There is no doubt that the job market is getting better. Great news! Companies are hiring again, and more and more people are able to get jobs in their career fields again. And we say “Hallelujah”—but we still have a long way to go to get back to “normal.” And many good, experienced people still have to pass the final test, the job interview—lots of job interviews to be sure.
If you’re getting plenty of job interviews without any job offers, it’s time to think about what could be going wrong and what serious changes have to be made. Since you’re making it past the initial screening, the problem is unlikely to be your résumé or cover letter. That means that it could be your interview skills, something about your experience that isn’t obvious from your résumé or even your references. Here are four ways to explore why you’re not getting those job offers.
1. Check your appearance. When you walk into your interviewer’s office, shake his hand—what picture do you present to him? Are you dressed neatly for business—hair combed, finger nails cleaned and trimmed, clean-shaven? Do you sit before him straight up and attentively—making eye contact and reacting alertly to his questions and comments? These items are most important.
2. Check your references. It’s possible that your chances are ruined when employers call your references. Even if you think your references are glowing, you might be surprised to find that’s not the case. You must be sure to sound out your references before they are called, ask them if they will give you a positive reference. Some candidates have a trusted, professional-sounding friend call references and make sure that nothing is being said that could hold them back. And, remember—you must list only references who will give you positive and fair references.
3. Be sure you are preparing for interviews properly. How much time are you putting into preparing for each meeting? Please realize that the better prepared you are, the better you will usually do. If you’re not practicing your answers to likely questions, and preparing to present examples from your past work that clearly demonstrate why you’d excel at the job, this might be why your interviews are failing. Here’s a suggestion. Have a friend who has hiring experience conduct a mock interview with you and give you honest, frank feedback on how you’re coming across. In other words— change the way you prepare and see if the outcome changes. I’ll bet it will!
4. How’s your attitude? If you’ve been job searching for a while, you might be feeling frustrated or desperate. That’s a natural feeling—most of us have been there and know what a feeling it is. It is most important that during your interview you feel confident in yourself and your career abilities—and come over as natural and self- confident to this interviewer as you can. You must never sound desperate, overly concerned or in any way edgy. There is absolutely no reason to—because if this interview does not work out there will be others—and you will get that good job you want and deserve—of that you can be sure. That is the attitude you must assume at this important interview! Good Luck and Good Hunting!
Philip Kemper is Founder/President of Kemper Associates, a 38 year old Chicago-based national executive search firm, specializing in Permanent and Contract staffing for Trade Shows and Exhibits, Staging and Equipment Rental, Business Meetings and Events Production, Video, Training and Incentives and more .His more complete bio is on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/philip-kemper/2/795/308/ . You may view Kemper Associates’ web site at: www.Kemperassociates.net, and contact Phil with questions or comments, and employment needs at: Kemperassoc@hotmail.com, or his private phone line: (312) 944-6551.