As discussed in the previous series of posts, by now you’ve been working through the grief of your lost job, did some soul-searching, identified your skills and job desires, polished your résumé boilerplate and customized it to fit each job opportunity, networked, and now you’ve landed a job interview for that job you really want. What do you do?
This is where I point you back to stage one. Grief. You may still have some unprocessed grief that can make you a little extra panicked about the job interview. It’s normal. Take a moment to feel the feelings of any fear or panic and then breathe and reassure yourself that you WILL be okay if you don’t get this job. Yes, you read that correctly. Let it go and feel the feelings that everything will be okay if you do not get the job. Clinginess and desperation often repel people, so releasing any of these feelings will make you more approachable.
When you go into the interview, you may be asked a series of questions about your background and why you are the best match for the job. Some of the questions may even be ridiculous, like what kind of animal you would be in your career. Don’t worry about those. There are no wrong answers. The key is to be Genuine, Present, Respectful, and Real. Listen to the interviewer and hear the question behind the question. For instance, you may be asked why you spent such a short amount of time at your previous jobs when what they really want to know is whether you’ll be committed to the company and dependable for the long haul. If it is the job you desire (and it must be if you’ve followed the steps in this series) then you can look the interviewer directly in the eye and assure her/him that you are completely committed and would like to see yourself working with them for years to come.
This brings me to my next point. The interviewer is a human being—not a judge. Build a relationship and make Contact with them. Connecting to them as a genuine person and professional can reap rewards beyond the job. It will help you to settle in the job if you get it, as you will have an inside team member advocating for your success. Or, if you both discover the job is not a mutual fit, you can still ask for their assistance, referrals or even work with them down the road.
To recap, being Genuine, Present, Respectful and Real leads to making Contact – which provides you with one of the most essential skills the U.S. Department of Labor says is needed in today’s global economy. To aid your memory, your interview and “people relations” formula for success is: G+P+R+R=C
Sometimes contact gets broken because of other factors, like power struggles. People tend to fight for their turf and want to feel that their sense of worth isn’t being trampled by a new person. Interviewers and managers can also suffer from such struggles—especially if they’re new at interviewing or managing and not very confident in their own skin. They might tend to overcompensate and act controlling or micromanaging. If this is the case, you might want to utilize some proven power struggle cures. They are in my new eBook, Ten Keys for Staying Empowered in a Power Struggle, which many are praising as a powerful tool for curing conflict. You can access it at www.TenKeysToPowerStruggles.com.