When you really need /want a job and you finally have that interview , you plan. Everything, from the shoes or blouse you will be wearing, to the things you will add to your CV to make it looks more attractive, ending on some weird, scary or unbelievable scenarios that you are creating in your head. You just think about it all the time. Because it’s important. Your life depends on it, literally, cause no matter what we all have to pay the bills and eat. This is basically like a casting. You have to show the best of you, impress the person in front of you and make it feel like no one suits for this job better than YOU. But what if something goes wrong? When you realize that you shouldn’t have said what you’ve just said, or you are speechless after hearing some question you didn’t expect to hear, or you just feel that no matter what you do it’s not going to work because the person in charge doesn’t seem to like you. This happens to people around the world all the time, and it’s terrible when you know that it has to be good but at the same time you can see it’s far from that. Well, I’ve been there, and I will tell you exactly what went reeeally wrong in my case.
I made a few fundamental decisions in my life, finally, it took me awfully long months, but I did it. I decided to finally take my language skills to the highest level, last level, because I knew for a long time that I truly can speak and write and I understand English, but until now I just didn’t have a chance to use the language. It’s like with the recipe. You’ve read that so many times and you’ve seen people cooking it in so many different ways, hell, you even eat it! And you know, you just know, that you can cook it but there’s no place where you can get the ingredients. So one day you decide to go to that fancy market, expensive and huge, just to get the ingredients. And you are scared because you have never been there and you don’t know how it’s in there or how to get there even, but you also feel that you have to try, find out if you are really that good, otherwise you will stay like that forever. I am like that now. I make a lot of mistakes and there’s so many things I have to work on but I know that I can’t do more here, if I want to achieve it, became fluent in English, I have to throw myself into the language and it only means that I have to move abroad. So I started to looking for a job and a place to stay. I don’t have much money and I don’t want to go super far because it’s my first trip abroad for so long. So I found a few jobs that interested me, wrote a CV, I scanned my references and sent it to like 30 potentially interested people, surprisingly almost everyone responded. I picked 3 favourite and decided to set up the interviews. As I was looking for a job abroad it was obvious that all interviews has to take place on Skype. But not everything went as planned or at least good…
The main information you need to know is that I applied for a nanny /babysitter position, because I worked as one some time ago and I am experienced, have references and I really like kids .
After I registered on the site with job offerts for nannies/care assistants , I started to receive messages from people who were interested in my profile. There were so many people who needed someone to take care of themselves or their family members. I picked 5 which seems best for me and I sent them a message that I’m interested. We have a few email talks and after a couple of days only 3 of them left. We decided that it’s time to take it to the next level -Skype time! And so we did. And here the story about my terrible performance begins.
The first one was a family with two kids, 10yrs old boy and a baby girl. I logged on Skype and called the family. On the other side of the monitor was a boy and his mom. I saw them perfectly, they didn’t see me at all but it was the connection’s fault so they didn’t mind. And so we talked, but it was like a question-answer-question-answer kind of talk. We clearly didn’t matched up. But they were nice, funny and normal so I was hoping to get along with them, until the mom asked a simple question. A question no one expects anymore, the one that I haven’t heard for years, well, only in movies!
“Why I should pick you?”
I was dumbfounded. Speechless. I couldn’t say a word, I had no freaking idea of what to say or do. The silence was killing me and lasts for literally 2 minutes. They looked at me waiting and I said the only thing that came to my mind, “Well, what can I say, you just have to try…” Our conversation ended a minute after that and they haven’t called me back ever again…And I agree with them!
The second interview was better but I wasn’t prepare properly. I mean, I had a great Cv, I tried to look good and friendly (leave your lipstick in your bathroom) and I even learned a few difficult but professional words to sound more… well, professional. But this case was different. It was an older man who has a lot of disabilities and he needed someone to help him with a daily care. He wrote that it doesn’t have to be someone experienced because his former assistant can teach everything so I applied. Then we had a phone talk. Together with his assistant they asked me one question.
“Do you have any questions for us?”
I said no because the truth is I didn’t. I read all files he sent me before, I read his profile a thousand times, I even read everything I found in the Internet about people like him so I had all the theory already in my mind. They quickly ended the conversation promising to call me back. It never happened and I really wanted this job so I decided to not give up this time, I sent them a message asking what happened and I added a bit of my angry and bad mood but I just couldn’t help it. I also explained my point of view and wrote that it is just not right and if they don’t want me it’s ok, I understand and am not angry or anything but they should be honest and tell me that directly. What I found out was that they have not answered because it was weird for them that I didn’t ask them anything. But surprisingly, after my not so friendly email, after 3 days of silence they asked me if I can talk to them once more. They gave me a second chance.
While I was waiting for the answer from the first family and then the older man, I had my last interview. A young woman with one baby boy. We talked on Skype and this time I decided to not try. Don’t get me wrong, I really wanted this job but I discovered that no matter what you have in your cv, what will you say or how much you will try to look professional, in the end it’s the chemistry that matters. You just have to like that person, have a good feeling about the job, be able to imagine yourself working for that person. So I was just myself, I was honest, calm and guess what! For the first time in my life, I was actually laughing during the interview! And she offered me a job.
So I have a few simple tips and advices for you, all inspired by my own, latest experiences.
- Be prepare. We are usually too lazy, we take everything for granted, we think that impressive CV will get us a job. No. YOU will be talking, you will have to make a good impression and you will be answering all the questions so make a research before the interview. Why you want this job? Why you’re best? Why this industry? Remember that you don’t know the person in front of you. Maybe it’s someone curious, maybe lazy and maybe it’s someone friendly? Who knows?! Be prepared for each kind of questions, especially those you think are too simple to be asked.
- Be curious. People like people who are interested, curious and friendly. So ask as many questions as you can, because it makes you look like you care. Sometimes you really are stuffed with all informations and you feel proud of yourself because you did a good research but even then don’t say “I don’t have any questions” to your possible future boss. They won’t think that you are prepared and know everything, no, they will think that you don’t care and you don’t give a damn about the details
- Don’t pretend. Be yourself. Don’t try to look professional, calm or cool. In the end your false nature will come out because you can’t pretend forever but you have to work with the person who hired you so be yourself, be kind and someone will appreciate you one day. People see when someone is natural.
- Be brave. Even if you don’t suit the job but you really want to try and gain some experience, apply. Go for it as you are. Tell everything what’s inside you, tell the truth and who knows, you may and you may not be lucky. We all started somewhere and of course some people don’t care but a lot of people still remember how it is and they’re ready to give you a chance. Also, remember that you may really want or need a job but it doesn’t mean that someone has a right to not respect you. If you feel like your interview is not fair, someone is pushing the line or you feel that someone is not treating you right, react! You can have many jobs but you have one dignity and you need to respect yourself.
- The last but not least. Find a job not a money factory. I know we live in a hard time where money rules the world but your job is really important. Your job helps you live, takes a half of your life and keeps you occupied for a couple of hours each day. Find a job for you, a place where you can find yourself, where you can feel satisfied, happy, something what can makes you feel calm, grateful and thankful. You know you found a good job when you don’t call your job “a job” but a passion. It’s easy to say but not everyone is so lucky. That’s what you thought right? But do you know why some people have a dream jobs? Because they were patient, brave and passionat enough to not give up. They never gave up, even while working in the supermarket they remembered about their dream and every evening they do one small thing to make this dream come true.
As always, please, if you see some mistakes in this post let me know! I hope this post was helpful and you will get the job of your dreams.