What’s Luck Got To Do With It?
Is luck, or lack thereof, affecting your job search?
Occasionally we will cross paths with a candidate who has had a particularly tough time finding a new job. This person has often repeatedly made it to the final round of interviews only to get beat out by another job-seeker at the last minute. It can easily start to feel like luck is just not on your side when you are job searching. We completely understand that feeling, we have all been there.
But what if we told you that relying on luck to set you apart from the other finalist, or blaming it when it fails you, is probably not the best course of action? Think about it. If there is another candidate that has progressed as far as you have, it is more than likely that they have a similar set of credentials as you. Maybe they have the same industry experience, maybe they have the same level of degree and maybe they even think about business in a similar way. On paper, the two of you may be identical so it is up to you to make sure that you present yourself in the best way possible. That means a few different things:
- Prepare ahead of time. By the time you are speaking with someone from the company you should know who they are, what they do and why you want to be a part of their company.
- Define your extracurricular activities. Do you serve on a board or committee in the community? Do you volunteer with the homeless in your spare time? Do you take part in a community cleanup initiative? If you do, you should show that you are passionate about that. If you do not, but you want to, now is the time to get involved in something!
- Smile during every interaction. Smiling can set you apart drastically from the initial point of contact all the way to the executive interview. Smile while you are on the phone, as the interviewer can certainly tell the difference. Practice smiling while you speak in front of a mirror to prepare for your meetings. It may sound silly but someone who looks natural and comfortable while smiling often leaves a better impression. A positive, upbeat attitude can be the difference between getting the job or feeling that you have run out of luck.
- Keep the conversation light and flowing. Don’t speak poorly about previous employment situations or bosses. Don’t get too stuck on difficult or personal topics. Avoid over-talking and make sure to be clear and concise. Focus on relaying your transferable skills and how you are the best candidate for the job.
- Avoid fixating on the dollar sign. If there is only a small difference in what the company can offer you and what you think you are worth, try to be flexible. If the final round comes down to two candidates with similar backgrounds, you do not want to be the one who puts a few dollars over your excitement and interest in the position.
Next time you are up for a big role, these five points should help you keep luck out of the process!