Posted by Brian McCullough
My post yesterday about why you’re interviewing and interviewing but not landing a job generated this incredulous email:
“Your first point is ‘What was the employer looking for?’ Well how am I supposed to know that? If I knew that I would have gotten the job!”
To which, I have to answer equally incredulously: What?!
My post yesterday was largely about paying attention in an interview and using the data you glean from the experience to improve your chances at the next interview.
Part of that paying attention is trying to get a sense of what the employer is looking for… so you can make a compelling argument that YOU are what the employer is looking for.
If you’re not doing that, then what do you think you’re there for? If what you’re saying, dear reader (I’ll not put your name up) is that you’re not even trying to read what the employer wants, then you’re really not paying attention at all. And that might be the reason right there why you’re not landing jobs.
So, let me belabor this point:
Did You Give Them A Reason To Hire You?
Cause that’s really what the job search is all about.
Interviewing is not a process where you go in blindfolded and just cross you fingers and hope for the best. It’s a negotiation… a two-way street. An interview, if you will.
I’ve said before that no one hires anyone out of charity. You’re going to get hired because you fill a role… solve a problem… for that employer.
You always have to keep that in mind when you’re on a job search. You have a need to fill: you need to be employed. But the employer is not some demi-god (or goddess) bestowing their blessings randomly or capriciously. They have a need to fill as well. And you might be the person to fill it.
And so the number one thing you should be paying attention to is what they need.
The key to successful job searching is to be able to walk into any interview and identify what you think that employer is really looking for. Then you have to make the case as best you can that you are absolutely the right person they’ve been searching for all this time.
And as I mentioned yesterday, every failed interview gives you some data to improve yourself and your approach to an employer.
So take a long, hard look at every interview. If your pitch doesn’t work the first couple of times, keep refining it. Like anything else, practice will help you improve. One day you’ll reach the interview where you can say, “I can see exactly the sort of person you’re looking for in this position, and here’s why I’m that person.” And that’s probably the interview that will lead to a job.
If you’re not aware enough to try to figure out what the employer wants, then you’re really not paying attention.