Tag Archives: Job interviews

Positive Job Seeking Strategy In Negative Times

In the news just about every day, we see major companies cutting back drastically on their working staffs. The search for a meaningful job in a poor economy can be exhausting and depressing. However, as it applies to everything else in life, the more difficult situation calls for the most persistent motivation.

President Teddy Roosevelt wrote about facing adversity in his famous “Man in the Arena” speech. It applies to anyone who may feel disappointed in the difficult search of finding a job:

Who at the best knows the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

Every job seeker experiences frustrating periods of rejection and failure, but there are ways to fight them and go on to eventual success. How can you ace the job interview and get on that payroll?

1. Don’t allow rejection to discourage you. If you’ve done your very best to get that job, but failed, closely examine what happened. Was it negative attitude during the interview? Did you present the best of yourself? Were you dressed properly? Did you talk too much or not enough? Then, when you get home, based on what happened, make improvements. The effort will be stronger when you hit the next interview.

2. Be positive throughout interviews, but don’t be angry and discouraged when they result in rejection. Treat each interview as a training session. The old adage applies: If at first you don’t succeed …

3. Another vintage saying may work for you: Practice makes perfect. Before a job interview, do some homework about the company and the specific job you’re seeking. Then practice your pitch with a friend or family member. Rehearse for questions you may get about qualifications, the company and how you’ll fit into the prospective job. Then, at the real interview, you’ll ace it.

4. Approach each job interview with a positive attitude and enthusiasm. It’s opening night on Broadway. The spotlight will be on, and you should be well-rehearsed and determined to be the star of the show.

Rejection happens to everyone. When 100 applicants show up for a job interview, 99 will go home feeling that all-too-familiar pain in the ego. The more highly motivated will treat the rejection as a learning experience, and find ways to make that next interview a winning one.

Job Hunt: Try All You Believe Will Work

A guy called this morning. By his very foreign accent and familiar sales pitch, it was instantly evident this was a boiler-room robocall to sell me, the typical retiree sucker, some kind of phony insurance or vacation plan.

Or worse, if he could get this vulnerable, addled-headed senior to spell out my Social Security, credit card and/or bank account number, he could instantly rip me off. However, as obnoxious as the guy was, he was applying the old technique most successful job-hunters use.

By making 50 or 100 calls a day, statistics prove he’ll hit the jackpot with two or three suckers. It only takes one good hit to empty out an old pensioner’s bank account or sell the credit card number for other crooks to run up huge bills.

You can learn from those phonies and apply the technique to honest job searches. In your own multi-call hunt, the more places you can plant your name, or better yet, your butt for an interview, the better your chances are of getting hired.

Use your computer to check out every possible job opportunity on the internet that may be for you. The same applies to jobs you see in daily newspaper ads, on bulletin boards, lists provided by your school or college career advisor and elsewhere.

Then, by smartphone, snailmail, email, fax, phone or personal visit, let the potential employers know you’re interested in the available job. And do it all in every possible way that will give you the best shot at it.

You don’t have to be fancy with that first contact with long letters, ten-page resumés, insincere career goal statements, how you starred in the school production of “Macbeth” and the rest. It’s possible that 99% of those who get your message won’t even bother to respond. Just briefly list important facts and appropriate skills and experience that fit the specific job offered. Then get it out quickly!

Of course, back in ancient times before smartphones, when I was a job seeker, I tried every trick. When I needed to get my foot in the door ahead of all the others, one way was if I knew someone already working there. I’d call and ask for a recommendation, and if he/she could help me make an appointment before the general interviewing began. It worked several times in my career, and is always worth the extra effort.

Creativity can always be a big plus in impressing the interviewer, especially if he/she will be your eventual boss. In my experience as a manager hiring new people, I always admired the enthusiastic, creative job seeker, even if he/she used unusual methods.

When I managed a 40-employee ad and PR department of a large company, we were always expanding and replacing. In more than 25 years, I hired an average of three or four people annually. I sought mostly college grads, with one or two years of workplace experience. I preferred business majors, rather than those with academic degrees.

I needed pro writers who could sell our products, not glorify a lovely morning in lyric poetry. I could always tell during interviews if the applicant had a degree in business or Shakespeare’s minor sonnets.

The non-academic, business-headed ones were always positive, finding ways to get me to see their samples and listen to pitches. These were years before the internet and smartphones, and some found my home phone number. Then, with appropriately insincere apologies, said they thought I’d prefer to talk away from the busy office.

Some just showed up without an appointment. One very bright young business major grad learned from her friend in my company when I was attending a concert. At intermission, she started up a friendly conversation with me, and just happened to bring up the subject that she was looking for a job.

I hired her, and during the next 15 years, she made it to assistant manager, manager, director, then VP. That clever job applicant eventually outranked her old boss! Jealous as hell, I was proud that I’d made the right decision in bringing her aboard.