Q: They’ve just changed the interview date – for a second time. I’m ripping mad, to be honest. Plus, I’m running out of excuses at work. I’m afraid my boss will smell a rat. Will I just tell them to forget about it – if they can’t get the interview date right, they must be a disaster. Stick or twist? (TS, email).
A: Three bites at the cherry is a lot of bites, right enough, and you’d have to be getting a little jumpy.
I’d chance one more bite, though. A job worth getting is worth waiting for. Is it worth getting? If your misgivings about the company are primarily based on their inability to pull the interview together, I would hold fire just yet.
Anger is not your friend right now. You need to lose that lest it might infect the actual interview itself. Don’t take it personally: everyone else is in the same boat.
Nothing has changed. You’re still the same candidate and you’ve still the same ability. The job is still the same. Like true love, the path to new career vistas can run crookedly.
So, shed the annoyance, the race is still on. If it’s brought up, adopt a ‘these things happen’ attitude. There might be very good reasons why they can’t schedule the date properly.
If and when you are offered the job, you will need to satisfy yourself that they are the right company for you. At that point, you will evaluate lots of other factors: the contract, the vibe you get from the people you meet within the company at interview and job-offer stages and feedback you get from other people as you further strip search the company.
But that comes later. For now, stay in the race and focus on getting the job. Go in there on the new day and do what you had planned to do on the other days.
In sports matches, sometimes the game beforehand goes to extra time and teams have to recalibrate their preparations at the last moment. This is much the same. It happens. Don’t let it distract you now. And, as I said, it’s not personal, so don’t make it.
This week’s top tip
Get your referees in order. Speak to them if you’re applying for jobs and doing interviews now. Tell them they may get a call.
Remind them of the kind of jobs you are currently seeking – and the characteristics you would like them to highlight, if you have that kind of relationship with them. This does not amount to asking them to tell lies: rather, it lets them know where exactly you want the light shone.
Choose referees carefully. Pick people who will actually answer the phone. You can choose different people from the places you’ve worked previously, or the community groups you’ve been involved in.
Make your selections carefully: a skilled recruiter will pick up on what’s unsaid as well as what’s said.
I regularly meet clients who take great care over the various aspects of the process – they write a good CV, they get interview training, they do a mock interview and they take time to choose the right clothes.
And then they run the risk of undoing all the good work by not getting their referees in order.