Thursday, July 14, 2011

Treat every interview like the first interview

There is a quotation I really like.

“There was this super archer, eh? And, he was like demonstrating his skills at a tournament? And then all of a sudden there was this prize involved. And he missed his target because he was busy thinking about that prize.”

I don’t know the source but I have had it for a long time. It always reminds me of some job hunters and how they behave in the interview process.

They walk in the first interview with all the skills and experience to win the job. The interview goes well and they get more confident. They get asked back for a second interview. Now they are rocking and the second interview goes equally as well.

They are asked back for a quick third interview to meet the HR Director or the Managing Director. They are told the meeting is just a formality and will only last 15 minutes.

Something changes in their approach for the meeting and they don’t prepare anything because they think the job is already theirs and they are there to just meet and say hello. Their focus is already on the package they think they can get because they think they are in a strong position with the job in the bag. They just need to smile their way through this final chat.

The third interview turns out to be the hardest. The questions the most difficult to answer. Their focus is gone and the job slips away.

Every interview, however short and whoever it is with must be treated like the first interview. Even if you prepared well the first time, refresh your memory at every stage. Find out everything you can about the person you are meeting however informal you think it is going to be. Don’t be distracted by how much you might earn, the new job title or how big your new office might be.

The job is not yours until you have a formal job offer in your hand. Until that time you should not take your eye off the ball.

By Tony Haley

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