In the job search, there are a multitude of factors that can contribute to one’s struggle in securing employment.  Instinctively, the first culprit blamed for the problem is the resume. If you not getting job offers, ask yourself where the breakdown is happening.  Be careful not to immediately blame the resume. 

If you are getting interviews, then your problem is most likely not your resume.  You got the interview, so your resume must be doing its job.  If you are not getting call backs after interviews, then I am going out on a limb here and your interviewing skills could be to blame.  If that is the case, then you are in need of a challenging mock interview.  Just because you have the knowledge, skills and ability to do a job won’t matter to an employer if you can interview effectively. 

There are many other possibilities as to why you might not be securing job offers which proves you have to identify the root of the issue.  Your problem could, in fact, be your resume, but it can also be your interviewing skills, your behavior while waiting for your interview (never be rude to a receptionist), your thank you note, your follow-up manner (always be gracious), along with many others.  A good solution is to find a career coach—someone who will work with you in breaking down the job search process to find where your weaknesses lie and work with you to strengthen your approach and job search competencies.

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What is the first question that comes to your mind when preparing for an interview?  Let me guess:  What questions will the interviewer ask me?  You work yourself up studying interviewing questions just like you would a multiple choice exam.  When job seekers do this, they lose sight of the purpose of the interview.  They want to know what questions will be asked but fail to realize the purpose of the questions in the first place.

Who likes to answer the question “Tell me about yourself”?  What about “tell me about a time you failed”?  I can imagine the cringed look on your face as you read this. But have you ever sat down to really ask yourself why these questions are asked in the first place?  

Interviewers want to talk with you and ask questions to see if you are the best candidate, so why do we treat these interviews as if we have committed a crime and are being put through an interrogation to see if we will crack under pressure? 

Trust me; interviewers do not take the time out of their work day to torture you.   Some might come across that way, but that is not the purpose of an interview at all.  Companies have to hire talent to help the company grow; therefore, the interview is meant to get to know the person behind the resume.  It’s not meant to make you feel less about yourself or make you ill.  A company’s culture might be competitive, so the questions you are asked might lean towards those to test your ability to succeed in that environment.  However, the interviewer is not trying to beat you up at all. 

The next time you go into an interview, and I hope soon, sit down and talk with the interviewer relaxed and ready to “talk” about your qualifications, the position you are interviewing for at the time, and the company itself.   If you really studied the company culture and position in which you are interviewing for in the first place, you will know if the candidate needs to have certain traits which may sway the types of questions you are asked. 

In preparing for your interview “conversation”, focus on the position, the company, and YOU!  Know the position and be prepared to answer questions concerning your qualifications to succeed.  Know the company; its mission, competitors, partners and recent press releases.  And most importantly know you!  Know your strengths, your weaknesses, your failures, the reasons why you want this job, and your ability to succeed in both the position and a career with the company. 

Relax and smile.  You have committed no crime, so stop treating your interviews as if you have.