Changing jobs is considered one of the most stressful events in a person’s life ranking right up there with getting married/divorced, moving and the death of a loved one. We all, at some point, have finished up a construction project and now need to go on a job interview. We might as well make it as fearless as possible.
1) IT’S A CONVERSATION: Remember, an interview is just a formal way of saying you are having a conversation with someone. This is not life or death. You and the company are simply trying to determine if this job, at this time with this company is a match for you. It may be a match and it may not be. Try to remember, that the person you are speaking with is neither superman nor wonder woman. They hold no special powers. Speak with them like you would speak with your minister or priest. Use good manners, proper English, dress professionally and most importantly be you. Tell them about your most impressive HVAC installation. Tell them how you increased the profit margin on your last school project.
2) WILL YOU FIT INTO THEIR CORPORATE CLUTURE: Remember the interview is a two way conversation. They are here to assess if you are a fit but you are also there to see if you would enjoy working for that company. Research the firm before the interview, show up prepared with good questions and most importantly smile and be friendly. Impress them with your knowledge of the industry and how their company positions themselves. Do they use Union or Open shop labor? Does the company estimate design build projects or do they prefer hard bid? Do they specialize in underground utilities and waste water plants or do they focus on high purity systems?
3) BREATHE AND RELAX: Give yourself some time to relax and calm yourself right before the interview. Show up 10-15 minutes early. Leave your heat/AC turned on, turn off your radio and take this time to compose yourself. The best way to do this is to close your eyes, and breathe deeply through you nose and out through your mouth. Three to five minutes of this exercise will do wonders to calm your nerves. Visualize yourself being calm, composed and confident by reflecting on your past successes. Thing about how you felt when that airport project came in 8 weeks ahead of schedule or when you won a project by out bidding your competitors with some value engineering.
4) KNOW YOURSELF: Know your strengths before the interview. The company is looking to hire someone to meet their current needs, not to train you to meet future needs. So you need to know all the skills that you possess that you can provide to the company right now. Make a list of every skill that you have and beside it list how that skill can benefit a company. Think of yourself as a product on a shelf, how would you sell yourself? For example, what systems do you know (HVAC, Plumbing, Sheet Metal, Electrical) or what software applications are you proficient with (Quickpen, Estimation, Microsoft Project, Primavera, Autocad, BIM). Make sure these skills are reflected in your resume.
5) BE FEARLESS: Let go of your fear of rejection. No one gets every job that they apply for so neither will you. Worrying about the interview will not help you, it only hurts you. Try to remember that there are hundreds of factors affecting every single hire and many of them have nothing to do with you. Did the company win that new Hospital project? Did the client decide they wanted to use BIM design and the company does not offer that service? Control what you can and let the rest go.
6) LET IT GO: After you finish the interview and have written your thank you note, congratulate yourself for a job well done. Assess yourself, praise yourself for what went well and take note of some things that you could do better next time. If you forget to tell a client that you can estimate as well as project manager, write that on your interview prep notes so you will not forget it next time. Then let it go.
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