So far, this is probably one of the most embarrassing job interview moments I have experienced in my career. I mean, who ends up crying at a job interview? Well, I did… and here’s what happened.
It all started when I just graduated from University about five years ago. I was extremely excited to jump-start my career in Marketing. I had been on the job hunt for just a few weeks and I knew exactly which company I wanted to work for. So, I took a bold step. I applied for a job role at this company and to my surprise, after about three days I received an interview invitation. You can imagine that I was beyond thrilled!
Having about four days to prepare I gathered all the information I could possibly find about the company. I knew which year the company started, the names of all the directors, their mission, and vision and worked my “Why did you apply for this job” pitch around this.
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So the day of the job interview arrived… and the interview started well. The interviewers asked me some general questions and I believe I was able to answer them sufficiently. However, when they started asking me ‘scenario based’ questions I began to mess up. “What would you do if” and “How would you handle this” type of questions which I clearly wasn’t prepared to answer.
I barely had any work experience… How did they expect me to know what I should do if situation X or Y happened? The interviewers saw I was struggling but they just kept firing questions at me… And at this point, I panicked and I started crying – I guess it’s safe to say that I did not land the job. However, looking back I do believe that these embarrassing moments happen just to teach us a lesson. Here is what I learned (and what you may learn) from this experience:
I wasn’t ready for the job
I now realise that the hiring managers might have intentionally tried to test me just to see how capable I was to handle the job. Not to say that I agree with their technique, however, I am a firm believer that things are granted to you at the right time. Looking back I do wonder why they even invited me for the job interview because I was nowhere near ready to take on such a role. And clearly, I did not have a thick skin for it either.
I was not prepared
Clearly, I walked into the job interview thinking that knowing everything about the company would be enough. Being successful in a job interview does take more than that. I now realise that employers or hiring managers are looking for individuals who are able to anticipate situations – They often try to find out whether you’re a problem solver, how you perform in stressful situations, and whether you’re able to take initiative and so. And in order to answer these scenario-based questions successfully, preparation is key.
Rejection is part of the process
This is probably one of the most important lessons I learned. No one likes to be rejected, however, rejection is part of the process. Sometimes you have to fail in order to be ready and prepared for the right opportunity. I realised that the more interviews I attended, the better I got at it. For example, I was less nervous, more confident and of course more prepared. I also started looking at rejection from a different angle.
“If I don’t get the job, it’s just not the right job for me”. In the end, I landed a Marketing job role abroad, so things did work out eventually.
Have you cried during a job interview before? Share your experience in the comment box below!