There is an old joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The answer, “Practice, practice, practice.” The same is true to the question, “How should you prepare for an interview?” but it’s not as funny.
All kidding aside, here is what I encourage you to do. Find a list of the most common, or the best interview questions. You can Google it, or there is a list of my favorites in the back of my book. For each question, write our answers. Really. Don’t just think about them. Write them down. Work on your answers until you like the way they sound. Then, and here comes the strange part, say them out loud, over and over.
Several things are happening. When you read the question and think about your response you being to create a short-term memory. The more you roll that answer around in your head, the more you are likely to remember it. But, if you then write it down, the writing part engages different parts of your brain because now it’s not just a thought, now, you have to cause your hands to move in relationship to the words. FYI the research supports that hand-writing is even more effective than typing so tell that to your student who is taking notes on their laptop.
Now you’ve thought about that answer, and written down so you’ll have a better chance to remember it. The next step is to practice saying it. The act of speaking the words out loud will do two things. One, as you hear what you wrote, you will probably find that you need to change a few words so it sounds like you. More importantly, you’ve now engaged more parts of our brain and that answer will locked in concrete. The more your practice, the more comfortable you’ll get.
It is very unlikely that an interviewer will ask you exactly the questions you have prepared answers for, but you will know the material well enough that you’ll easily be able to put things together on the fly. You will come across as thoughtful and well spoken. You’ll be ready for any interview.
This is all about the power of practice – not just thinking about things, but writing them down and then really practicing them out loud. Your dream job is out there and waiting for you. Get ready for it by practicing. If you are struggling, this might help. https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/
Around 20 years ago I had an idea about a book that would help job seekers find their next job. The company I was working for was about to be sold and as the HR Director, I knew that the acquiring company was only interested in the manufacturing components. All of the administrative staff, including me, would be RIFed. I knew I would have some time on my hands, and maybe I could use that time to not only find my next job, but to help others find theirs.
Fifteen years later, we published I’m Fired?!?! Now, five years after that, I’m excited to announce the second edition. A lot has changed over those 20 years. When I was writing the first draft, I accessed AOL via a dial-up connection. About the only thing online was email and a few games. In this edition, I take the entire outplacement process online. There is a new chapter about how to navigate job websites. There is another new chapter about using social media. There are also some new characters with new perspectives on the search process.
What hasn’t changed is the comprehensive approach to dealing with losing your job and finding another. I try to help the reader deal with the personal side of getting fired. As you follow along with Bob and his fellow job seekers to you can see how some people react and hopefully get some advice on how you might handle these problems.
The book follows Bob Smith as he gets RIFed, is provided an outplacement program and uses what he learns to find a new job. While this book is no replacement for a formal outplacement program, I hope that by following Bob Smith’s story, you too can know that you are not alone. There are people along the way that will help you. And, if you treat finding a job as the most important job you’ve ever had, you will find one.
If you are job seeker, the book will help you. If you are an HR Professional, consider giving the book to those you have to let go. Let’s get everybody back to work.
If you want advice on how to write a resume, how to network, or just how to find a job, check out I’m Fired?!? A Business Fable about the Challenges of Losing One Job and Finding Another. Now available on Amazon.
(This an updated combination of two posts from late 2013)
Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.” Does the same sentiment apply to losing your job? Here are a few words and phrases that I’ve heard over the years that all basically mean the same thing: terminated, fired, made available to industry, sacked, canned, separated, exploring other business interests, discharged, axed, RIFed, laid off, whacked, given the opportunity to be successful elsewhere, dismissed, and let go. Did I miss any?
There are subtle differences between some of these words but otherwise they are all variations on a theme with different levels of sensitivity or compassion mixed in. As you might have been able to tell, I’m compassionate, but I’m not an overly sensitive guy.
The bottom line is that for whatever reason; you don’t work here anymore. It’s time to move on, start networking and find out where you are going to work next. That may be easier said than done, but what’s the alternative, sleep on your mother’s couch?
In 1969 Elisabeth Kubler-Ross published a book called On Death and Dying that changed the way that we looked at the grieving process. Kubler-Ross identified five stages in the grieving process that, with some perspective, can be applied to being fired.
- Denial – No, there must be some mistake – they can’t fire me I’m a good person and a hard worker.
- Anger – It’s not fair! I do way more work than Joe, fire him! This is discrimination!
- Bargaining – There has to be another way. How about if I take a cut in pay? Could I work part-time for a while? Maybe if I get some more training?
- Depression – Whatever – I’ve seen this coming – there is nothing I could have done – I probably deserved it – I should have left when Bob quit.
- Acceptance – Okay, what’s done is done – time to move on and find that next job.
The deal is, that you will not be effective in looking for a new job until you get to stage five. While this may sound harsh, you just need to get over it and move on. You might have been discriminated against; there might have been a chance for you to take a cut in pay; maybe there was a mistake; but at the end of it all, you’re sitting at home on the couch watching Judge Judy when you should be out looking for a new job. No pitty-party, no woe-is-me; it is time to get up, brush off your resume, start networking, and get to it.
Looking for a new job is a full time job. If you let your anger at your former employer come out in your interviews, no one is going to hire you. If you pout and whine during a networking meeting, no one is going to refer you to their contacts. If you can’t get off the couch and make some phone calls, your network isn’t going to grow.
It’s hard, but it’s life. I’ve been there. I’ve seen lots of other people and I am confident that you can too. Now get up, get to work, and let’s find that next job.
If you want more advice on how to write a resume, how to, network or just how to find a job, check out I’m Fired?!? A Business Fable about the Challenges of Losing One Job and Finding Another. Click here for more details.
Fifteen years ago I had an idea for a book about job search. I’m delighted to say that that book: I’m Fired?!? A Business Fable About the Challenges of Losing One Job and Finding Another, is now available as an ebook in multiple formats. Click here to purchase your copy. (Free through September!)
Enjoy – and feel free to post a recommendation or share with your friends. 🙂
Welcome to I’m Fired?!? The Blog.
This blog a is a companion site to the book I’m Fired ?!? A Business Fable About the Challenges of Losing One Job and Finding Another, soon to be published by Lighthouse Point Press. In this blog you can find out more about the book. You can also learn valuable tips to help you in your job search.
I am a job search veteran. I’ve been on the wrong side of mergers, acquisitions and layoffs six times and each time I have used these tips and techniques to find a new and better job. Throughout my career I’ve had the opportunity to work with a number of amazing people in a wide variety of industries and what I’ve learned about the job search process can be applied to them all.
I hope you enjoy this blog. Please feel free to comment and ask questions or make suggestions. I’m happy to work your ideas and questions into future posts.
Most importantly – good luck in your job search. It may take longer than you’d hope, but if you’ll follow these tips you will find a job that meets your career goals.