Photo Credit: bruckerrlb via Compfight

Imagine you’re at a party. You are there because someone invited you, and you thought you might enjoy the people or the food or the drink or seeing the inside of someone’s house. Whatever the reason, it was interesting enough for you to get yourself dressed, out of the house, and to another location.

Once you’re at the party, you see someone who looks interesting, or equally lost, or standing next to a friend, or hiding in the kitchen. You strike up a conversation, and gradually learn more about each other. Throughout the conversation, you’re learning more about the other person and making decisions about whether you want to continue the conversation or end it.

Perhaps at the end of the evening, you have a new acquaintance and potential friend; perhaps you don’t.  Whatever the result, it was a relatively low-stress, low-expectation encounter where you gathered information and decided later what to do with it.

Now imagine the party is the job market, the other person is a potential employer, and the conversation is the application and interview process.

When you reply to a job posting you think might be the right fit for you, you are essentially saying “yes, I’d like to talk with you and learn more about you.”  If you are called for an interview, the employer is saying, “hey, you had some interesting things to say and I’d like to talk more with you.”

At the interview, the conversation continues.  Your best approach is to gather information about the job, the interviewer, the company, the vibe you get. While you are answering their questions, you also can be gleaning a lot of information – information that you naturally gather in a casual conversation. How do you feel?

Signs things are going well for YOU:

  • You feel more and more comfortable.
  • Your confidence grows.
  • You laugh together.
  • The interviewers and you begin leaning in toward each other.

Signs you have probably not found your “right fit” job:

  • You’re increasingly nervous.
  • You feel sick to your stomach?
  • You are folding your arms in front of you.
  • The interviewer is leaning back.

If you were at a party having a conversation and started feeling sick to your stomach or nervous, you’d probably find a way to gracefully end the conversation and move on.

Remember, you’re looking for YOUR “right fit” job so it has to feel right for you as well as for the employer.