Secrets of the Job Hunt


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Don't cough during the interview

Being a solo entrepreneur who works from home and makes his living online has many advantages. But one of the worst things about it is that I miss the daily contact of actually talking to other people. Sitting here in my 100 square foot office, I just don't have the opportunity to look over a cubicle wall to a fellow colleague to bounce an idea off of or just talk shop.

Sure, I get a few phone calls here and there but mostly I just email people or IM them. So I had some nervousness today before my scheduled interview with Peter Clayton over at Total Picture. Being interviewed - whether for a job or about one's business is always fraught with peril if you aren't prepared.

Since I hadn't been on any kind of interview in a while, I wanted to make sure I was ready. Little sticky notes placed strategically around my desk allowed me to review the topics he'd be asking about. I went through each topic for an hour trying to articulate an appropriate response. Then it began.

The interview was progressing well until about midway through when I had a coughing fit (I hope he edits that out!), after which I struggled a bit on a few of his questions. We got into a good exchange at one point towards the end, so hopefully the final result will be a positive one when it airs. If anything I proved to myself that I still need to work at becoming a more articulate speaker.

Today's experience also reminds me how important it is to practice the interview BEFORE going on it. And I'm not talking about an hour before you get there. I'm talking about the entire week leading up to it. Get a list of interview questions. Practice mock interviews several times so that you have your answers at the ready. And for pete's sake, ...have some water handy!


Viva said...

About the time I read "coughing," I thought "glass of water on the ready." So you *know* I had to make this post. Good to see that was one of the lessons learned.

There's also a solution for the SOHO thing. Make a point of going out to a favorite watering hole about two or three times a week. You'll get to be known by the other "regulars" and you'll open your network both to "the regulars" and sourcing opportunities.

C.M Russell said...

I do attend some outside events. But I still miss the day-to-day interaction of working with others...oh well, I've got my dog at least!

Jason said...

had to pick myself off my home office floor after I fell off my chair reading this! I did an interview with Peter a few weeks ago - it was a terrific experience.

But I said some things that I kind of wish aren't recorded for eternity... and I did that stutter thing when I got excited about a few things. But that was my chance... just like in a job interview. Gosh, I think I'll have to write a blog post on this - phlegm in an interview issue - goat voice, etc.!

Career guru said...

I don't like interviews. I prefer to determine my own income. There's no security in employment. Now, I generate my own income through various web businesses. Occasionally. I'll take on some projects so I get to wear my nice executive clothes and do a bit of office socializing. But full-time employment? No way. You must be able to generate and control your own income. Employment is unreliable. The past decade has seen wide-spread layoffs worldwide. It's important to know how to catch your own fish.