, it only took a few minutes for the excited comments to come back to me.
The zenPeak approach is to “Internalize Candidates” It’s a fundamental part of our process and when you do it… everything gets easier.