Storming the Job Market

[Based on the book 'The job is yours' (in hebrew)]

The article provides professional tools to help you cope in a competitive job market. It focuses on preparations for the job interview, which are divided into two main stages:

1. Preparing to contact the organization and contacting the organization.
2. How to cope with the interview process and how to conduct yourself after the interview.

As such the article is divided into two parts:
Part A, which follows below, deals with preparing to contact the organization, contacting the organization, waiting for a response, preparing for the interview, arriving at the organization and waiting for the interview to begin.
Part B deals with the interview itself, the nature of the conversation, typical questions, asking the interviewer questions at the conclusion of the interview and waiting for a response from the organization.



Preparing to Contact the Organization

Recommendations carry substantial weight in the job market. Talk to people you might list as references and ask for permission to pass on their names if necessary. Don’t catch them by surprise. Make sure they are willing to recommend you wholeheartedly. If they give you an evasive answer try to find somebody else. You can hold onto warm letters of recommendation but keep in mind they now carry less weight. The letter you present will always be positive (otherwise don’t present it). Some bosses tell employees who are leaving their jobs to write the letter of recommendation themselves and then the boss simply signs it. A recommendation is much more real when given in a conversation with the potential employer.


Study the organization you are applying to as well as the position in question. This can be accomplished through several means:
First of all, surf the Web. Chances are you will find information on most large employers. Write the name of the organization in one of the large search engines and the information will appear on your screen. Of course you will also find information on the organization’s site or special informational sites such as business information organizations, employer organizations and archives, which are similar to those in daily newspapers (particularly, but not exclusively, in the financial section).


Speak with people who are familiar with the organization, people who work there or worked there in the past, or with people who can refer you to them. Visit the organization anonymously if possible. This is easier in a large organization since many people come in and out. (Today it is harder because of tightened security.) Such a visit will teach you how to arrive, which will be useful to you in assessing whether the job suits your needs. It will also help you arrive at the interview on time, which is important in and of itself.


If the organization did not offer a job to the general public and you are making contact on your own initiative, communicate in a manner suited to your personality. For instance, see whether you can come in to speak one of the figures involved in hiring. (You’d be surprised – sometimes such daring pays off. More often at small organizations, but sometimes even at large organizations, too).

If you are not so bold or this approach is infeasible (e.g. the security personnel will not let you in without an appointment) there are many other channels available to you: Internet, mail, e-mail, fax, phone, personal connections, leaving your resume at the reception/information desk, etc.


Respond to the employer in the manner prescribed in the notice – by phone, mail, e-mail, fax. Even this initial contact needs preparation. For example, if your initial contact is by phone, prepare for the conversation by rehearsing by yourself or even simulating the conversation with a person you know well who is suited to play the role of interviewer. Before you call the organization have the relevant documents in front of you along with the list of questions you prepared, questions you’ll want to pose to the person on the other end of the line.


Constantly remain aware of interpersonal relations: Remember the name of the person you need to contact as well as the person who arranged the meeting. If that person is the one who receives you when you arrive at the interview you will have chalked up more points. Check whether anyone on your list of references knows the potential employer you will be speaking with. Generally the recruiter prefers to speak with a person he is familiar with. That way he knows who stands behind the recommendation and he does not have to ask a stranger to do him a favor by answering questions about you, thus the conversation with the person giving the recommendation will be more relaxed.



Contacting the organization

Now you are ready to contact a certain organization offering a job of interest to you.
If the job notice states you can make contact by mail or phone, call only if you feel confident in your ability to conduct a conversation by phone. This is a quicker way to reach the organization (compared to mail) and you will be able to stimulate interest in your candidacy without an intermediary.Call from a landline. The sound quality is generally better than with a cellphone and is certainly better than a cellphone in a moving car. Make sure you are in a relaxed environment since the conversation can be a bit stressful anyway. Also be sure the room is quiet. Noise from a television set or energetic children who have to be hushed will not help you. Have a sheet of paper and a pen ready to list information for subsequent contact and have your appointment book open. If you have a tendency to become nervous, prepare your opening lines in writing and practice them. Speak matter-of-factly and respectfully, even if the person you are speaking with has a lowly job in your eyes. If his superior assigned him this task, he will influence your advancement in the hiring process. Treat him accordingly. Do not try to steer the conversation. Allow the person representing the potential employer to lead it. Otherwise you are liable to come across, not always justifiably, as a nudge or a domineering person. Toward the end of the conversation confirm what has been decided and the details you have been given, such as the time and place of the meeting, how to get there, when to call, etc.


If your initial contact is in writing, the process is more under your control.
A phone conversation will invariably be led the person representing the potential employer. In writing you have all the time you need to decide what to write. Do not send a resume without a cover letter, i.e. a letter explaining why you have the special ability to man the position successfully. If, for example, the job requirements mention the importance of the ability to work as part of a team, do not simply make a general remark about your wondrous ability to work as part of a team, but rather include an example of how this is manifested, which will make an impression on the recipient of the letter and set you apart. If you were to receive a letter like this, wouldn’t you be impressed?

Keep in mind that many people (interviewers are people, too!) who receive a letter that does not address them personally are liable to feel the writer is not speaking to them, but to the function they serve. Try to be human (yet maintain an appropriate degree of formality).

To avoid coming across as conceited, do not boast about abilities that are not relevant to the job. If the notice says, “Experience in a multinational corporation preferred,” note your experience in such a corporation, but do not add that you graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude. Even if it’s true and you are very proud of the fact, satisfy yourself with the knowledge it is listed in your resume and keep the discussion of it for the interview, if you are called in.

Gather additional documentation of relevance, such as certificates, letters of recognition and samples of your work. Have quality passport photos ready, too. Some employers will request them. Consider sending in a flattering picture of yourself (flattering, not knock-your-socks-off) on your own initiative. This will transform you in the eyes of the person reviewing your documents from an anonymous figure to a person of flesh and blood. This is relevant information because in many professions outward appearance carries weight. And in general people are curious to know how the person behind the resume looks.
Do not inundate an organization that takes an interest in you with too much information. For example, do not send recommendations with your first letter. Note that they will be provided upon request. Likewise your references are entitled not to have their name and number sent out in every direction. Use the same approach with your certificate of excellence. One certificate, if it’s relevant, should suffice. Five is wearisome, even if you are an outstanding candidate.

Keep a copy of the letter you send. In general you should make a point of documenting all stages of action. This can only help you and save you a lot of time. 


Waiting for a Reply from the Organization

You applied at the organization, now what? In many cases you will not receive a quick reply. There are several reasons for this: A. A large number of applicants. B. Candidates who applied before you and who may be perceived as more suitable. C. The company is waiting to receive further applications over the course of the period a newspaper ad is running (generally a few weeks). D. The company is waiting to gather the desired number of applications before examining them.

If you applied in writing call 4-5 days after sending your resume to insure it reached its destination. At the same time find out when you can expect to receive a reply. If the organization does not meet the timeframe within which it promised to send you a response, allow yourself to call two days after the designated date to verify what became of your application.

Some organizations will not send any reply. This is unprofessional and nobody is justifying it, but many of them face pressures that prevent them from sending a response. In most cases it stems from the heavy workload on the recruiting apparatus, disorganized work procedures or a combination of the two. Try not to get offended by the failure to reply. In most cases it has nothing to do with you.
However there may be cases in which the failure to reply is because of you. After a glance at an inappropriate or sloppy resume they may no longer have a desire to devote more time to the sender.

In summary, just as in other areas, a little assertiveness won’t hurt. Most people contact the organization through accepted channels, but there are those who contact the managers directly, including the CEO. You may encounter a polite refusal (or no response at all), but sometimes you will be surprised to what extent people respect assertiveness and open doors up to you.

Note: Continue applying for other positions. Do not stop and wait just because you applied to a place that is especially tempting. There is no certainty you will be hired. Keep applying constantly and continue your job search until your first day on the job.



Preparing for the Interview

Do not prepare just for the interview process itself, the peak of your first direct meeting with the organization, but also for the environment in which it operates. This type of preparation may include taking the following actions:


- Study the organization’s hiring and screening process. At large organizations decision-making processes are generally slow and protracted because an set procedure is being executed rather than having a single individual make the decision regarding hiring and the hiring terms. Familiarity with the system will contribute to your self-confidence and make it easier for you to make your way through the process.


- Try to find out who will be interviewing you, his status in the organization, his potential connection to you (personnel/human resources director, direct supervisor, etc.) and even personal characteristics (which may have been manifested, for example, by people who have been interviewed by him in the past and with whom you had an opportunity to speak).
Although a professional interview is not supposed to be affected by these elements, not all interviews are strictly professional and oftentimes are influenced by irrelevant factors. Be prepared.


- Based on the information you have gathered try to anticipate which questions you might be asked in the interview, and prepare for them. You should also prepare the list of questions you will want to ask during the interview. Try not to open with questions related to pay and working conditions.


- Think about your appearance in advance. What kind of an impression do you want to make and what will you wear? Set aside clothes before you go to bed. Make sure they are clean and neat, otherwise on the morning of the interview you will be rushed and irritated. Preferred attire: solids.
Go over the copies of the documents you sent. You don’t want to contradict them during the interview.


You can also rehearse the interview in front of the mirror or with somebody close to you who knows you well and studied up on the organization and the people who will be interviewing you. The knowledge that someone is a part of your mission adds to your self-confidence, which will improve your performance in the interview.


Arriving at the Organization and Waiting for the Interview

Arrive on time. Take into account morning traffic jams, trouble starting the car, the possibility of having to look for parking, buses coming late, etc. Better early than late. If you came late nonetheless, apologize and offer a brief, matter-of-fact explanation.

Examine your surroundings. Don’t sit down and start reading the newspaper. Survey the waiting room, the way the employees conduct themselves and how they treat you. All of this teaches you about the organization and plays a part in determining how much you would like to become a part of it.

Take note of the interviewer’s professionalism. For example, does he preserve the interviewees’ discretion by preventing them from meeting one another as they come in and out? Does he take a break for a few minutes between interviews (to process the information he received and prepare for the next interview)?
This information could affect how you conduct yourself during the interview. Perhaps you will have to be more dominant – in a subtle way, of course – than you had planned to be in order to help him carry out his not-so-simple task: evaluating your suitability for the organization and for the job.


Be nice to everyone you meet. First of all this is more human and will create a relaxed atmosphere that will help you, too. Secondly, after you leave you don’t know what an experienced interviewer will ask the receptionist who you ignored somewhat or treated condescendingly because she’s just a receptionist and you’re vying for a high-ranking position. Sometimes that same receptionist who watched you getting ready to present yourself was the one who tipped the scales in your favor – or against you!

If you are kept waiting, wait patiently. Bring things that will help you wait calmly, such as appropriate reading material. A candidate who arrives prepared with suitable reading material (a daily paper is better than a comic book, a classic novel is better than a light weekly, etc.) will always make a better impression than someone who waits idly or looks around for something to read.


Turn off your cellphone as soon as you enter the waiting room. You are liable to forget to turn it off when you go into the interview and if it rings you’ll feel very embarrassed, especially when you start rummaging around frantically to turn it off (don’t even dream of answering in the middle of the interview, although such phenomenon have been known to occur).

If you answer the phone while waiting you will have to speak loudly or even shout, which is uncouth, disruptive and shows you do not hesitate to take over a space and bother others. This lack of consideration will not help you in the least.






 Second Part

The following is the second part of an article on job-interview preparation specially written for Jobnet. The first part discussed contacting the organization and this second part focuses on the interview process and steps to take after the interview.

The Interview Itself

Feelings and body language – Try to stay relaxed. No tragedy will befall you if you don’t get the job. Amazing success stories have been told and have yet to be told by people who did not get hired for regular positions, went on with their lives and eventually achieved great things. Use the restroom before you go into the interview and don’t drink a lot before the interview. You don’t need another source of stress.
Concentrate on the task at hand – to present yourself and your abilities well in the interview – but keep it in proportion. Always keep in mind getting hired does not depend on you alone. Even if you make a great impression nothing is certain. There are other candidates, company politics and sometimes in the middle of the screening process the company decides to freeze the manning of the position. When you try to present yourself in the way best suited to the organization always remember to be yourself.


Be aware of preconceived notions. Both you and the interviewer have them and they can influence the way the interview is conducted. Styles of dress, background, body language, etc. Be aware of your outward characteristics and the impression they make and try to temper their impact. For example, if you grew up in a disadvantaged neighborhood, stress how you successfully coped with the environment and even helped others. You held an unimpressive job post in the army. Connect this to a health problem (one that is irrelevant, of course, to your ability to carry out the job being offered).
Keep in mind that you have already made a good initial impression, otherwise they would not have called you in for an interview. Now they want to have a better look at you. Remember this when you step in for the interview.


Display confidence – in accordance with the circumstances. Remember that you are on the interviewer’s turf and your future is in his hands. Except for certain exceptions, in this situation he has superiority over you. Even if you converse openly, which is the way it should be, the underlying messages should be clear to both of you, especially you. Don’t act like you’re in charge.
Do not use superlatives when talking about yourself and do not try to present a perfect image. Remain focused all the time on your abilities that are relevant to the job. Present your skills and abilities with judiciousness and humility.

If the interviewer receives you as you enter the room, step in first only when he invites you to do so and wait for him to offer you a seat. Do not make your own decision where to sit. If he is seated when you enter the room, sit when directed to do so.

Sit erectly, but not stiffly, and avoid clasping your hands around your neck as you settle back into the chair. You’re not at the pool. Appear comfortable, but not overly comfortable.
Do not make rapid, jerky movements. Don’t gesticulate wildly and in general do not get overly excited. Be aware of your speech and gestures. Moderate your behavior. If you are peppy by nature practice controlling your body movements. This will help you relax and it looks better. Be pleasant. Convey congeniality, optimism and restrained enthusiasm. In the end you will be working with people and it will be easier for you if you convey these qualities.


Some interviewers will not show respect for your time. For example, they will answer phone calls and apologize to you. This is unprofessional, but try to restrain yourself. If it gets out of hand, in a pleasant manner without any anger suggest rescheduling the interview out of consideration for the pressures on the interviewer, not because you feel imposed upon. Not every interviewer is trained in interpersonal relations and not everyone will accord you the respect you deserve. Don’t be quick to feel insulted by an amateurish interviewer. Keep the goal of your meeting in mind and try to advance your objectives. Still, set limits. Don’t let anyone step all over you.


Conversational Manner

If you are offered a drink ask for a glass of water. This does not place an imposition on your hosts, but you will be able to wet your mouth during the course of the conversation. Do not light a cigarette or ask if you can smoke. At best it won’t hurt, but it definitely won’t help.

Don’t be too saintly by volunteering information on your weaknesses. Let the interview uncover them – that’s his job. Tell the truth. You don’t have to tell all, but you do have to tell the truth. First of all the alternatives are unethical. Secondly, if you get hired your working relationship will be founded on a lie. Thirdly, most lies are eventually exposed, certainly over an extended period of working relations.


Answer questions matter-of-factly, even those that may be embarrassing to you. In many cases they are justified and the feeling of embarrassment arises only because the interviewer did not have the sense to pose the question in a tactful manner, or the source of the embarrassment lies in you and your personal circumstances. For example, the question, “What kind of work does your husband/wife do?” is embarrassing if you are in the middle of divorce proceedings. Yet the interviewer merely wanted to know, perhaps in a slightly roundabout way, how you manage with two small children if both of you work unconventional hours.

The interviewer may query you about your last job, particularly if it was in the same field the present organization is involved in. Do not rush to volunteer information. First of all, it is unethical to reveal internal details about your former employer and secondly, the interviewer may think you have a loose tongue that could one day damage him as well.

In response to questions that sound overly invasive you can gently say you don’t think it would be fair on your part to pass on this information and explain why. This answer may frustrate the interviewer for a moment, but clearly in most cases he will respect your integrity. 


Never malign other people, even if they deserve to be denigrated. Touch on the problem, not the people. If you had a bad boss don’t say that, but you can describe a situation in which you did not see things eye-to-eye. Let the interviewer judge who was right and who was wrong.

Be aware of the interviewer’s body language as he listens to you speak. Do not wear him out. Many interviewees feel at ease during the conversation and talk too much. An interviewer may feel uncomfortable interrupting. Do not get caught up in yourself and in enumerating your attributes. It is important to pay attention to the interviewer’s reactions.


You’re allowed to feel nervous. You’re only human. You can even say this to the interviewer. He will generally accept this with empathy and may even feel more fondness toward you. He will feel you are on unsteady ground compared to him and will permit himself to be accommodating and help you overcome your nervousness.

You can jot down notes during the interview, but not in a way that will interfere with the flow of communication. It’s best to ask the interviewer if he does not object and explain why you are doing so (for example, points you may want to bring up later in the conversation).


Do not rush to answer questions immediately. If you were asked an involved question you can take a few seconds to think before you speak. Tell the interviewer you would like to think about your answer for a few seconds so he does not get the impression you swallowed your tongue. Try to find out, based on the interviewer’s remarks and questions, what his goal is, where he is leading to and what he is trying to find out. In this kind of conversation not everything is out on the table. The interviewer will want to expose things you may not feel comfortable discussing openly. Try to figure out what is important for him to know and stress this in your remarks. For instance, if he asks, “How important to you is openness at a place of work?” the issue is probably important to him, because another worker may have disappointed him in this matter.


Common Interview Questions

From the outset of the interview you may be asked to tell about yourself. This requires that you speak at length rather than giving just a brief reply. It allows the interviewer to look you over and decide in which direction to steer the conversation.
Not every interviewer knows how to make the most of this question/request. Nevertheless, don't plunge into an autobiographical survey and don't ask what he means or where to begin. Relate who you are at present: your profession, education, place of employment and achievements. Try to stress elements that might be relevant to the job to which you have applied – relevant experience, a reference from the interviewer's field of work, etc.


"Why did you stop working at your last job?"
This can be an embarrassing question but it is important to the interviewer because it tells him about your needs, expectations and even your personality. If you left because you couldn't get promoted any higher he will assess whether he can meet your expectations for advancement. If you didn't see eye-to-eye with the new supervisor the interviewer will want to evaluate whether you will get along with the designated supervisor (whether it is he himself or another person at the company). This will also familiarize him with your personality and temperament. Changing jobs is a routine and legitimate matter but oftentimes it is mixed with emotions.Don't focus on the feelings that were with you during this process; instead present matter-of-fact reasons. If you prepared for this question it need not put you on the spot.
The following are a few legitimate, acceptable explanations: A new boss came, bringing his loyal secretary with him. You outgrew your former position, anticipated a promotion and somebody else got promoted instead. You moved. Always remember not to denigrate or criticize. Stick to the point.


"What did you not like at your former place of work?"
This can also sound like a provocative question because it invites criticism. But a good interviewer will want to assess whether these characteristics are present at his company and will play a part in your suitability for the job.
In this case as well do not slip into criticism and denigration. Instead focus as much as possible on concrete elements that are legitimate to dislike and even are legitimate to find at a place of work. For example, because of the size of the company there were numerous procedures that made the work process slightly cumbersome (and you have already discovered this is not the case at the company where you are interviewing). Or because the company was small there was almost no room to advance (and you have already discovered this is not the case at the company where you are interviewing).


"Why did you choose to apply for this job?"
This question tells the interviewer about your needs and expectations and constitutes a central element in every attempt to make a match between job and jobseeker. Try to make sure you have specific points to present. Don't say, "I just happened to see the ad and thought it could be right for me," but "Professional development is important to me so when I saw the ad I spoke with a friend who worked here and he told me you invest considerably in professional guidance. I felt this might be right for me."

Chances are good you will be asked to present your attributes. This will make it easier for the interviewer to identify them and will allow him to evaluate character traits such as humility or arrogance, self-confidence, pride and self-awareness.
When you lay forth your attributes be sure to give illustrative examples. You are likely to be asked to state them so be sure to prepare in advance. Focus on attributes that are relevant to the job. Persuasiveness is important in sales and less important in technical secretarial work. Orderliness and organizational skills are important in administrative work and less important for members of a development team.

If you are asked about your faults you should present a fault that is also an attribute. Instead of liar - diplomatic. Instead of stubborn - a person who sticks to his opinions. Instead of unthinking - spontaneous. If you add the word "too" to every trait it will make it sound negative enough, yet not ruinous, and you will be perceived as a candid person who is aware of his weaknesses. (Perfectionist, invest too much in your work - are these negative traits? Perhaps to your wife, but here they might be seen in a positive light. What's wrong with a pedantic bookkeeper?).

In presenting your attributes you can present faults that are not relevant to the job, i.e. an underdeveloped sense of humor. Many interviewers see in the description of your faults your aptitude for self-criticism as well as help from you in determining your shortcomings, which is part of evaluating your suitability for the job.

If you present real shortcomings professional interviewers will greatly value your self-confidence and ability to judge yourself. But you must also take less skilled interviewers into account. Try to adapt your approach to the situation at hand.

At this point we must stress the following: Under no circumstances do we advocate misrepresenting yourself or creating a false impression. First and foremost this is unethical and of course will not help because eventually the truth will come to light - certainly in long-term relationships such as working relationships. All we are suggesting in the above recommendations is to create a situation in which you try to prevent the inexperienced interviewer from generating a skewed impression, not that you try to deceive an experienced interviewer (which generally will not succeed) or a less experienced interviewer (even if you do succeed, it is just in the short term)!


Another question might be, "What is your former employer's opinion of you?"
You must keep in mind that if he considers you a serious candidate chances are almost certain he will contact this employer and really will ask about his opinion of you. To ensure your reply is not far off the mark you should speak with your former employer and ask him openly what he thinks of you. If you pose the question in a mature and matter-of-fact way, in most cases you will receive a mature and matter-of-fact answer. You will also know how to answer the interviewer correctly.


"Why are you right for this job?"
You have prepared for this question and have analyzed the elements of the job offered alongside your needs and abilities. Therefore you are able to provide the interviewer with a solid answer. This is not a critical question, although it can be posed as such by interviewers who lack professionalism. They are liable to give you the feeling you had a lot of nerve to even apply for the job. But this is actually a matter-of-fact question. What they really want from you is help in evaluating how well you are suited for the job.


Asking the Interviewer Questions

Toward the end of the interview generally the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. You do, indeed, since you’ve come prepared. However, you may have already received answers to them during the course of the conversation or during your preliminary inquiries (e.g. you clarified the salary range of the job with the person who called you in for the interview). If this is the case, don’t make a special effort to come up with more questions. Tell the interviewer you had questions but they have been answered. This approach will cast you as an organized, goal-oriented individual.

If you do have questions pose them in a pointed, matter-of-fact manner. Try not to focus on pay and working conditions in the initial stage, but on the nature of the job and the opportunities for development it offers. Wait until the end to address salary and terms if the interviewer did not bother to discuss them at an earlier stage.
Examples of other questions you can ask: Who will supervise your work and how? What potential for development/advancement does the job offer? What kind of training do workers undergo? What provisions are made to keep up-to-date professionally?

Some say questions on the potential for advancement and development, if not posed properly, can create the impression rather than focusing on the job for which you submitted your candidacy you already have your sights set on your next job. Your interest is legitimate, but less suited to the company’s needs.

A place of work is a human, social environment that has considerable influence on the quality of life of managers and workers alike. Questions directed at the interviewer about the way the place of work is run, the prevalent atmosphere, company social activities, etc. will indicate you are not just the next professional coming to fill the post, but a person to whom the social environment is important.

You may not remember all the questions you wanted to ask, but they appear on the list you prepared. There is nothing preventing you from politely asking to take out the list and glancing over it. This will convey the impression you took the interview seriously and came prepared.

Allow the interviewer to finish the conversation. Some interviewers will ask how the job strikes you, especially if they are interested in recruiting you. If the job doesn’t sound right for you, state this politely. (Sometimes the job’s unsuitability will come out during the conversation).
If you are interested, don’t display your enthusiasm overtly. Say the job seems interesting and you would like to think over the conversation and take things one step at a time. Don’t give this reply in an arrogant manner! Practice replying in such a way that you sound matter-of-fact and polite. If the interviewer tells you when you will hear from them  – great. If not ask him when you can expect to receive a reply.


After the Interview

Reassess the organization and no matter what – continue your efforts!
Analyze the information you have gathered so far, both formal and informal. Place it alongside your list of expectations and desires. Assess whether the job comes reasonably close to meeting the important parameters you set for yourself.
For instance: Wage level and benefits, opportunities for professional growth, how interesting the work is, the staff you would be working with, the personality and professionalism of the superior and the job security the organization has to offer.


Assess the quality of the organization. Would you want to spend a significant portion of your day at this organization? Keep in mind that a place of work has a decisive impact on your quality of life. The way you were treated in every stage of the hiring process reflects the organization’s level of professionalism and the atmosphere that prevails there. If you were treated condescendingly and coldly during the recruitment process chances are this kind of treatment will prevail after you are hired as well. Pay attention to the warning signs that pop up along the way. Do not be blinded by your eagerness to find work.


Analyze the interview and do not be led astray by the way it went. For example, an inexperienced interviewer might show you he was enthusiastic over your candidacy. Take this in proportion and do not start celebrating prematurely. Remember in many cases he is not the only person making the decision. Keep in mind that he may be insufficiently trained and his assessment of whether or not you are suitable for the job is not accurate. You should also ascertain whether the job is suitable for you to avoid disappointment if you are hired. Most of all, check whether the interviewer’s enthusiasm over you did not encourage him to paint the job in pretty colors to entice you. Inexperienced interviewers tend to do this unknowingly when they want to recruit someone who appears to be an attractive candidate in their eyes.

Don’t stop looking for work during the two weeks they told you to wait before receiving a final answer. You may find your good feelings about the job misled you. Even if they were not mistaken the circumstances at the organization may have changed and now they are considering the possibility of eliminating the job. Meanwhile you sit back complacent and smug, sure the job is yours, and lose two weeks of valuable job-hunting time.


Prepare yourself emotionally to cope with rejection and keep in mind every failure is a possibility for something new and better. This maxim is not merely meant to encourage you, but has proven true on many occasions. Keep in mind in many cases you were rejected for a certain position not because you were of insufficiently high caliber but for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with you. Don’t take a vacation to sink into self-pity. Continue trying to apply to other positions from the same day you receive a rejection notice.

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