Dear Jane Diaries:
It’s important to view each interview as an assignment versus a potential job until an actual job offer is made. Having your expectations too high can set you up for disappointment and also block you from missing one of the most important elements of the interview itself…what it offers for future interviews. In each interview – good or bad – leading to a job or not – is the seed of what to do next.
In one of my interviews, the prospective employer asked me questions and mentioned terms and companies I knew nothing about so instead of feeling bad about myself, I immediately made it my business to educate myself about those terms using Wikopedia and doing research on those companies following that interview. What that led me to was MORE job opportunities in the companies he’d mentioned and more knowledge and skills in my job-searching toolkit.
Another interview recently led me to discover exactly what I AM willing to do as far as a commute is involved. I tend to be pretty rigid as far as where I’ll work so when someone from San Francisco called, I wasn’t interested…until I checked out his company on the Internet and saw that it was a fantastic company. That led me to actually do the math and the logistics on BART tickets, parking costs, time spent, etc…all things I had never done before dismissing the possibility out-of-hand. So “willingness” has become another important tool in my kit.
In addition, I’ve begun using dear Jane’s recommendation of www.salaryexpert.com and www.salary.com under the job descriptions that fit my background to see what salaries are out there in the locations I’m interested in. What an amazing “free” tool to find out what my skills are worth in the positions out there…
As with everything else in my job search, knowledge really IS power and the very least I expect to come out of this process with is a job…the more important thing is a deeper knowledge of myself.