This is the story from one of my Job Search Group Coaching clients who managed to land her dream job at a wonderful company in Switzerland in less than 10 days.
Take a look at my strategy and see if there is something in there that you could adapt to your personality and use in your job search. You can find a summary of what I have learned at the end of this blog entry.
Searching for a job in a new country and a new field without any previous experience or contacts (and actually finding the right job for me) has been one of the hardest processes in my life.
After having sent many applications and received my fair share of rejections, I was starting to lose hope that the career change would happen for me. I was lucky enough to have amazing allies, people who believed in me and pushed me to pursue my dream. And then it happened…
The motivation letter
A few days before I sent out the motivation letter that got me an interview in the first place, I had worked through Daniel’s Why-How-What technique in the Jordico Job Search Group Coaching.
This technique doesn’t tell you anything that you don’t already know, but it does make you think once again about your motivation and how to present yourself.
I only sent out one single application after that and the next day I was already talking to the hiring manager and arranging my first interview! Maybe it was luck or maybe my time to land an interview had finally come.
What I know is this: I wrote the boldest motivation letter of my life and apparently managed not only to stand out but also to connect with the hiring manager on some emotional level by sharing his values.
The interview was arranged for the following day.
The first interview round
Let me start by saying that I had never had a real interview before in my life. Because I had no expectations of what might come up, I managed to be very relaxed during the interview.
My preparation consisted of preparing for the standard questions you can find everywhere on the internet. I also wrote down a number of questions I would be asking and took them with me.
On one day I ended up interviewing with two people from the team separately and this took about two hours in total. Both interviewers were very persistent in understanding my motivation and challenged me with their questions while still maintaining a friendly environment.
When I left, I felt that the interview went well and was told to expect a phone call with some feedback.
On my way home, I went through the interviews in my head and tried to reflect on what went well and what I could have done better. Even though I was fairly pleased with how the interview went, I wasn’t 100% sure that I managed to fully convince the interviewers.
So my next step came naturally: I wrote an email as soon as I got home and thanked the interviewers for their time and the interesting discussions. I made a point of mentioning again how certain I am that this is the right position and company for me. And I think that this made a huge difference.
By the same evening I was invited to the second interview round a few days later.
The second interview round
My preparation for the second interview round was very thorough. Website, current projects, challenges, prospects, competitors, basically anything I could find.
I answered the questions as openly as I could and challenged the interviewers with my own set of questions. I even made some suggestions on how they could improve something in their company, showing them that I was really interested in the company.
The second round lasted again more than two hours and I went home exhausted but with a good feeling.
The offer came in on the following day.
10 things I have learned and must not forget for the future
- Determine your goal and stick to it. Don’t give up. It will happen eventually.
- Meet new people. LinkedIn offers a great opportunity to connect with others. Meet in person if you can. Explain your goal. It is great practice for when you are faced with an interview.
- Formulate your Why-How-What strategy and be very specific about it.
- Write the perfect motivation letter. Be bold to stand out. If your Why-How-What message is very specific, it shouldn’t take you more than half an hour to adapt it to a new company or role description.
- If a job ad inspires you, forget about all your previous motivation letters and start a new one from scratch. Yes, even type out your contact information again. It gives you a new perspective. Doing things exactly the same way and expecting a different outcome is, for a lack of better word, crazy.
- If you get an interview, make sure you are 110% prepared.
- Follow up. Send an email. Remind them you are still there and still interested. You are bound to stand out.
- Do an extremely good research on the company, not just via the website. Be informed.
- Don’t give up.
- Be positive.