You’ve been out of work for a long or a short time. You’ve been afraid to think that you would never work again, now you have actually secured a face to face interview. You might have lost your confidence while trolling through job site after job site and cleaning the house before the wife comes home. You don’t know who you’ve turned into, but whoever you were a few years back, you’re not the same man.
Somehow your resume, after numerous re-writes, has garnered the attention of someone in the position to hire you. You don’t know whether to cry in relief or rush out and charge a new suit to wear to the interview.
It might be as much as a decade since you went through this vetting process and your awkwardness may throw you off while you’re giving your 30 second summary of why this company should hire you? What should you do?
Barring everything else you should practice your opener with your wife/husband/partner, coach or a peer whose opinion you respect. You’ve been out of circulation for a while and much has changed.
This morning I was coaching a very talented middle aged man for exactly this scenario. He has worked sporadically, his wife is pregnant, and he definitely wants to be secure in a company for at least five or more years having gone through their savings and a few loans from relatives. He had all it took to land this job and he rehearsed in front of me, I didn’t believe him and what he was trying to pitch me.
Clearly my office is an artificial setting but the stakes were too high for him to walk into an employer’s office without some practice. Throughout the 90 minute session he learned a lot.
- Assuming that you’re wearing a suit that fits you well and shoes that are comfortable and
- Polished . If you are sweating make sure your hands are dry, forget the rest. Real men sweat.
- Read up on the company. You may be able to bring that knowledge into your pitch. This knowledge is expected.
- Before you leave your car, take a few very deep breaths, this will calm you.
- Be “on” as soon as you leave your car, say “Good morning” to any strangers who you may pass. (Anyone could be working in your boss’s office.) This removes your attention off your nerves and on to someone else.
- Instill in yourself the time in your life when you felt powerful.
- Check your posture. Stop bending forward, hold your head up. Now you look great!
- Remember, the interviewer might take a phone call or interrupt you. Don’t let this throw you.
- A firm handshake and good eye contact as you’re introduced.
- Don’t let yourself get lost in a large couch or chair, sit on the edge of it with your back straight.
- Start with your strongest goals that you reached in your last job. (this says you already know time management and how to work well within a group)
- Everything that you say from then on should be from the angle of “This is what I bring to the table”.
- If he doesn’t ask you if you have any questions, ask him if he has any questions about you.
It’s over. There may be more interviews or this one could be it. It’s not important. You’ve done your best, and you should be proud of yourself. Most of the time, it’s a crap-shoot anyway. How you were in the interview is all you got. The rest is out of your hands.
Just read up on the company that you’re interviewing for, and how your skill set would be a fit there. Good Luck!
John Shinavier, MA, Coach, Motivational Speaker