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Job Hunt Update   Leave a comment

So I told you all a bit ago that I had put in for a new job that I had to go take a typing test for.  I took the test and scored well over the speed requirement.  Because of the score I got on the typing test and the skills test I took at the same time I moved on to the next round of the hiring process.

Today I completed that round, which was an interview panel.  So for today’s blog I thought I’d give some suggestions on how to do better on an interview.  Now of course I won’t know for a bit how I did in regard to moving forward in the job process but I can say right now that I did do a good job on the interview.

First thing to keep in mind is going to be an obvious one.  How you dress.  As you walk in your appearance will be the first thing they judge.  It gives a sense of how seriously you take the hiring process.  I chose to wear a nice set of clean and ironed khakis and a long-sleeved, button up shirt, with polishable black shoes.  Why did I pick that?  You should aim for something slightly more formal than you’d wear on the job.  For that place the employees can dress in jeans and polos.  Very casual business casual.  My outfit would be at the upper end of business casual.  It showed I was serious about the job without overstating it.  Wearing a suit would have been overshooting the mark and could work against you if you’re better dressed than the people doing the interview.  It can come across as snobby.

The second thing to keep in mind is your answers are your answers.  Right or wrong,  good or bad, those are the answers you gave.  So give them with confidence.  Giving an answer with confidence at least tells the interviewer(s) that you believe in your answer.  You didn’t just babble on to get an answer out.  That was the answer you wanted to give.  It may not have been the one they were looking for but they’ll appreciate the fact that you owned it.  Confidence is an attractive quality.

Speaking of confidence, be mindful how you sit.  Slouching or leaning back in the chair makes you seem disinterested and possibly slovenly.  The impression will be that you’re not taking the interview seriously.  Leaning forward toward the panel can also be problematic as it could be perceived as challenging or aggressive.  The best posture is to sit up straight, knees slightly apart with your hands on your legs.  It’s a dominant stance and exudes confidence.  It’s ok to have your hands up and moving to make points or gestures that are germane to what you’re saying as long as you’re not just moving them without purpose.

At the end of the interview you should remember to do two things.  The first is to thank the interviewer (or panel) for their time.  It’s polite and shows respect.  That means the last thing you’re doing will be leaving a positive impression on them.  The second thing you should do is pull an Elsa and let it go.  The interview is over.  There’s no point in second guessing your answers at this point.  There’s no point in worrying how you did.  None of that will change what just happened.  Having said that if you can review your performance without beating up on yourself that’s a useful thing to do.  But getting on yourself for not having the “right” answer or assuming you failed the interview is counterproductive to moving forward.  You did your best, be happy with that.  Besides, it’s silly to beat yourself up over an interview that you haven’t even found out the results for.  Which will be even more silly if you get the job.

The final thoughts I’ll share relate to if you find out you didn’t get the job.  When they call you with the news that you didn’t get it thank them anyway.  You look magnanimous for doing it and it leaves a bridge there in case there’s another opening you can apply for in the future.  Also, if given a chance, ask them if they have any feedback for you about the interview.  It gives you information on how to improve your performance while letting them know you’re all about improving.  That’s a win/win.

Finally, remember it’s the results of a job interview, not a commentary on you or your life.  They had to pick one person and it didn’t happen to be you.  That doesn’t mean you aren’t qualified or were a bad choice.  Think of it this way.  A McLaren P1 can roast a Bugatti Veyron in a drag race.  Does that make a Veyron a bad car?  Of course not.  It’s still smoking fast, the P1 is just a bit faster.  You could still be an excellent candidate for the job but if they can only hire one person and there was someone slightly better than you, it’s not a negative reflection on you. Being a Veyron is ok.

With that I’ll remind you to stay positive, keep looking, and have a great day.  Peace.

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