It’s been a while, and you’re used to hanging out in your bathrobe and fuzzy bunny slippers, catching up on all the back episodes of Psych and Leverage and tossing out a few dozen résumés every week. Now, after months of surviving on unemployment checks and home-cooked meals, someone wants to interview you, tomorrow.
Panic time! Are your skills up-to-date enough? Do you remember how to handle office politics with grace? Does your alarm clock still work? Are your business clothes pressed? What about Psych?
Step one was given to us decades ago by the great philosopher Douglas Adams:
OK, actually, that’s Step Zero. But it’s good advice. Step one is DECIDE WHETHER TO WORK. The first thing you need to do is figure out if this job is actually worth going back to work for. It might seem a little strange, but if it’s a step down from your last position, it might be better to hold out.
Calculate how much money you’ll be making, minus gas, lunch, new clothes, daycare expenses, a fresh razor (you know you need one), and a DVR for Psych. If you’re looking at making less money by working than you are by not working (once all of the added expenses are properly subtracted) — you might want to consider waiting for a better position to come up. Of course, if your unemployment checks are about to run out, that’s a bit of extra motivation for you.
Once you’ve decided that your job is actually worth stepping up to the plate for, you can move on to Step 2: UPDATE EVERYTHING. Not just your Facebook status — we’re talking updating your wardrobe, your skill set, and most importantly your self-image. You’ve gotten used to thinking of yourself as an unemployed person, and that has to stop.
If you can afford it, go for broke and hire a coach. An image consultant can, for a couple of Benjamins, take an hour or two and help you perfectly formulate yourself to slaughter your interviewers with a first impression they will have dreams of for weeks. If that’s beyond your ability (or even if it is), you should fall back on your computer. Get your skills up-to-date and certified by taking online certification tests. You can often re-up your core skillset and get printouts to prove it in a matter of an afternoon if you put your mind to it.
OK, so your self-image is stable, you’re certain you WANT the job, so it’s time to GET the job. Time for step 3: RESEARCH! Depending on how much time you have, this can be deep, or pretty shallow. The idea behind an interview is to show the company that you will profit them, but also that you fit in. It’s time to figure out how.
If you have plenty of time, go to their building, watch how people dress, act, and move, and live it. Even better, try to get in touch with someone that works there and get an inside tip about what the management likes to see. If you’re pressed for time, hit up the ‘net again. Look up the company’s webpage, look on Google News for any articles about it, and look up their top brass by name. You never know what detail about the company’s past accomplishments, current challenges, or future direction will be the one that shows the interviewers that you ‘get it’ — but once you ‘get it’, well, you’ve got it!
This is a guest post by Kyle Simpson, a writer for Medical Coding Certification where you can find more information about a career and training in the medical field.