By Shea Ki
Most of us dislike being told no. Even though the economy is starting to return, the chances of being rejected from an employer after a job interview are still high. It can make even the most well qualified person feel less certain of how to shine at the job interview. For those with less experience, it may seem there is no real opportunity to get a foot in the door into an enjoyable career.
I've heard these comments from clients recently:
"It seems like they all want years of experience and I just graduated. How long will I be stuck waiting tables? I can do so much more."
"It's overwhelming what is out there about job interviewing. I googled it and over 2 million links popped up. I got depressed and found myself in a tub of chocolate mint ice cream instead."
"I struggle when they ask me questions that I do not know yet. It zaps my confidence right away."
I know that when given a chance, each one of these incredible jobseekers will be high performers and do a great job. After working with them for several weeks, I discovered some common gaps in their interviewing skills which are holding them back.
Here are three things you must know with STRONG certainty to increase your chances of making a winning first impression. Whether you are at a networking event or in a job interview, these tips will get you faster to hearing "yes, we want to see you again".
1) Know your value. Without much professional experience, it can be easy to fall into the common trap of believing you are not good enough for the job.
You are not common, but a uniquely talented individual with much to offer the world of work and beyond.
Start catching yourself when you hear thoughts in your head that say you do not have what it takes to get hired at a job you will enjoy.
How else do you show that you know your value?
Need some stress relief right now? Watch this movie clip and know that you won't be this bad:
2) Know the company's goals. You probably would not go on a date without looking up something about the person you are meeting. If you do not do your homework about the company you want to work for then you can expect an awkward and unsuccessful interview.
As an Upgrader, remember your time is valuable and you want the best experience possible in all that you do.
How else do you show you know the company's goals?
3) Know when and how to follow up. Take the time to slow down, reflect on your interview, and write a genuine message. So many skip this step or send a rushed, generic message after their job interview.
As an Upgrader, you enjoy it when you get even more extras than you expected. So do employers. They do not want you to check back in too often, but they are impressed when candidates follow up with style and attention to detail.
How else do you show you know the best way to follow up?
Without these "knows", you will miss your chance to hear a "Yes, you're hired!" Instead, "No" may come as a phone call noting that "you're not the right fit at this time" or the polite form letter that shares it was a "competitive process but you were not selected." The message will usually not come as a brutal rejection letter, although the loss of not being chosen can still feel harsh.
If things don't work out, you may be tempted to throw in the towel or crawl back into bed and watch Netflix for weeks. Rejection is hard. It takes endurance on the tough days to remember the world needs your talents and strengths.
I am certain as you continue to upgrade your interviewing skills and discover what lights you up, you will succeed.
YOUR TURN: What are you certain about that is needed to succeed at a job interview?
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Most of all, believe in you.