Feeling Great About Job Interviews (even if you don’t get the job!)

I recently went on an interview after not interviewing for a position in over twenty-five years. I had worked at the same firm for over fourteen years as an office manager and paralegal. I then worked with a new attorney helping him open his firm and running it with him for six years. Life happens, leading me to care for my brother (who is quadriplegic) for the last six years. During that time I obtained my bachelor’s degree hoping to obtain a career in some type of management. My aspirations were, and still are, to assist people in living happier lives in their careers, thus benefiting them and the company for which they work. My entire life has revolved around helping people. It is what I do. It is what I love. It is my passion.

The problem – what type of position do I look for? Where would that be? How do I find it? So, I decided to begin looking for any type of job that would be in an organization where I would eventually find my niche. I applied for whatever I could at a University, hoping to benefit from the ability to take classes to obtain my masters. This is one of the toughest places to secure a position, as it is government run and has so much red tape.

I went through the application process and applied for various positions, including administrative assistant. I was contacted for an administrative assistant position. A bit over qualified, but I didn’t care. I just wanted a job there, any job. The day of the interview I wasn’t nervous at all. I was fifteen minutes early. I was ready! I went into the interview and one of the first things they said was “You’re resume is very impressive, but…” (the ever dreaded, but…) “You are over qualified. Why did you apply for this position?” Instead of sinking in my chair and thinking, “Oh great!” I had a perfect and truthful response. The interview went so well. It was smooth. It went so smoothly that it would put the models on a shampoo commercial to shame. They were talking 10-20 minutes for each person. They talked to me for over a half of an hour.

When I left the interview, I didn’t feel like I would get the position, due to their fears I might leave. I tried to qualm their fears as best I could, but felt I didn’t quite succeed. Even still, I left elated. I felt a sense of confidence in myself that was lacking prior to the interview. Even though I felt i would most likely not get the job, I felt like an olympian that has just won a gold medal (okay, well maybe a bronze).

Bottom line – interviewing for any position is never a waste of time. If you go on a hundred interviews, it is best to look at each of them as a learning experience. Don’t be afraid to call and ask why you didn’t get the job. You might be lucky enough to find someone who is actually willing to tell you what you could have done differently. You might also find that it had nothing to do with you.

Try not to focus on the fact that you didn’t “get the job.” Focus on what you learned from the experience. Know that you didn’t get that job because it wasn’t right for you. Whatever you do, stay positive. Your energy – the way you represent yourself, comes through in the interview. If you go into your 100th interview thinking, “I’m not going to get this job.” You won’t get the job! You have to treat each interview as if it is your first, but with the experience of all the past interviews. Just like every day of your life…live each day as a new day, but use the wisdom you have gleaned to live it well.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill


Where to begin?!

Hi all…

I have been putting off beginning my blog because I didn’t know where to start. My goal is to share my experiences in hope that it will help others somehow, somewhere. Maybe inspire people. Help people to know they can do whatever they want in life, just by opening their minds to new possibilities. In life, many of us bog ourselves down with what other people think we should be doing. We shortchange ourselves because we limit our experiences to what the world/society tells us is the right way to live our lives. There really isn’t a “right way.” There are multiple ways to live your life. The important thing is to live YOUR life. Not someone else’s. Not the life that someone else tells us to live. As long as our choices don’t hurt other people.. they should be choices that have a positive effect on our lives and hopefully the lives of others.

For example, if you want to go to Europe and rent an apartment for a month – DO IT! I recently did just that. I am a caregiver for my brother who is quadriplegic. This makes it somewhat difficult to take time off to vacation. The timing for this trip was right. There were people around that could care for him during my absence, we had just sold our house, so I would have to rent somewhere anyway. I decided to rent in Italy. It was met with grumbles from my family and even my friends. Some where happy for me, but most were “Why are you doing that?” “How are you going to afford it?” “Is that really the smartest thing, going all the way to Italy and spending that kind of money?” “What’s Scott going to do?” “What if something happens while you’re gone?” I even had one person tell me they were angry at me that I got to go, when they don’t get to do things like that.I really don’t get it. It’s not like I was asking anyone for anything to go on this trip. I could have listened to them and not gone. I could have let fear and doubt trap me.

Remember, when you do something like I did, take off to Europe because you want to, it effects many people. Some might be mad, some might be inspired to do the same, it might make some people think about their own lives in a way they never have before. I had the opportunity to say to the person who was angry that I got to go – “Hey, no one is stopping you from doing this.” He said, “Well, I can’t afford it.” “I couldn’t afford it either, I just did it.” Life is all about choices. Being positive and BELIEVING things will work out – they do. But, you really have to BELIEVE IT. I will share more about my trip experience later in this blog.

Here’s the bottom line. This is your life! You are responsible for you. You are responsible for your happiness. You cannot look to others to make you happy. This is not to say that you can’t find happiness from relationships with other people, but it comes from the choices you make. Don’t make your decisions based on whether or not someone might get mad at you. Someone, somewhere, will always be mad about your choices. Of course, you need to take peoples’ feelings into consideration in certain circumstances. You also need to take into consideration your close circle of family or friends that are a part of your daily life – like your spouse or your children or whoever your support system may be. If those people are on board, then go for it! Here’s an old tale, you may have heard. It is one of my favorites…

An old man and his grandson were walking back to town with their donkey. They heard some people talking to each other…”Look at those two, they have a donkey and they are both walking. How stupid is that, the old man should be riding the donkey.” The two looked at each other and shrugged. The grandfather got on the donkey. A little down the road they met some people. One person said to the grandfather “What kind of grandfather are you, making your grandson walk while you get to ride on the donkey?” So, the grandfather got off and let the grandson ride the donkey. A bit further down the road, another person came up and said, “Young man, where did you learn your manners? Why are you letting your old grandfather walk while you are riding the donkey?” They explained what happened earlier. The person said, “Well why don’t you both ride the donkey?” They decided that was a good idea. They both got on the donkey. A bit further down the road, the donkey couldn’t take the heat plus the weight of the two people and died. The moral of this story…If you try to please everyone, you’re going to lose your ass!