Don’t Let Desperation Define Your Future Career


Have you been unemployed for so long that you feel like it’s become a stigma that employers can sense a mile away? Have you gotten to the point where you’d be willing to take any job you could get, if you could just get a job? The best thing to do when that feeling of desperation starts keeping you up at night might not be the most obvious: it’s time to slow down. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Listen to your heart beat. Everything will be ok.


As a job coach, I help clients focus on the long-term and not fall into the desperation trap. When you get that feeling, you inevitably start lowering your standards and allowing potential companies to treat you poorly. Do not let them! When you walk into an interview you should expect to receive the same professionalism that you carry into it. It isn’t just a way for the company to learn about you—it’s a way for you to learn about the company.

Interviewers shouldn’t make you sit and wait or treat you disrespectfully in any way. If that happens, think about what that says about the company and what it’ll mean when you’re working for them. Remember, the way you are treated before the interview and during the interview is the way you will be treated on the job. Don’t let the red flags become green!


So many of my clients ask me how long they should have to wait for the interviewer after they have signed in with the receptionist. Do not wait longer than 30 minutes. Your time is valuable, and if you don’t respect yourself, they won’t either.

Always arrive to an interview early. Talk to the receptionist so they know you have arrived. Take note if the time scheduled for your interview comes and goes. Once 10 minutes have passed, ask the receptionist how long it will be until the interview, then sit back down and relax. If you are still sitting in the lobby 30 minutes after the time scheduled for your interview, then you need to sign out and leave. As a professional, you will, of course, let the receptionist know you are leaving.

There are only a few reasons why you should excuse the interviewer for being late:


  1. If the interviewer is called into a last-minute meeting
  2. If the interviewer falls ill at the last minute
  3. If the interviewer is delayed by something out of his or her control (traffic accident, natural disaster, etc.)



Once you get into the interview, both parties should be respectful to one another. The interview is your window into how they will treat you, and it is their window into how you will perform at their company. If you are disrespectful or are unresponsive, they will assume that is how you will operate on the job and they will be apprehensive to select you as a top candidate. If they do or say something that makes you feel uneasy, you should realize that you will receive the same treatment when you work there. Trust your instincts. If you have misgivings about the job, there is a reason. Don’t take a job just because you feel like you need something. You are worth more than that.

Years ago I read the Knock Em Dead eBooks by Martin Yate and I especially loved the books on interviewing. Every little bit can help you land that perfect job. Check them out at and start preparing for your interview!