|Treat every conversation like it's an interview!|
Answer: Any time you open your mouth and begin talking -- if you are looking for a job!
Many job seekers believe they are only interviewing when they are sitting across from a hiring manager or HR recruiters. Not true.
When you are looking for a job, any time you talk to anyone, you are interviewing. It's that simple.
Because you never know where a conversation will lead.
You never know who the person you are talking to knows or what they know. Sometime, you don't even know who they are! Happens all the time:
(1) The person you casually talk with each morning at your bus stop is actually the head of Human Resources at the company that has continuously ignored your calls and e-mails.
(2) The elderly neighbor who always smiles and says hello is the mother of the VP of the bank you want to work for.
(3) The network referral whom you hurriedly and half-heartedly prepared to meet over a coffee is in fact golf buddies with the director of research of one of your target firms. Depending on how you impress, it is his choice whether he will be moved to make a referral! You get the idea! So, . . . .
Consider every interaction during your search an interview. Be prepared with business cards in hand, "L"vator speech in mind, and best foot put forward as you:
- Attend association meetings
- Attend your job seekers' support group
- Send an e-mail
- Drink coffee and eat doughnuts after your religious service
- Cheer on your child's little league team
- Participate in your neighborhood homeowners' association . . . . . You get the idea.
When you are interviewing, and you're always interviewing when searching for a new job, follow these tips:
● Change your way of thinking
- Develop an interviewing mindset, realizing anywhere you go, anyone you meet, is a potential lead to a new job or role.
- Develop a sales mindset, realizing when you are job seeking, you are in sales, selling your abilities as potential solutions for a prospective employer's needs.
● Let your "L"vator speech roll off your tongue as easily as saying your name.
- Get comfortable delivering your "L"vator speech - short, mid-, and detailed-version, depending on who you are talking to.
● Stay in touch. Get back to people you meet briefly, or in-depth, with both thank you's and information updates on your progress and the role they played in your progression.
● Ask for referrals. This keeps your network growing and with it the potential to find leads to your next opportunity.
During your job search, to use a fencing term, be en garde! Hone the message you want to deliver as you talk to and with people. And, remember,
If You're Talking . . . . . You're Interviewing!For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found under the Articles tab of the AJC–Career Strategy website.
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