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Losing a Job at an Interview

April 3, 2009

Two years back I had sent out a prospecting letter to Tracey Locke an Advertising Agency in CT for potential employment. It was my first real attempt at a prospecting letter so I took meticulous care in writing my cover letter and resume before sending it in.

After following up approximately a week later, I was called in for an interview.

This where I managed to drop the ball. I had worn myself thin and not properly prepared for the interview. I had known read about the company culture, but not given myself enough time sit down and gather all the necessary information.

Lessons You Can Learn From This:

  • Always Bring At Least 2 Resumes – If your interview goes well, you may be meeting with several people in one day.
  • Bring Your Reference Info – Some companies have applicants fill out applications with all relevant info, including references.
  • Review Your Resume – For continuities sake, know your resume backwards and forwards so you are not tricked up on wording.
  • Fill Applications With Certainty – Avoid crossing out and skipping over sections of an application, it leaves behind an unwanted stigma when they look back on you.
  • Know Who You’ve Spoken With – If you’ve called ahead, or spoke with someone particular to set up an interview, write down their name. It will help you be more conversational during an interview.
  • Have Prepared Questions – In every interview I’ve ever been on I have been asked if I had any questions; have some. They can be generic questions about the atmosphere, current projects they are working on or even how they enjoy their position, but don’t leave without engaging your interviewer.
  • Give Yourself Time – Give yourself time to reach your interview leisurely. I had made the mistake of setting up 2 interviews in the same day that were close to 100 miles away from each other (I was also proposing to my wife that weekend, I may have been a little edgy).

I know, this is a lot to learn from just 1 interview, but I’ve always been a ‘learn by doing‘ guy; no matter how painful. Good luck. An interview is your make it or break it moment, I hope you can learn something from my experience.

If you have any other lessons you learned the hard way, let me know.

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