Job hunters fall into two categories – those who have a job interview lined up, and those who will.
It’s natural to be keyed up or nervous before meeting new people to discuss important things…more so if that important thing happens to be your future and livelihood.
If you haven’t interviewed for awhile, or if you have experienced some rejection, the stress can be overwhelming. In fact, I know people who have deliberately cancelled an interview, just from stress and nerves alone.
While I am not qualified to discuss these issues from a psychological perspective, I can give you some ideas that will help you MINIMIZE pre-interview stress, and help direct your energies the right way.
I cannot stress this enough – the time to be preparing for that interview is NOW. That’s right, I said NOW. You don’t have an interview scheduled you say? That doesn’t matter because you will…and if you are listening to your coach, it will happen sooner rather than later.
FIRST – Plan on succeeding. That’s first on your to-do list. If you can’t make yourself do that, it will be a long job search…probably make for a long and unfulfilling life too, but that’s another topic.
Next – after you have spent some time assessing yourself and what you have to offer an employer, spend even more time figuring out a simple, direct way of communicating that to people.
Think it out and write it down until it flows and makes sense. Then read it out loud. Too shy to read to a family member? Talk to your cat or parakeet…you’ll know if it’s working or not.
If you have been paying attention to my blog for any amount of time, you should note that the outcome of this exercise will also form the basis of the opening segment of your resume…you must understand that everything you say and write must agree with each other, or you will be sending out conflicting messages about yourself.
You need to figure out, write down and internalize:
1)Three things you want them to know about you the most.
2)Three GOOD questions you can ask of everyone you talk to.
3)Answers to the questions you fear them asking about you.
This exercise does one crucial thing – it answers the dreaded “TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF” question.
If you have answers ready to go that are real and sound natural, you are ahead of the game. If you initiate discussion with your questions, you will vault yourself to the upper echelon of candidates, but the questions better be smart, not something that can be easily gleaned from the company website.
Why should you consider leading off with questions? They make the interview more about them, and less about you. They also tell the interviewer that you “belong” in their world.
You might be wondering why I advocate writing down the questions you most dread receiving in an interview…simple…so you don’t stammer and sound evasive when asked to explain you being out of work for a year. Always tell the truth, but be direct and business like…remember, you will deal with stressful issues and people on the new job, so be aware that you are being judged by your responses to questions that stress you.
Being able to pull this off requires “think time” and “study time” and actual work…which is why I say – start now, before you have anything lined up. This way, when you do get the call to come in for a chat, you will be fine tuning for specifics related to the company, not constructing a strategy from whole cloth the night before your interview.
Preparation is how the professionals make it look easy.
Until next time,
All the best, Coach Tom
PS: I avoid specific examples due to the fact that I couldn’t possibly cover every background and scenario of interest to my readers. A coach’s role is to help you APPLY this knowledge to your specific situation, so if I can be of service, my contact info is below.
About Coach Tom:
Thomas Patrick Chuna is a certified Five O’Clock Club job search coach and experienced independent recruiter specializing in molecular oncology research scientists & MD’s.
The Five O’Clock club is a nationally recognized outplacement firm with a proven job search methodology that helps job seekers get better jobs faster.
Learn more: http://www.fiveoclockclub.com http://www.patrick-international.net