The Ultimate Guide to Stop Sucking at Job Interviews

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Rejection and failure suck. For this reason, anything you do where there is a possibility of being rejected or failing sucks. It makes sense to think that job interviews suck.

You probably think that it’s only you that suck at interviews and that everyone else does fine at it, but that is not true. Check these facts:

  • On the average, each job opening attracts 250 resumes (Glassdoor)

  • Only 2% of applicants will get an interview (Glassdoor)

  • On the average, it takes 22.9 days to finish the interview process (Glassdoor)

  • You can check more job interview statistics here

What these mean is that the interview process sucks for most people, and it’s only great for a few. And even for does that end up getting the job, they still have to wait at least 3 weeks for their anxiety to end.

To make things worse, and add up stress and anxiety to this situation, 62% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account (MarketWatch). This means that for at least 21 days, all these applicants will be draining their savings account and only a few will stop the bleeding soon enough.

The rest will have to ask for loans or start piling up credit card debt to make ends meet. And let’s hope that no emergencies happen (like my unexpected Achilles tendon injury) to make things worse.

At this point, we can confidently say that it is crucial to figure out how to get better at this whole job interview process thing so that we can avoid long periods of stress and anxiety due to the uncertainty that this situation brings.

So what can you do to stop sucking at interviews?

 

Embrace the Suck or Go Home

 

If you think looking for a job sucks… can you imagine what that same situations feels like for an international student?

I was well aware of this challenge when I was an MBA student. I knew that I was climbing a steep mountain and that I was going to face a lot of challenges. For that reason, I made training harder than the actual battle.

The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.
— Richard Marcinko, Rogue Warrior

To prepare for combat, I started minimizing the opportunities of employers having an easy out to not consider me as a candidate. During those 2 years, I made the MBA program (and any related activities) my top priority.

The truth is that I don’t get along well with formal education. During most of high school I used to calculate, at the beginning of each school year, the minimum grades I would need on each test/assignment to just pass the course. Later on, during my college years, I dropped out for a couple of years and was very close to not graduating.

Yet, I accepted this challenge of being an international student and through obsessive and disciplined execution I was able to graduate at the top of my MBA class (Outstanding MBA Student Award Spring 2017), and land an amazing job. 

So, what did I do different this time around and how does that relate to crushing job interviews to get the job you want and deserve?

This will NOT be an overnight transformation. It took me 2 years, and a very desperate situation to make it happen. It had to succeed at this “get a job thing” or go back to Venezuela and face the hardships of the current dictatorship regime.

Yet, I will be able to save you some time by sharing what worked for me (so that you can copy that), and what didn’t work for me (so that you can avoid that). That way, you won't have to wait 2 years to get that job ;)

There are many foundational aspects that you should take care of first, like setting goals and creating empowering habits. But I will assume that you already took care of those strategic aspects and what you need is tactical and actionable advice.

 

Improving Your Job Interview Skills

 

The first thing you should do is to get a couple of informational interviews under your belt. If you don’t know what informational interviews are you can download this free e-guide that will guide you step-by-step through that process.

Basically, an informational interview is a practice interview. You contact someone and ask to meet so that you can get to know more about an industry or a particular company. At the same time, you will be practicing your interview skills (how to prepare, ask questions, handle unexpected questions, etc.) without the pressure of needing it to go right so that you can get the job.

This is the equivalent of a pick-up game or sparring. You still need to do your best, but it is not directly related to your chances of winning (getting the job).

To execute this process with precision, you will need several things:

 

Stay Organized

 

You need to start getting your calendar organized so that you know which days you have available for informational interviews and so that you can ALWAYS be in time for those (and by “in time” I mean AT LEAST 5-10 minutes earlier).

If you click here, you will see the planner that I’ve been using for the past 3-4 years. I like it because it has the regular planner pages with each day and several time slots for each day, but it also has space for you to add to-do lists, goals, project management, etc. (this space will be valuable so that you can add reminders to follow up after the interviews, etc.).

 

Not Scare Away Your Interviewer

 

Nobody wants to have a long conversation with someone that has bad breath. The problem is that most often, we don't realize that we have bad breath until someone tells us or it’s so bad that we can see it on someone else’s face.

For this reason, I have breath strips in several strategic places:

  • Inside pocket of each of my suits

  • Work suitcase/bag

  • Bedside table

  • Car glove compartment

  • Several spare ones at home

The one in the car, here in Texas, might sometimes melt and look weird but they will still do the trick so keep it there for emergencies.

 

Always Show Gratitude

 

To get the job, you MUST stand out. Remember that for each job opening the company will receive at least 250 resumes. Sending a handwritten Thank You card will ALWAYS do the trick.

Also, don’t trick yourself by thinking “I will do it when it is the real job interview” because you won’t. You MUST create this habit. The truth is that it takes a while to get used to writing these cards and not messing them up with a typo or knowing what to write without sounding too robotic or fake.

Start practicing by sending a thank you card to the people you meet with for the informational interviews. If you click here, you will see the ones I use. I like these because they are simple and professional.  

 

Are You Ready to Stop Sucking at Job Interviews?

 

The truth is that job interviews, or any other situation where failure could occur, will never stop sucking. We just get better at dealing with those situations.

Nowadays, I don’t have to deal with job interviews because I have an amazing job at Elisha Consulting. But I am constantly having meetings with prospects, presenting proposals, and going through contract negotiations. These are all uncomfortable situations that I now look forward to because I have a process to deal with these and I have also seen the results of what happens when you do things right and win.

Yet, all these tactics that I’m sharing with you will only work if YOU DO THE WORK too.

We have helped many succeed with their job search and take their careers to the next level and because of that, we are confident that, if you apply what we shared with you, you will be successful too.

If you click here, you can check some of the case studies of the people that have gotten jobs by applying our processes.

How bad do you want to get that job? If you are serious about not draining your savings account and eliminate the stress and anxiety this situation is cause you then you should:

With these, you are ready to start practicing and be ready to crush your job interview.

Have you had success with other tactics?

Feel free to share in the comments.

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