Job searches are, without a doubt, draining. And, given the nature of today’s shortened employment tenures, all serious careerists are in constant job search mode. The tasks that are part of a comprehensive job hunt are overwhelming.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could cut corners? Even just a little?
While I would be the first to tell you to not burn yourself out trying to do everything, the thought of skipping critical steps is a concern. Preparing sufficiently for an interview is one such critical step.
So why is this so important?
1. It will give you good talking points that will solidify in your prospective employer’s mind reasons why you are the right fit for this job.
A few months ago, I was working with a client who found out about a job opportunity through networking. The big plus for her was that, in addition to having a friend who referred her to the position, she was also acquainted with the owner of the business.
We met the day before her interview, did a mock interview, and discussed what answers were good and which ones needed tweaking. I also mentioned that there might be a possibility that she would be offered the job on the spot and how to handle it if that was the tone of the interview.
After the interview, my client called me to tell me, “I’m pretty sure I got the job! During the interview, she kept talking about what I would be doing like I already had accepted it.” She went on to say, “[My future employer] did ask me some questions that we had talked about yesterday. I was glad that we had worked on them because I could answer them well.”
Sure enough, a couple days later, she was called with a formal job offer and a start date.
Was my client a shoo-in for the position? It sure looked that way before her interview, but her preparation gave her the opportunity to completely confirm that she was the right candidate for the job.
2. Overconfidence is not an attractive trait.
Clearly, if a job seeker feels that s/he doesn’t need to prepare for an upcoming interview, there is a degree of confidence in the expected performance. Problem is, the confidence that is leading a person to not prepare could come across as overconfidence in the interview.
Are you going to get hired if you come across like a conceited diva? Probably not.
3. You might not be as much of a shoo-in as you think.
Yes, using your network to find out about openings and working your connections will all help you land a job. But unless you are a mind reader, you can’t know with 100% certainty that you will be offered a job. What if you make a really big gaffe at the interview? It happens, and jobs that have been thought to be “sure things” have been lost as a result.
You also will probably not have any idea who your competition is. Could there be another candidate under consideration who also networked his/her way in? Absolutely. Could there be someone who is an expert in this field who is also interviewing? Maybe.
The point is: there is no iron-clad guarantee that you are going to receive a job offer. Choosing to forgo interview prep simply gives a bigger advantage to your competition, no matter how much of a shoo-in you may think you are.
Image courtesy of Peachykeen103
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