New city = new job, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time looking for the perfect way to start my career. I think most would agree with me when I say it’s not a fun process, especially if you’re looking because you have to and not because you want to. There are hundreds of places to look for jobs and hours to be spent tweaking resumes and cover letters to perfectly fit each opening you apply for. Sometimes extra materials need to be submitted, and sometimes there are extensive online profiles to complete before you can even submit your application. You may never hear back from the majority of them. You may find out the position has been filled only after devoting hours to their application process because the open position ad hadn’t been removed yet. To say there are a lot of hoops to jump through in the job search process would be an understatement.
Fast forward to being offered a job interview. That’s great news! You made it past the first hurdle, but the race, and the stress, isn’t over. “What questions do I plan for? Will it be one interviewer or a whole table of them? Time to do company research! What do I wear? How should I do my hair? What if I get stumped by a question?”
I know others can relate to this journey (show of hands). There’s a group of people who move off an island in the Caribbean every year to a metropolitan area in the U.S. where they begin this exact process. I’ve gotten advice from the interwebs and people in real life on how to go about or cope with the ups and downs of the job hunt, but one piece of advice has stood out above all others.
When you land that job interview, know that the interviewers are rooting for you. They want you to succeed.
They invited you because you have the potential to fill a need they have. The vacancy is inconvenient for them. You would be solving a problem. I never realized how much it costs a company to go through the hiring process. It’s expensive (in time and money), and people are being pulled away from their usual tasks to sort candidates. It’s in their best interest to hire you.
Of course, you can’t blow the job interview. You have to be prepared and follow all the traditional job interview advice. But what boosted my confidence more than anything was viewing the job interview from that perspective. The more applicants they have to go through, the more time they’re wasting. The interviewers are pulling for you to do well. They want you to be the perfect fit so they can make the offer and move on.
Next time you interview for something, give yourself a pep talk before going in, and remember that they want you to succeed.
What’s the best advice you’ve received for job searching or interviewing?
Photo courtesy of Son of Groucho.