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Advice for Job Seekers
Ever wonder why you were not selected for an open position? Ever wonder why you did not get any meaningful or constructive feedback whatsoever? Ever wish someone would just tell you in unfiltered terms what you can do better in the interviewing process? These are almost rhetorical questions but they are as legitimate as they are universal. Everyone interviewed meets the basic qualifications and some if not all of the preferred qualifications for the position. You met these requirements but you were not selected. It comes down to chemistry. What is chemistry? It’s the rapport you built or did not build with the interviewers you spoke with or met with. That rapport is a key part of how interviewers determine your fit with the organization. Whether you can do the job for the most part is answered by your qualifications and experience. Whether you can articulate how your qualifications and experience can contribute to the organization is critical. Whether you can articulate why you are interested in the actual job you are interviewing for and what you can do in that job that will contribute to the success of the department, manager, leadership and the overall organization is crucial. What problems can you solve for the department that will remain unsolved if you are not selected? Notice – it is not about what the organization can do for you – it is never about that. This is why you should never bring up salary or benefits until the final interview because it is only at that point that you can be at least mildly sure you have successfully sold yourself and your fit for the role and fit for the organization. You always have to continue to sell yourself in every interview before anyone will start to sell you on their organization. What many people forget to realize or are just not aware of is that there really is no such as thing as a “rubber stamp” interview. You should be on your A-game all the way through the process. You have to demonstrate that you can be a solid employee and contributor. You have to show that you are not completely arrogant or self-centered and therefore will be a difficult employee to work with or to manage. You have to demonstrate that you can take direction well. You have to demonstrate that you can listen as well as you can think. You have to sell yourself but not too hard because that is seen as overbearing and pushy. Pushy is bad. You have to prove you are interested in that job – not just any job or a job in general no matter what your personal situation is. You cannot come across as eager or overeager – that is a negative. These are fairly nuanced and somewhat difficult things for most people. Some interviewers are just unreadable and you have to learn to accept that. Most people do not know how they did in an interview until they are told whether or not there will be any next steps in the process. Unless it was a complete disaster, most people think they did well in interviews. But so many “signs” can be misleading. Body language, agreement, smiling and the length of the interview can all be misinterpreted. Therefore, never turn your brain off and never stop selling yourself.