I have a lot of experience with interviews…a LOT! I figure if I had to endure the torture of repetitive interviewing, the least I can do is share what I’ve learned because there were definitely many teachable moments thrown in there. I’ll be sharing these conclusions with you over a few posts (in consideration of the TL;DR folks) in no particular order:
Know what it is you are looking for upfront and make it clear to the potential employer:
Of course, before you begin a job search, you should have some idea of what it is you’re looking for. The reason for this is twofold:
- To make it easier to avoid applying to junk jobs–I wouldn’t recommend even starting to search for jobs until you’ve nailed down the specifics of what your ideal position will look like unless you want to waste a lot of time applying for jobs that you would rather give birth to tiger cubs than to accept an offer. Have a minimum salary you MUST meet? Hate working in an open office environment? Know that certain commutes from your home require frequent Xanax refills? Then let’s not apply for the entry-level job where your entire department of 50 is seated in standard sweatshop configuration that’s 2 hours EACH WAY from your house located right off of the “Tollway of Terror”, ummkay? For you, that is a junk job; let it be.
- To identify junk jobs disguised as dream jobs–It’s important that you have a painstakingly considered list of about five deal breakers that you have memorized or on your phone (there’s an app for that) or tattooed on your palm that you can refer to during interviews for jobs that made it past your junk job filter. Note: if you have more than 5 “absolutely no way Jose I’d rather rip off my own fingernails with pliers” terms then you should
talk to your therapist about about your other narcissistic proclivitiesend your job search and go into business for yourself because the flying pig for which you seek does not exist…
Let me expound more on point number 2 if I may…and I may because it’s my blog. If you discover during the opening “about our company” spiel that this job is in violation of all of your deal breakers and some that you hadn’t even thought of until then, it’s ok to let the interviewer know that you don’t want to waste anyone’s time further because you’ve determined the job isn’t a good fit for you.
If you think it’s impolite to do this, that’s ok too! You can wait for the part of the interview, near the end, where most interviewers ask “so what do you think about the position?”. This, of course, is only a good solution if you don’t have better things to do, the interview is brief, and/or you aren’t susceptible to sly sales pitches. What you shouldn’t do? You shouldn’t think that verbalizing during the interview what your deal breakers are will make it clear to all parties that you are a bad fit so you won’t get an offer and you didn’t even have to feel awkward about walking out. Let me tell you from experience, Sugar Lump, that if you are as good as you think you are and your qualifications are as good as you know they are, all they will hear when you talk about “deal breakers” is what adults sound like on Charlie Brown cartoons.
They will make up their minds that you are the best person for the job (especially if they think you’re
cheaper more affordable than others with your qualifications) and will spend the rest of the interview trying to convince you that their company is the bees’ knees. They may be so convincing that you start to waver on whether your deal breakers are set in stone. You may start to think that they could be right that it’s a “great opportunity” for you and why would they want to risk hiring somebody who is a bad fit? It’s a bad outcome for them too right? And they know more about the job, the work environment, the people, the culture, etc. than you do AND they’ve met you so surely, since they have more information than you do, they must know something you don’t. You may leave this interview, that you should have cut short, thinking about accepting an offer!
I don’t have to tell you what’s wrong with that whole situation do I? If I do, stay tuned because that entire scenario is not just a hypothetical; I was the embodiment of stupid and I will tell the story…later.
Have you gotten talked into taking a job that was all wrong?