Do you ever feel like you are climbing a mountain so high where something feels so out of reach to you despite your hard work and efforts? You then start to think you might have finally reached it, but you find out there’s still more to climb. The same thing happens again, and you now have to climb the mountain even further… You climb more, and more again, and think you’re finally there, but no, you need to climb even further. You now realise that this is one hell of a mystery ride you are on and don’t have a clue about when you are going to reach the final destination. The fear of the unknown is really kicking in now, and all you can do is stop, rest, make those steps to strengthen up, buckle up and keep going until you reach the top of that mountain whenever that may be. You can only do what is within your control, make those extra steps to get closer to the final destination, create new routines, work even harder, and increase self-care. You simply have no other choice.
This is exactly how I view “the interview process”.
The biggest challenge for me is not having an end date, a deadline, knowing how long this is going to take, how much more groundwork and mindset work is involved – not knowing when I will be someone else’s “number one” and be finally paid for the pleasure of it all.
The hardest thing for me is when I’ve found a role and organisation that seems absolutely perfect “on paper”, that aligns perfectly with who I am, with the mission I’m setting out to achieve, and then suddenly boom, rejection after rejection.
Online interviews don’t always work well for me as I find the connection with the people interviewing me isn’t as strong – I’m referring to that missing sense of “human connection” that gets lost with online meetings. I know the convenience factor is great with online interviews, but there is an extra adrenaline rush, a better vibe that I feel within, that I get when I go to the company’s office and see the interviewers live “in person” as opposed to live on Zoom or Teams. I’m essentially “a people person” looking for better work-life-balance and I connect well with real people…
Interviews are really tough – battling those nerves is one thing, but in that moment of feeling those nerves and that adrenaline pumping (especially when having a face to face interview, which I do prefer), I have to come up with answers that not only reflect my best and calm self that aligns with the role and organisation I’m being interviewed for, but also I need to in that moment, say what the interviewer wants to hear from me to be able to tick more of the boxes that the employer has set in their mind before the start of the interview to essentially meet their expectations of who they want for this role. This is the tough part, because my intuitive self wants to tell people about my own experience behind the question they are asking, answering the question as best as possible, and it requires an extra layer of thought in that moment to think about what the interviewer wants to hear from me. It is a learning curve.
I always found it tough at school being tested under exam conditions, as I usually spent a lot of time revising and putting in all the hard work beforehand to then find nerves kicking in on the day of the exam and doing my best to work my way through them to achieve the best possible result – so this is not the ideal environment for me to present my best self and it presents a real challenge to me. Saying that, I do find looking over my notes regularly, especially close to the time of the exam or interview, reflecting on what I want to say beforehand, practicing out loud, all helps to increase my self-confidence on the day and helps me to give it my best shot.
I know my skills are really important to the employer – but also, I believe that my whole self matters too. What I mean by this, is the vision that I represent to the employer, how I connect with their organisation, the things that I have achieved in my life that align with that organisation, my highly motivated creative self, my committed self that is determined to push through these barriers to succeed and to do what it takes to find that job which will see me thrive, as well as making use of all my hard work and achievements to date.
I may be against a lot of competition but in the process, I have learnt a lot of things about myself and improved my confidence and resilience too, which is of course can only be a positive thing. But whatever I am doing essentially is still not enough, or maybe I just haven’t found the right role for me yet. In the meantime, I am forced to go within and self-reflect at every stage of the process for ways in which I can improve myself, my job applications, but also, how I can improve my interview performance.
Maybe the Universe has me work this hard so that when I finally nail that job, I will appreciate it so much, more than I know. I look forward to that immense feeling of excitement that awaits me at the final stage of the interview process, “the job offer”, filling me with that extra sense of purpose, happiness and fulfilment. I really look forward to finding that employer who appreciates me for who I am, my authentic self, my perfect imperfections and the experience and skills I can bring to them. I’m not giving up just yet!
“Winners are not people who never fail, they are people who never quit” Edwin Louis Cole