The interviewing mindset that changed my life

And why I’ll never go back.

The interviewing mindset that changed my life
I'll never go back

I met a friend at a corporate training once who told me she tries to do one interview per month. I thought she was crazy.

  • Isn't it disingenuous to interview for positions you're not actually interested in??
  • Aren't you burning bridges if you ultimately walk away?
  • What happens if they give you an unexpectedly awesome offer??

Years later, it became clear to me I was looking at it backwards. She's a genius.

Interviewing once a month is the ultimate career flex.

Evaluating different opportunities keeps your career strategy mindset constantly engaged

I was afraid of damaging relationships or looking dumb if I interviewed at places I wasn't interested in. This is the wrong way of looking at it. Apply to roles you're genuinely interested in, even if you think there's no way you'd actually take the job. Sending out applications on a regular basis is the only way to truly stay on top of the market. Cyber career strategist Jason Blanchard spends 15 minutes job hunting every day, even while he's employed at a job he enjoys. Doing so keeps you constantly exposed to the skills and requirements needed for the jobs you're seeking. And it ensures you're always aware of the evolving opportunities that are out there.

Got an interesting LinkedIn message from a recruiter? Call them back!

See an intriguing role open up at a company you've always admired? Apply!

Occasionally applying to jobs forces you to keep your resume up to date

Most people only update their resume once they're desperate for a new job, a great way to ensure your resume sucks when you need it most. Consistently interviewing means your resume is updated at all times. You'll be looking at it a lot more, refining how you portray your story and experiences, versus the person who throws it all together at the last minute and hopes for the best.

Having an updated resume is powerful. Applying to jobs while you're employed is an amazing, pressure-free way to experiment. You can try out different variations of your resume and apply to roles at different levels. The only way to know what works and what doesn't is to try!

The best way to get better at interviewing is to... interview

You’d think this is obvious, but it’s not. Without dedicating time to interview practice, you're likely terrible at interviewing. Even if you think you're a pretty good interviewer, I guarantee there are things you can improve. Presenting yourself professionally and being able to confidently express your story and achievements is a super power. Hone it.

Without practice, how can you be sure you're any good?

Mock interviews are great, but nothing substitutes for the real thing. You can't simulate nerves and anxiety. After doing a bunch of interviews you'll be amazed at the boost to your self confidence. Even "failing" an interview is invaluable. It stings in the moment, but you walk away with such clarity on what to prioritize and focus on.

Another HUGE benefit is the boost to your negotiation skills. Having the "compensation conversation" is terrifying. Until you've done it a bunch of times. After enough practice it becomes no big deal and you'll walk through it effortlessly. Remember, recruiters have these conversations all day long. How do you stand a chance if you don't also have some practice under your belt?

Interviews are never a waste of time

I used to be afraid of wasting my time and the company's time by interviewing when I wasn't "looking" for a job. I had to get over this mindset. Interviewing is inherently valuable.

  • It's a chance to explore a new company and learn about their product, culture, mission, etc
  • It's a chance to meet new people (a good interview could lead to a future mentor!)
  • You're evaluating them as much as they're evaluating you.

The last point is critical and it's key to why interviewing often is a great idea. I used to have the flawed notion that I was only interviewing if I knew I wanted the job. This mindset keeps you too attached to each individual opportunity and holds you back. There's a reasonably low chance you'll get any particular job. Don't get attached. Each interview is a chance to learn as much about the company and role as possible.

You're not interviewing because you know you want to work there. You're interviewing to find out if you want to work there.

Make it a habit!