Have you ever had this experience playing a ball game? You feel like an
idiot the first time you play the game. You keep dropping the ball or missing
But then after several practices, you are more like the average Joe. You're starting to catch a few more fly balls or popping a few balls out there yourself.
If you make up your mind to continue practicing and playing for several
weeks, you'll find yourself more skillful than an average player. It's
the practicing over and over that gives you the confidence to be a successful
The same principle applies to job hunting. The more interviews you attend,
the more practice you get, and the better you will be at playing the game
of job hunting.
So let's say that you are just starting your job hunting. Just like an inexperienced ball player doesn't play in the big leagues until he has had a lot of practice, you should not interview at the only job in which you are interested.
But what if there is only one position I'm interesed in?
Look around for other less interesting, but related jobs to the position
you really desire. Apply for those jobs first. It is better for you to
attend more interviews (as warm ups) before you come to the big game -
the job you really want. Get the practice of interviewing for jobs that
you aren't really that interested in so that you can enhance your interviewing
What if I apply for many jobs like you've suggested, but none of them invite
me in for an interview?
This happens especially if you are applying for positions more challenging than your current one. Search for easier or more relevant ones to your existing job. It helps the potential employer see that you have related work experience and it will boost your hit rate. It doesn't matter if you are interested in them or not. Your aim is to maximize your job interviewing opportunities, and therefore, the experience of live interviewing practice.
The live interviewing experience will challenge you and help you develop the necessary skills you need for answering interview questions more successfully. The live experience will develop your interviewing ability even more than other practice techniques, like rehearsing in front of a mirror or asking your friend to role play with you.
I am sure hiring managers don't like my idea of using them as your practice coaches. But as a job seeker, you need to take advantage of every opportunity you can get to enhance your interviewing techniques. Why not take this advantage of this free source of real world practice? Keep your goal in mind, getting that perfect job. And remember, practice makes perfect!
By the way, if you haven't done so, grab my booklet "Surefire Tactics in Cover Letters, Resumes, and Job Interviews" here: http://www.itotalsearch.com/surefiretacticspage.html
From the Desk of
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