I’ve probably failed like over 20 interviews in the last year. Interviewing is vicious! Roundtables, phone, virtual, case studies, presentations, trials, etc. It is literally like climbing up a mountain, then falling off. But you don’t die. You are broken into pieces. You heal in 6 weeks, just to have to get up that mountain again! So how did I keep motivated to get up that mountain the 21st time?
I always feel better about anything by putting up the upfront work and research into a company and role. It helps set expectations for myself and put things in perspective. Some businesses have particular guidelines or ways they interview. For example, pitches, presentation, culture principles, etc. When you walk in knowing a little something something about what to expect it helps give you a good confidence boost.
Have your references/connections on deck.
My little secret weapon is to have a few connections to someone on the interview panel. I’d ask them to drop a line about me informally and use this directly after the meeting. This helps push wishy washy interviewers towards you. But selfishly it is a confidence booster. It feels great to have someone bought into your success who would do that for you.
Ask for the job.
I get the doubt off the table. Why be in angst about what interviewer thought about you? I put my big girl panties on and ask “What hesitations do you have about me in this role?” It gives me a good sense of where I stand and rids the anxiety.
Interviews don’t go perfectly. You will inevitability flub up. I like to send a follow-up email. I open with a joke addressing the flub. I also gauge the interviewer and cross fingers they aren’t the uptight perfectionist. And if they are, I don’t want to work with someone where I can’t make a mistake. In the follow -up, I may re-address a question or better yet address their doubt.
Don’t forget you’re interviewing them too.
I go IN on asking questions. References, benefits, why people have failed. The more questions, the better. Sometimes you find out that the job isn’t what you thought.
Give feedback on the interview processes.
I used to be polite and quiet when the recruiter would ask at the end of the interviews, how did things go? I stopped after interview five. I am not doing them any favors by being coy. If I felt the interviewer was ill prepared or that they were so late that I didn’t feel I had a good shot, I am sharing.
Pay it forward on Glassdoor.
I spent a lot of time preparing for interviews on Glassdoor. I was thankful that someone captured their interview and impressions of the company. So I did the same. It felt good contributing to a community even if I didn’t get the gig.
In the end, I think of the interview process as a win. Each time I make it up the mountain, I feel good about it, even if I am bound to fall and break all my bones. Because getting up the mountain in the first place IS NOT EASY. Sure I put in sweat equity, but employer’s spend tons of money and time upwards of $4,000 and 40 days on talent acquisition.
Further, you know what really kept me unbothered? According to Glassdoor, “On average, each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes. Of these candidates, four to six will be called for an interview and only one will be offered the job.”
And I made it to an interview over 20 times? That in itself is something to be proud of.