Looking for a job is one of the more difficult things in life. And it almost makes things more difficult when well meaning friends turn into advisors. “Don’t take it personally,” they say, particularly in regard to the inevitable rejections that one must tolerate. But being selected, or not, is personal on some level. It’s about you and the potential you are bringing to the job, team, and organization. And it isn’t pleasant to put yourself on the line to be evaluated and judged, only to get rejected.
Time to turn this situation on its head. Usually, in the job search process, the interviewer has all the power, and all the ability to impose judgment on you. You can’t change the role of the interviewer, but you can change your role, and how the interviewing process happens. You do that by knowing two things and doing one thing. What you need to know are 1) your own values, and 2) the priorities of the job. Then, what you need to do is make a connection between what is important to the job, and who you are/what you can do.
This means you have to take the time to figure out what your own values are priorities are, and the same for the job, before you walk into the face-to-face interview situation. If the job priorities are not clear, prepare the questions you will ask to clarify them. If you do your homework, then making the connections to what is wanted and what you offer will be fairly easy, and seem natural. And your confidence from being prepared will telegraph itself to the interviewer, in ways you cannot fake.
Does this kind of preparation guarantee success in your job search? No, it doesn’t. There aren’t any guarantees. But you will have a much greater chance of getting an interviewer’s positive attention and finding the right match between you and a job.