“I have heard that you are not very good at interviews. That’s okay—just take each rejection as practice. Interviewing is a skill that you can learn.”
My heart sank when Mr. Manager said that to me after he heard that I was leaving my job to work abroad in Australia. What he said had some truth to it. Interviews aren’t my best suit.
And every single time I got a rejection letter, I cried. In one 2011 study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, researchers found that as far as the brain is concerned, physical pain and intense experiences of social rejection hurt in the same way.
Guilty until proven innocent
I find that interviews are like court cases—except I am the one standing trial. The jury are looking for every chance to declare me guilty and give me the stamp of rejection.
I walk in and didn’t make eye contact. Slightly guilty.
I shake hands with my potential employer, I am nervous and my palms are sweaty. Guilty.
I stammer when I talk. Guilty.
I didn’t have a good answer to the interview question because my panicky brain couldn’t come up with a response on the spot. Very guilty.
I appear to not have done research on the company. (I actually did but what I spent five hours reading up on was irrelevant to what was asked.) Guilty beyond repair.
Sometimes, you meet the right employer and everything happens the way it should happen and more, and you get offered a job. Then and there, you realize that you can only secure a job from doing your best and holding each job search with an open hand.
Learning to sell
We are all salespeople—all of us are selling, every single day.
We may be selling an idea when we are trying to persuade someone to adopt our point of view. Or, when we are telling someone else about our wonderful experience at a restaurant. It’s no different at an interview. We are selling our skills because we know that we will be positive assets to the organization.