Consider this: You applied for 100 jobs, you interviewed with 25, and you were a finalist in 4 positions. One company cancelled the position. In the 3 other jobs, you lost out to someone else. This is frustrating, depressing, and makes you think you are never going to find a job.
What could be in the way of the Yes?
Let’s examine some of the potential issues:
- Are you being defensive when asked about tough questions?
- Do you need to fine-tune a skill set?
- Are you marketing the right skills?
- Did you do your homework on the company?
The tough interview question issue
I have found as I work with clients, everyone has at least one question that makes them squirm. It may be the gaps between jobs. It may be the short-term jobs. It may be being fired. It may even be a criminal record. Whatever the question, it is how you answer the question in the interview that makes the difference. For example, the short-term job question. If asked specifically about an issue, be ready to answer but don’t put out answers for questions that weren’t asked. You may assume they have issues with short-term jobs but the reality is that for some companies and some hiring managers, they may not even be concerned about short-term jobs.
If they ask in the interview, then be ready with a simple, non-defensive answer. 2007 was the beginning of the recession, there were many industries hard hit during that time. A simple answer to the question of “Can you explain why you have so many short-term jobs?” may be “The (fill-in-the-blank – your industry) was hard hit during the recession. Company A hired me and then decided to change direction. Company B hired me and then dissolved. Company C eliminated the office here and my job with this office.” The key is to be confident with your answer and think it through. Being defensive will convince the interviewer that you have something to hide or there is a bigger issue.
Fine-tune your skill sets
While you are seeking your next job, spend some time researching what is desired by employers for the jobs you really want. If you know that the other candidate interviewed had a certification in X, go find out how to get that certification. Yes, that could cost money but it would pay back in the long-term. Read job descriptions. Find the commonality between them and if it is a certification, find a qualified provider of that certification and go get it. You may have to spend some hours studying but the pay back will be a new job, possible higher salary, and promotability in the future.
Are you marketing the right skills?
If you know who you lost out to in the interview or you know friends or colleagues who are landing your dream job, check out their LinkedIn profile and find out what key words they are using in their profile. Add those words to your profile. Study up on those skills so you can confidently discuss them in an interview. Practice them if possible.
Did you do your homework on the company?
Sometimes in the flurry of trying to find that next job, you forget that when you get that first phone interview, you should be doing extensive research on the company and getting ready to answer questions in the context of what the company does. The more well-versed you are on the company, the more likely you will move forward in the interview process. You need to let them know you care about them.
Learn something from every NO
The key is to learn something from every NO you get. If you do that, you are that much closer to the yes.
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