The interview blues


Some of my fellow students on the course I did last year are suffering an attack of the interview blues. They seem to be getting shortlisted for jobs, but not making it through the final interview. It’s hard to remain resilient when you keep getting no for an answer, especially after all the hard work, nerves and preparation that go into the process.

One thing to bear in mind is that finding the right job is generally a long haul. The authors of a recent article in the Harvard Business Review (Groysberg & Abrahams, Jan/Feb issue, 2010) reckon that inadequate research is one of the five key ways executives bungle a job move (the others being leaving for money, going ‘from’ rather than ‘to’ a job, overestimating themselves and thinking short term). Making a career decision which turns out to be a mistake is costly in terms of stress, time and money.

Trying to reframe the interview process as an opportunity to learn is easy to suggest and hard to do, I realise. But if you ask for feedback, you are hopefully gaining something positive from the experience to take forward. If that feedback provides you with the knowledge that a particular skill (eg presenting, numerical reasoning) needs brushing up, then it may be worth addressing by reading, coaching or practice. Even more usefully, if you gain a degree of self-awareness, the experience has been valuable. A coaching conversation with a trusted friend or professional coach may help to gain further insight.

For sound general advice on shining at interviews, see the Times online

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