By Sunny Simon
Nothing makes me happier than to receive a call from one of my clients announcing all the hard work expended in creating a dynamic resume scored a job interview. My first reaction is to offer up some hearty congratulations. What happens next is fairly typical. Candidates tend to surge ahead by launching into a guessing game dialogue. Worries come bouncing through the phone lines as they try to evaluate whether the commute might be a hassle or if the starting salary will be generous. At this point I dole out a bit of sage advice I gleaned long ago from one of my mentors. I remind them there is no decision to be made until an offer is on the table. Those words put the entire scenario into perspective.
Scoring the job of your dreams is a discovery process. Upon being selected to interview, the next step is simply to prepare for the meeting which is an exchange of knowledge and ideas. Preparation is imperative. I urge candidates to be confident and bring their “A game” to an interview but I also counsel, and this may sound counter-intuitive, that a certain degree of emotional detachment is prudent. Avoiding the urge to fast-forward to the bottom line of “if they pick me should I say yes,” eliminates stress and relieves pressure. By staying in the moment inhibition melts away and you become relaxed, sincere and interesting. The interviewer will view you as totally engaged and your stock will rise, helping to eliminate your competition and propel you to the short list.
Whether you feel lukewarm or over the moon about an opportunity to meet with a potential employer, take full advantage of the invitation. Job interviews are rarely a waste of time. When coaching clients in the job search mode I support accepting all invites to interview, even if a few negatives crop up during an initial phone screen. Most recruiters capitalize on their interview hours. The applicant may not be an ideal match for the job at hand, but it is possible another more suitable opening exists or is slated in the near future. Another advantage is increasing your interviewing expertise. Several opportunities to present your job skills and experiences in a professional setting boosts your comfort level.
You have nothing to lose and possibly much to gain if a hiring manager from a company across town indicates he wants to meet. Decision time comes later. You just scored an opportunity to learn more and practice your interviewing skills. Go for it!
Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com