How to break the get-the-interview-but-never-get-the-job cycle

Nov 25, 2014

Are you one of those graduates that keep on getting job interviews but never get offered the job?

It’s probably not your fault. It’s just that you haven’t been properly taught how to interview well.

One of the reasons most people don’t interview well is that very few of the interview opportunities they have actually lead to a job offer. Sounds simple, but that means they have less experience of interviews that lead to job offers than interviews that lead to rejections.

In other words, a graduate can go along to lots of interviews and still perform poorly at them all, as going along to lots of interviews does not necessarily mean that you will be good at them. You may be good at getting interviews but not good at actually succeeding at them.

How to break the failed interview cycle

So what is it that you need to know to break this get-the-interview-but-never-get-the-job cycle?

People get jobs when they can convince the employer that they know what they re talking about, have the necessary skills to do the job and they can fit in at the company.

There are graduates who look great on paper but when they turn up for the interview they fail because they are weak in this area. Perhaps they try to wing it; perhaps they talk too much about the wrong or irrelevant things. Perhaps they allow their nerves to get the better of them because they are sitting there thinking more about why they won’t get the job than why they will.

This is one of the reasons why after working with in excess of 500 graduates we launched our online learning tool, to help graduates with this very key and specific skill. Given its importance, it’s a matter of great surprise to me that it is something that is not taught at school or university in a way that actually helps graduates to break down the constituent parts.

Since an interview is little more than the need to gather together and communicate very specific information, the secret is preparation. If you can prepare yourself well for the interview you have more chance of improving your interview skills.

Preparation will help to ensure that you

  • Answer questions about your hard and soft skills well
  • Answer questions about why you want to work for the company well
  • Demonstrate that you have a real interest in the position, company and field

One of the overlooked truths about being well prepared for your job interview is its ability to direct and focus your attention on what is most important. When you know that you are well prepared you will spend less time worrying about whether you are going to answer questions well enough or not.

You will spend less time thinking about whether you are going to get the job or not. Your mind will be filled with useful knowledge about the company and the position and how your skills prove that you were made for this role.

Another outcome of being well prepared is that it will help you to build up your knowledge and expertise in and around the company and its industry. After a while preparation becomes much quicker and easier and the knowledge you have will become like second nature.

You really will become an expert and know what you are talking about. You won’t have to work as hard to try to convince the interviewer, as it will show. And that is the secret to breaking the get-the-interview-but-never-get-the-job cycle.

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