Have you been on more interviews than you can count lately? While it is very encouraging to get called and invited to interview for a job that interests you, it can become very frustrating when the interviews never evolve into job offers. While many people tend to blame their resumes when they don’t get the jobs they want, their resumes aren’t always the problem. If you are getting invited to interview on the basis of your resume, the document isn’t likely to be the culprit. After all, you are getting called in for the interviews, the resume itself must look pretty good.
It is important to understand that you aren’t likely to get every single job for which you interview. Some jobs are meant for you and some jobs are not. However, when you habitually get overlooked when it comes to job offers, or even second interviews, it is a good time to step back and try to figure out where you have room to improve. You might just be having a string of bad luck, but there might be something going on that you can fix pretty easily.
In such situations, the problem typically is either a function of (a) your interviewing skills or (b) inconsistency between what your resume says and what you are saying in the interview.
The best way to assess your interviewing skills is to seek out the assistance of someone you can trust to give you an honest opinion of how you come across in an interview. Set up a mock-interview situation with a friend that you trust to be honest with you.
Better yet, apply with an employment agency or visit your local one-stop career center. Let the recruiter or job developer you meet with know that you are concerned with how you are coming across to prospective employers. A good recruiter or job developer will gladly work with you to polish your interviewing techniques. After all, their goal is to help match applicants with jobs. Getting you placed will be their victory just as much as it is yours.
Inconsistency Between Resume and Responses
Do not lose sight of the fact that your resume is getting interviews for you. Something that your resume is “saying” appeals to prospective employers. If it didn’t, they wouldn’t be inviting you to interview. Take a look at your resume, and think abut how it consistently it reflects what you tell employers in an interview.
If your resume states that your career objective is to seek an entry-level sales position, and you proceed to tell the interviewer that you have no interest in working in sales and that you are terrified at the prospect of making a cold call, you can bet that this type of inconsistency is going to keep you from getting the job offer. Further, it is likely to keep you from ever getting any type of offer from the company because the recruiter will not be happy that you wasted his or her time applying for a job that you did not want to start with.
Another common problem occurs when what your resume says about your work experience contradicts what you say in an interview. Recent graduates often put internships and volunteer work on their resumes as documentation of experience, yet tell interviewers they don’t have any experience in the field. Does your resume show that you completed an internship in a doctor’s office and list the tasks that you performed during your internship? If so, when a recruiter asks you if you have experience, are you going to say “no” just because it wasn’t paid experience? If so, you are quite literally shooting yourself in the foot.
Fixing the Problem
When you keep getting interviews, but you never seem to get the job offers that you want, it is time to reflect on how prepared you are for your interviews. Preparing for an interview is homework. In order to do well in a job interview, you need to research the company and the requirements of the job and figure out how you are coming across to interviewers.
Make a list of the questions you were asked on your last interview, and really put some thought into how the questions should be answered. Get feedback from other people about your answers. This will help you figure out the best way to respond to similar questions in the future.
Remember that getting a job offer as the result of an interview is like closing the sale. You resume got you the appointment. Now you have to figure out what it is that you have to do differently during the appointments to get the end result that you want.