You’ve taken the psychological advantage (PA), listed your job needs, and interviewed. Now what?
Review your notes to decide if the job fits. Will your list of needs be met? Did you hear the answers you needed to? Did the employer commit to your mutual success? PA comes from having complete information about the job.
Sure, much of the PA sits with the employer as they decide whether to make an offer. But, you must decide if you want it, don’t want it, or will settle for less than ideal. Base your decision on facts, not emotion. Don’t say, “I really want this job!” Do say, “This job is a great fit!”
If you decide the position is right, contact the employer and tell them. Remind them of what you offer and how you’ll be successful together. If you don’t want it, let them know, as well. If you choose to walk away, know you did so with confidence in your decision. Then, keep searching.
The power of PA is you taking control of your job search. This reduces the stress and emotion. It helps you recognize that you’re an equal partner in the process. You are not at the mercy of others.
As said in part 1, employers want to hire you. They are looking for reasons to hire you. Your job is to give them reasons. If it’s not a good match, it’s not personal. It’s not a failure. It means that a better job is out there for you. Go get it!
This series has defined psychological advantage (PA) and what you need from a job. Now we’ll explore how YOU keep PA during the interview and find out what the employer wants.
Now that you have your list of job preferences and requirements, you are ready to apply to jobs. This can be online, in person, or over the phone. The key is knowing what you want, why you want it, and how your skills and abilities meet the employer’s needs. You need to know this BEFORE the interview!
During the phone screen or interview, listen to the job description from the interviewer. Check what you hear against your list and note what fits and what doesn’t. KEEPING PA means you are not nervous about the interview or getting the job! All you’re doing is gathering facts and noting them on your list.
Of course, you will be asked lots of questions, too. Don’t fear what you’ll be asked. Prepared for as many questions as possible. And NEVER fake what you know or can do. That gives away your PA. If you can’t answer a question, don’t let it bother you. Admit you aren’t sure, then give an answer that shows you have done similar work or solved similar problems.
Not all shortcomings are deal breakers. The employer may plan to train you. You keep PA by being confident in what you can do and your ability to learn and grow.
Remember, interviewing is a fact-finding mission. Note how you’re treated, did they respect your time, experience, and responses? Did you respect them? Can you see yourself working there? Will you get along with your manager and teammates? How did they answer your questions? Did the answers fit your checklist?
In part 1 of this series, I told you that the psychological advantage (PA) in job means that employers want you to fit the job as much as you do. So, how do you make yourself a good fit?
You don’t. Either you are a good fit or you aren’t. Faking it rarely works for long. Neither you or your new manager wants to learn weeks or months into your employment that you two don’t get along. The way YOU learn what you bring to the job is to give it lots of thought before you start applying. Think about the skills you have that match the job posting. Think about the work environment, the compensation, the hours and all other elements of the day-to-day.
After you’ve thought about these things, write them on a list. For example, if you enjoy working with people, list it. If you must make 15 dollars an hour, put it on the list. If you can only tolerate a 30-minute commute, put it on the list. Continue this until all your job preferences and requirements are listed.
Then, next to each item, note how important each are to you; which you’ll compromise on and which you won’t. You can write out your comments, use check boxes, rank order importance, etc.
When you start searching, check you list against the terms of the job. If they match, apply. If they don’t, move on. If you’re not sure, make a note and apply, but be ready to ask about each item on the phone screen or interview. Your goal is to know what you want before you begin applying for jobs.
Read Part 3 for how you can KEEP PA when talking to employers.
David Koster is the owner and principle consultant of Team Learning Services. He has 30 years experience in the education and learning industry.