You just finished three job interviews in a week and are still Monday-morning quarterbacking about how well you did or did not. You are analyzing every question and answer to grade your performance with the hope that you got a touchdown and will soon be on your second interview cycle with the offer letter close behind. Then reality sets in and you hear nothing for the next several weeks except the sound of your own criticism and an occasional heartbeat. What to do? Did you answer all the questions well? "Was it something I said?" "Did I say enough?" The pain and uncertainty are killing you.
Take a deep breath! One, two, three, etc. Okay, relax. Compose yourself as well as a thoughtful note of gratitude for having been given the opportunity to present your case for the job. Use your interview notes, analysis, and intuition to present three essential points for why you are right person for the job. Then get on with it. Put it past you. Get beyond the distraction. If you used well your inner voice to communicate your value proposition, the hiring manager or HR person may take note and likely include you in the consideration set for the next round of interviews (or not.) If not, kiss that position goodbye, learn from it, and move on. Here are a few other thoughts about employing your inner voice to de-stress about your interview.
1. Remember the law of averages. The more you interview, the higher the probability is that you will connect with the right opportunity that will feel right and be the right fit. Trust your gut. The sober thought is that it is going to take time to find the right fit, but it will happen. A good friend of mine just landed a job after three years on the hunt — a bear of an adventure he dares and hopes not to reprise.
2. Keep your expectations in check. If the job does not feel right, do the interview anyway for the experience. You may learn something about yourself and what makes you tick. Remember, the higher the expectations, the greater the disappointment.
3. Maintain perspective. It is only one job. In your heart and mind you know there are others. Deep down, you sensed that the job was just okay. Your heart did not race at the prospect of working for Mr. or Mrs. Big and your inner voice could care less. No big deal.
4. Recognize the chemistry. When you do get the interview for the job that is meant for you, there will be a ping of adrenalin that gets your mind racing and hopefully your imagination soaring. In this case, give it all you've got. Picture yourself in the role and let your inner voice speak about what you can accomplish and why the glove fits. Follow up with the authentic you and not some prepackaged response you got out of an outplacement manual. When the call comes, go for it. Otherwise, move to Step 5.
5. Go to step 1 and repeat.
Gerry Corbett is the PRJobCoach at prjobcoach.com and CEO of Redphlag LLC, a strategy consultancy. He has served four decades in senior communications roles at Fortune 100 firms and earlier in his career in aerospace and computer engineering with NASA. He has a B.A. in public relations from San Jose State University and is a member of the International Advertising Association, National Investor Relations Institute; Arthur Page Society, National Association of Science Writers, and International Coaching Federation.
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