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Interviewing is a skill. Unfortunately a lot of candidates don’t get enough practice and are nervous and out of sync when they walk into an interview for the job of a lifetime. Don’t be that candidate! Get some interview experience. Role play with a friend or industry peer. A lot of MBA programs have interview “speed dating” where you interview with a number of prospective companies. You can also interview for a job you don’t want and use it as an experience. Great experience and you might be surprised at the result…either you may want the job after all or you may find more joy and be more engaged at your current job when you go back into work.
1. Map it out! Don’t be late! Be sure you leave enough time for traffic jam or other delay.
2. Be about 15 minutes early. If it is a first round interview you may have an application to fill out or other paperwork.
3. Think back to a successful meeting or event from your past. Research has found that if you get in the mood of success you will be more successful in the interview. Think of a day when you hit it out of the park and you increase your chances of doing it again.
4. Stand up or Sit up! Candidates that had proper posture where viewed more favorably by hiring managers. Also, keep a calm demeanor when sitting or standing…don’t fidget.
5. Shut off the phone. Don’t even pull it out to glance at it to pass the time. If you think you are going to have some down time in the interview and you want to seem busy review your resume, a copy of the job description, or company material (portfolio/flyer, products, or print outs you made while doing homework on the company… news, website, etc).
6. Stand up to introduce yourself or when someone new enters the room.
7. Ask questions! Have quick questions on hand. “If someone is successful in this role what are the top areas do they need to excel?, “What are the main obstacles to success in this role” etc… Think quick questions that don’t have a simple “Yes or no” answer.
8. Wrap it up! When answering and interview question. Follow the simple format…tell them what are say, tell them, and then wrap it up. Be sure you have a tone and demeanor of conclusion….you eliminate that uncomfortable moment of “Are they finished can I talk?” for the hiring manager.
9. Take notes right after the interview so your follow ups have the correct spelling of every interviewers name and have impact.
10. Follow up! And do it within 24 hours. Email is required. In addition a handwritten or short letter is an extra bonus.
Your dream job may be out there! Be sure you have the interview experience to really show up on that day. I wish you success!
How long does it take to get a new job?
A frequent question by new job seekers is the length of the process. The average time from when you send out your resume till when you start the new role is about 8-12 weeks. This is an average. I have roles filled in as little as 3 days and as long as six months. Every situation is different but here is the run down on estimated times that add up to the 8-12 week average.
1. 1 week to a month for sorting resumes. The job is posted and you apply but companies will wait until they have a few candidates lined up before starting the process.
2. 1 week to a month for setting up first round interviews. A phone interview can speed up this process because they are easier to schedule than a face to face interview.
3. 1 week to a month for second round interview. Almost always a face to face interview with a number of interviewers.
4. 1 week to a month for referencing, constructing the offer (which usually has to be approved by a number of different departments), presenting the offer, acceptance, resignation, two weeks of work, and start date.
There are a lot of variables that can lengthen the process such as additional rounds (I have companies go to six rounds), scheduling difficulties, and negotiations. This is all best case of a real job that a company is motivated to fill. With the state of the economy companies have been using people in cross functional roles covering vacancies are not as motivated to fill roles.
How can you speed up the process? Be available. Scheduling is big factor in the length of the process. Also follow up after every conversation. It keeps you in the front of their minds and shows interest. If you haven’t heard anything after an interview and have sent a follow up send a quick note every week for 3 weeks (Enjoyed the conversation & just want to show my continued interest in the company). News grabs are also great for the “continued interest” follow up such as a press release on strong quarterly numbers (great news! I admire your organization). You can also try to network with contacts you have at the company. Be patient but engaged in the process. If you are truly interested in the company readily jump through any hoop they present and you will increase your odds of landing the role.
As we all watch the news out of Boston instead of focusing on the act focus on the good. In the victim’s time of need literally hundreds of Police, Fireman, EMTs, Race Volunteers & Participants, Bystanders, Doctors, and Nurses rushed into the fray to help. They are Heros who walk amongst us everyday and we are blessed to have them. In the weeks ahead we will hear stories of hope and healing from the survivors. Doctors, Nurses, Therapists, and Clergy will be there to comfort the grieving and help to heal the victims. As with previous acts of cowardice in our great country everyday citizens will open their hearts and wallets to aid those effected. Police and the FBI will work tirelessly to turn over every rock to bring the cowardly insects to justice. And they will be brought to justice.
It is up to the rest of us to keep moving forward and keep running our race. It is the ultimate revenge against their cowardly acts. To enjoy this great country and live our lives. God Bless America.
Old fables are still applicable to today’s hectic lifestyle. The Flight of Icarus has three great lessons to consider. Icarus had to leave the island of Crete knowing there was not a future for him there.
To grow sometimes you have to go. As we all reach those times with our job, it is time to go if we are going to grow. But it is difficult, you stand on the precipice wanting to fly but old habits and comforts of a place we have called home hold you back. Fly, it is a great feeling. I can recall walking out of one my old companies after turning in my resignation literally feeling like a weight was lifted off my shoulders…floating. Don’t be afraid to fly. One lesson.
Have great mentors. Icarus had his Father, Daedalus. Daedalus was a remarkable craftsman and wise man. He was a great Father also, he wanted something better for his son and knew that Crete could not provide that future. He helped him prepare for his journey and gave him great advice including “don’t fly to close to the sun”. But he didn’t listen and ended up in the sea which now carries his name, the Icarian Sea. Keep a core group of mentors, positive people who want you to be the best you can be so you know your path is the correct one. As a Recruiter I try to be that mentor, lifting people up to a new future. Lesson two.
Don’t fly to close to the sun. We all want to strive to be the best at what we do but don’t lose focus of what is important in life. If you are pushing to hard and it is costing you your health or your family it is time to level off. Don’t worry you are still flying, moving forward, but know your limits and take the time to catch your breath and enjoy to view. Don’t push to hard and enjoy the view. Lesson Three.
Let’s make today count!