I recently received an invitation to interview for an organization I’ve submitted several applications (40 to be exact) for various positions. Finally an interview! I think this breakthrough was the result of networking. I submitted 36 applications and had yet to hear back. In the midst of submitting applications, I found a friend who worked at the organization and was willing to pass my resume on to a recruiter. This brought an opportunity to meet with a recruiter with whom I discussed my work experiences and received feedback. A week after the meeting and submitting applications for four more positions, I received the email for the opportunity to interview!
I just completed the interview which made for an interesting experience as it was done over the internet. Faced with the typical interview questions, I had to record my answers on video using my webcam. With the grace to record my answers till I was satisfied, this interview turned out to take a while because I felt the pressure to make sure my answers sounded flawless, and well, I had several takes for all 11 questions.
I’m sure the interview would have taken less time if I had been practicing. My last position as a substitute teacher had ended two months prior, and I have not spent much time answering interview questions that incorporated my new professional experiences. So my first piece of advice (and note to myself) is to regularly practice interviewing. I’m going to try to do this at least once a week.
From this online interview experience, one insight on being strategic and efficient in practicing questions is to record yourself. I was able to catch verbal crutches in my speech, as well as pick up movements I do that could be distracting to the information I’m attempting to communicate. Practicing in front of a mirror is helpful, but recording yourself will allow you to accurately hear and view how you present yourself. Make up a list of interview questions, there are many online resources (such as Vault, Wetfeet, Glass Door, LinkedIn) to help make up this list. Get out your updated resume. Then get access to a recording device, such as a webcam, a digital camera, or phone. If you don’t have one, borrow from a friend, or a local library.
Many people say job hunting is a game and it’s tough. Be strategic as you play. After all the effort that goes into applying and networking, once you receive an opportunity to interview, being able to effectively communicate your experiences and “sell your brand” is what will separate you from other well qualified candidates to land the job.
Now as I wait to hear back from the interview, it’s back to the job hunt game and staying positive!
Best to you,