By Dustin Walker, MEd Practicum Student
You purchased a brand new outfit, got a haircut, brushed your teeth AND flossed, used every lint brush in the house, showed up 15 minutes early, gave your all to the interview panel and then…nothing. Seriously?! Relax, this happens to the best of us. Sometimes it has nothing to do with you, and sometimes it does. Here are some things to do once that rejection email comes through to keep going down that path to finding a job.
- Throw that outfit away, it didn’t work. Kidding, or am I? Sometimes we think we are prepared and dressed appropriately, but it is important to do your homework on best interview practices and dress code etiquette. This depends slightly on the position you are applying for, but generally business casual is the expectation unless you are applying for a leadership position. These positions typically demand business attire, and it is important to make that first impression right off the bat. If you aren’t used to dressing up and you start to put on professional clothing, it can feel uncomfortable, but walk with confidence and own the place in the best way. As the saying goes, "dress for the job you want, not the job you have."
- Your resume opened the door, but your personality is going to take you even further. We can get caught up in giving a standard response to some of the questions being asked during the interview process, but interviewing can be a challenge not just for you but also for the people interviewing you since it can get monotonous. This is a great opportunity to add your personality to your responses so that you stand out. Maturity is obviously expected, but if you can make people smile, that is a golden ticket.
- Read the room! When answering the interview questions, it is important to pay attention to body language and expressions as a way of gauging whether or not the interviewer is buying what you are selling. Look at their eyes and facial expressions because if their eyes are glazed over, they have already stopped listening to you. At this point, change gears and make sure you are projecting some personality into your responses.
- Not the end of the world. It is a bummer, and you feel like you failed yourself, but you didn’t. Take it as practice for the next interview because it doesn’t stop here. You know your skill level and what you can offer a company, so when one door closes, three more open up. Keep applying because persistence is the key to success.
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