Interviewing? Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Control

Posted on February 12, 2009 on EmploymentCrossroads.com.

Worried woman.So you’ve got that big interview for a great job.

You know exactly what to do — research the firm, dress appropriately, bring with you everything you need (including a pen and extra resumes), show up on time.

The interview goes great. You’re confident and have answers prepared for the toughest questions. You’re able to show off your knowledge, your skills and your personality. You get a great vibe from the interviewer(s). The meeting is actually fun.

It’s your best interview ever!

You go home, send a thank you note, and then wait. You worry — did you come across as confidently as you felt? Did you say anything foolish? Did they really like you?

Then the bad news comes — they gave someone else the job.

The worries turn into self-incrimination. Obviously, you did screw up, right? Or you would have gotten the job!

Wrong. You gave a great interview. You couldn’t have done any better. The fact is, when it comes to getting a job, there are far too many factors outside of your control.

Maybe it was a so-called “courtesy interview,” and they never had any plans to hire you. Or they might have already chosen someone internally, but company rules require a certain number of outside interviews.

The position might be canceled, or delayed. And of course there’s office politics. Mr. Smith wanted to hire someone last year, but got shot down — so now he’s sabotaging Ms. Jones’ attempt to hire you.

The truth is, you have no way of knowing what’s going on behind the scenes. All you can do is give a great interview and hope for the best.

It’s hackneyed but it’s true: accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.