The truth is that you may have very good reason for being angry and frustrated with today’s job market. But here’s the hard part – you’ve got to let go of all that before you go into an interview.
Going into an interview with baggage is like dragging a big black garbage bag along behind you and parking it next to your chair during the interview. And it is going to “stink” up the room.
Nobody wants to hear about your problems and baggage. Some people’s lives begin to sound like a Soap Opera there have been so many extenuating circumstances. And, they feel compelled to share every detail with the interviewer. Big Mistake!
The best advice I can give is to let go of those negative feelings and move on. I know it’s easier said then done. But until you resolve the issues with yourself – through one form of exorcism or another – you will carry around your bag of garbage.
If you were fired – get over it. Some of the biggest successes in business have been fired at one time or another in their careers. Being fired is not a “shame” to carry around – it is a lesson to learn from. Even if you were fired unjustly – let it go – work on it in private or with someone trained to help you – but don’t bring that anger into the interview. A good interviewer can feel hostility the minute it walks in the door.
If you’ve been in job search for more than a few weeks you may be experiencing the feelings of defeat and despair, not to mention the urge to give up. It’s been a tough year, and then some, for those who have lost jobs for whatever reason. Interviewing with no second interviews or offers coming in begins to wear thin – very fast.
Here are five rules to encourage Optimism and discourage Negativity:
1. Accept that there will be ups and downs
It’s not unusual to have highs and lows during your job search. Some days you may even feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster. Everything looks hopeful one moment with a job prospect ahead, and then it changes to dark and dismal in the next moment when you receive a rejection. Accepting the fact that this is a stressful time you are going through and that a great deal of it is out of your control will help you put things into perspective.
2. Give yourself permission to fail.
It is very disappointing when you feel like you “aced” the interview and then wait for the promised call that never comes. Be realistic – you aren’t going to get a job offer after every interview. Think of it this way, you didn’t marry every date you ever dated (at least most of us didn’t), and you aren’t going to get a job offer after every interview. And maybe that’s a good thing, at least some of the time. Remember, you are interviewing “them” as much as they are interviewing you.
3. Work on controlling stress
Stress becomes a problem when it begins to affect your lifestyle and health. Are you waking up in the middle of the night or skipping meals because you are feeling really down or upset? You may need to talk to someone who is a professional to get some advice about relaxation techniques. Park and Recreation departments in most cities offer relaxation courses of some kind – yoga, pilates, aerobics, or stress control exercises – for a nominal fee, that could assist you in getting back on balance.
4. Continue to get “out there”
Study after study published continues to indicate that “networking” is still the number one way to land a job. Take advantage of every opportunity to be with groups of people. This encompasses everything from networking online to your child’s soccer game. Informal networking can happen at any moment and when you least expect it. An example is of a man waiting for a bus. He struck up a conversation with another man also waiting for the bus and ended up getting a job lead and an eventual offer. No one can predict when an opportunity might come your way.
5. Prepare yourself
Preparing ahead of the interview will give you a definite advantage. What this means is getting focused about what you want the interviewer to know about you. You are presenting a picture of you with words. It is important to identify what makes you unique and what added value you can bring to the position. Reading through the job posting you are applying for and getting a sense of what it will take to do this job will help you look at the process from interviewer’s point of view. You want to let the interviewer know that you are the “solution to the problem,” and the best person for the job.
You are not alone. Remember, it is an extremely tight job market and that for every job opening there are four or five equally qualified candidates standing in line behind you. It is essential that you are prepared, focused, and able to tell the interviewer what makes you unique and why you are the best person for the job.
Keeping upbeat is a part of your job right now. When you begin to give into the dark side you will project that to others. You want to stay as upbeat as possible, particularly while interviewing. Bringing confidence and energy to the interview are the two most important ingredients to connecting with the interviewer.