In Part I of this series, we covered what to do when you are getting radio silence from your job search. That is, you are consistently applying to jobs and networking, but these efforts are not yielding any job interviews.
In Part II, we focus on how to handle the challenge of getting multiple job interviews, which do not yield any job offers.
While no job seeker ever wants to be in this situation, the upside here is that the front end of your application strategy is working well.
You’ll realize that most of the suggested tweaks below have to do with individual behavior and not with the actual job search process.
Tweak #1. Improve Your Mindset.
Your mindset – is a mirror for what shows up in your job search. Spend time observing whether you have thoughts and beliefs that empower or disempower as you go about your job search.
Interestingly, we make decisions – buying, hiring and so forth – on our instinctual emotions. Therefore – if you bring any kind of doubt, uncertainty, desperation or lack of self-worth to your interviews, decision-makers will be able to pick up on those feelings. When these internal feelings affect your physical demeanor, they could lead hiring managers to not make you a job offer.
An important first step to take here is to grasp a solid understanding of your underlying belief system that will show up with you during your interview. Here are some common beliefs that can silently sabotage job seekers during their interviews:
- I don’t have enough experience for the job I want.
- It won’t work out because I’ve been rejected a dozen times already.
- I’m fearful that I won’t be able to deliver the success that the job demands.
- I feel like I’m a fraud and am not worth what the job is paying.
If you are confronted with any of the above internal obstacles, choose to build stronger beliefs that support what you are doing. For example, if you believe that you are not experienced enough for the job, then this has more to do with your confidence than your ability.
Sit down and start building a list of reasons why you are the right person for the job. Build at least 50 to 100 reasons for yourself until you feel rock-solid certainty that you are capable of handling this job.
These reasons, or references, include supporting evidence like the amount of time you spent getting trained for your line of work, how much money you have invested in your own development or any unique methodology or skillsets you bring to the table.
You want to gain certainty around your worth and why you are right for the job. Review your reasons and practice this daily until you land the job you want.
Tweak #2. Improve Your Skills of Building Rapport, Trust and Connection.
Focus on building rapport and trust at each stage of the interview process. Even though hiring managers are evaluating your technical competence, they also want to ensure that you are a ‘fit’ for their management style, their team and the company’s overall culture. This is a very subjective choice that boils down to a simple premise: do they like you enough to want to hire you.
It’s critical that you exude the most genuine and authentic version of yourself in your interviews. It’s also important that you up your influencing skills by listening very closely to the hiring managers’ needs and asking powerful questions to communicate that you are the answer to that need. In addition, research your interviewers before the interview and look for at least one or two things to like about them and their company. As often as possible use those things as grounds to connect on a deeper level at the start of the interview.
Tweak #3. Start Telling More Powerful Stories
The way you share your experience is very important. We recommend that you have a set of three to five experiences that you can narrate across a variety of areas. It’s ideal to know these stories inside and out so that it becomes easier to apply them to different areas such as leadership, communication, problem solving and teamwork.
Start your stories with a high-level overview of the challenge that you faced. Make the context of your story vivid by using descriptive language that captures a range of emotions within your listeners. Interviewers will remember the vividness and details of how you describe your experience. Explain the actions that you and your team took and the specific results that you accomplished from the decisions you made.
Embrace the failures you’ve had – show how you’ve grown from them, and importantly, always connect these failures back to how the growth from your failures will allow you to do the job at hand. Connect your stories back to the role that you are interviewing for.
Tweak #4. Wear the Consultative-Seller Hat in the Interview
It isn’t uncommon to hear back that the company chose to move forward with someone else because he or she had more experience. This feedback worries job seekers because they believe that this means they lack the experience to do the job.
However, many job seekers fail to fully demonstrate their readiness for the role, because they neglect to ask quality, in-depth questions about the job. Quality questions are those that elicit the real frustrations, needs, pain points or opportunities that hiring managers are missing out on. Always ask at least three to four quality questions in your interviews.
Structure these questions based on careful research about the company with which you are interviewing. You should be prepared to sell your experience and skill set as the perfect solution to these pain points or challenges.
Tweak #5. Manage your Presence, Posturing and Energy Throughout the Interview
The non-verbal cues that you exhibit in your interviews are just as important, if not more important, than what you say. For example, you might tell the interviewer how excited you are about the job, but your shoulders are slumped, your speech is rushed and your voice is quaky. This body language tells a much bigger story than what you are saying.
Carrying your body expansively, according to research by Dr. Amy Cuddy, can help you gain access to more confidence-inducing hormones like testosterone. This can help not only with your physical demeanor – things like a firm handshake, sitting with broad shoulders – but can also unleash a flurry of positive thoughts and emotions. You will need all of these to be on top of your game during interviews.
In addition to these benefits, we feed off of each other’s energy. To benefit from this, keep your energetic vibration high by being optimistic, curious, positive – and smiling as much as you can. While your interviewers may be stern and stoic, it doesn’t mean that you must show up that way as well.
It is an incredible feeling when you get job interviews rolling in from your dream companies. However, it can also be frustrating and disappointing when these interviews do not result in job offers. Understand that if you are consistently getting interviews but no job offers, then it might be time to make some tweaks to how you are showing up to the interviews. Focus on the quality mindset you are bringing to the interviews, develop compelling and concise stories and start asking more questions that uncover what the hiring manager is really needing in a new hire. These tips will help you to build a deeper connection in your interviews, as well as help you to know how to best manage your energy and presence during interviews.