How to Grow Your Confidence Step by Step

grow your confidence

How to Grow Your Confidence Step by Step

March 29, 2021

grow your confidenceConfidence is the sureness of our abilities to do something and do it well with no self-doubt!

We all have certain situations where we are more confident than others. We are more confident in our areas of expertise and interest and profession.

How do you become more confident?

You can read, observe, watch videos, or listen to podcasts.  What you have learned, you need to practice and practice some more until you become more confident in your abilities and you diminish your self-doubt.

You build confidence by taking one step at a time toward your end goal. Break apart what you want to achieve in small steps where you can see and feel yourself become more confident. If you didn’t succeed in one step, you don’t need to go back to the beginning. Just repeat the step you struggled with until you have it.

You don’t build confidence overnight. You will have to work at it.

For example, when you were little and learning to ride a bike, I suspect you started off with training wheels. They were intended to help you learn to ride a bike without getting hurt. You learned how to get on and off, how to stop by using the petals, and to gain confidence for when you took the next big step…. And the training wheels were taken off the bike.

Have there been times in your life when you wished you were more confident? I suspect that your answer is “yes.” Who doesn’t want more confidence?

One area in my professional life where I struggled with confidence was in my ability to write in a professional manner. I could write a lovely personal note, but when it came to writing for business, I struggled. I am more comfortable as a verbal communicator. I knew what I wanted to say, but it’s harder for me to put it in writing.

But I really, really wanted to write an article and be published! So I decided to do something about it by breaking it into “one step at a time.”

For the sake of a deeper example for you, here is my “one step at a time” process:

  • I asked a trusted colleague if she would be willing to be my “accountability coach” for writing an article.
  • We discussed my specific challenges, and we identified my topic.
  • Drawing from my areas of expertise in career management, confidence and relationship building skills (content that I felt confident in), I chose to write about “Rebuilding Confidence After a Job Loss.” I believed that the emotional loss of losing a job needed to be discussed more.
  • My colleague helped me get started when she said, “Just talk to me about this. Why are you so passionate about the subject?” After I told her why it mattered to me, she said, “That is your beginning.”
  • Next, she told me to write in bullet format how someone would rebuild their confidence. After all, I have been developing resumes for years so I am the “queen of bullets!” I can do that, and I did!
  • We are almost there…. How to end the article?
  • Once again, she asked me a question. What do you want them to know about what you just said? I told her and she said, “That is your ending.”

Success in writing my first article!

  • Two big discoveries along the way were: I felt confident about what I wrote about; My lack of confidence was in how to write it
  • I learned that I could write by drawing on a process that comes easy to me. I was confident developing bullet statements that I could turn into sentences.

The story does not end there!

I was proud of my article and I wanted to see if anyone would be interested in publishing it, so people who were in a job transition could perhaps feel better about their situation.

I sent it to the marketing person at my company who in turn sent it to their PR firm. They loved the article and it got published on CareerBuilder and Monster and re-published a couple of more times.

I was ELATED! And I was hooked and determined to continue to improve my writing and confidence.

Over the years since that first article was published, I became Marketing’s “go to person” for either writing or contributing to article requests.

And then after I left that company, I got really daring and I wrote a whole book! That book, You, You, Me, You: The Art of Talking to People, Networking, and Building Relationships serves as the cornerstone of my consulting business.

This entire journey comes back to one of the most important things that helped me develop my confidence in writing: My willingness to say, “I am not good at it, but I’d like to learn.” I was open to advice on how to improve. I was willing to practice, and I sought guidance and feedback that helped me find my way.

And so, I ask you:

Around what skill do you want to increase your confidence?

What are you willing to do to make it happen?

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Why You Should Network When You Already Have a Job

Keep your network alive

Why You Should Network When You Already Have a Job

March 8, 2021

Keep your network alive

Every time my clients secure a new job, we celebrate… and then we do a debrief.

One question I ask is: “What is the greatest lessons you learned during your search?”

They often reply with something like: “I am going to keep networking because I realized I let it fall apart and that made my job search harder.”

But then they don’t do that and that is unfortunate.

It’s understandable. They become busy very quickly with onboarding into their new role, getting to know their new colleagues, and digging into what they were hired to do.

When they answer my question, they mean well. They have learned the value of staying connected with their network and they want to maintain those connections.

They know the relationships they built during their search were invaluable to finding their job.

However, they don’t see the need right then. They let it lapse, thinking they’ll get back to it later… but then they stay distracted and they never do get back to it.

Another reason why they don’t stay connected to their new network is that they missed the fact that networking is building relationships for a mutual benefit.

It is like a garden that needs watering, weeding, and effort throughout the season. You give to the garden during its growing season, and it will give back to you through the food that grows as a result of your tending.

Keeping your network alive is not only for present needs, but future ones that you don’t even know about. And during the time that you don’t need the help, you can provide support to others.

I think that most people forget that networking is about give and take.

I’m happy to say that not all of my clients forget this lesson.

One of my recent clients clearly understood the importance of staying in touch after she landed in her new job.

Olivia (her real name, used with permission) reached out to me to catch up after being in her new job for 6 months. Not only did Olivia call me, but she also follows me on social media with comments and likes, and she even occasionally shares my posts. She has maintained our relationship long after our work together was complete.

During our conversation, I asked Olivia why she reached out to me.

She said, “You invited me to reach out in six months to let you know how I was doing in my new role.”

I was impressed because that is the advice I give to all of my clients, though few of them follow through. I tell them to reach out to me and also to the other people who helped them in their search.

I was thrilled to hear from her!

We had a great conversation hearing about her role, the challenges she was facing, and she also asked how I was doing as well.

Olivia understands the value and benefit of staying in touch.

Keeping your network alive while you are working is challenging and takes time. What if you find yourself in the job market again? It’ll happen, more than likely than not. Do you want to have a solid network to reach out to for help?

I hope your answer is “Yes!”

One thing I know for sure: It’s easier to find a new job when you have a network that’s already up and running.

The last thing any of us wants to do is start stringing together a new network when times are desperate. That’s an uncomfortable process and honestly, it’s harder to pull together a quality network when you start by asking for help.

Instead: Pull together a network of high-quality contacts when you don’t need it. Support the people in your network with any help you can give, and then they’ll be there when you need to do the asking.

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Why and How to Stay Connected to Your Network (even when you have a job)

Why and How to Stay Connected to Your Network (even when you have a job)

March 8, 2021

I talk often about staying in touch with your network, even while you have a job and aren’t looking for a new one… yet.

This is because building and maintaining relationships with your network is not only for when you need something. The best networks are built upon mutual reciprocity which you can achieve by giving more than you are receiving.

By staying connected with your network while you are employed you will be able to:

  • Hear about the challenges in your industry, trends and valued skills and experience
  • Build a broader network where you can help others when they need it
  • Identify what “hot skills” hiring managers are seeking
  • Develop stronger relationship building skills (practice, practice, practice!)
  • Foster a relationship where your contacts think of you when they hear about relevant opportunities
  • Engage with your network quickly when you do need them, especially when you have lost your job.

In short, keeping your network active will increase your chances of finding a new job sooner than if you ignore your contacts and let your network fade away. And if you don’t stay active with your network, that’s exactly what will happen!

If you are not actively keeping your network alive, it is not too late! Here are 3 things you can do right now:

  • Make a list of 10-15 people who were instrumental in your last job search or have provided you with great career advice.
  • Reach out to them on LinkedIn or email and ask to set up a virtual coffee chat to hear about what they are up to.
  • Send a “thinking of you” email focusing on them

Take action: Which one of these three things will you do? Please tell me in the comments below.

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How to Have a Networking Conversation

Stay Connected to Your Network

How to Have a Networking Conversation

March 8, 2021

Stay Connected to Your Network

Communicating with people in your network can be tricky.

Everyone likes to talk about themselves… even you. It’s a natural human way of being.

BUT that approach won’t serve you when you are engaging in a networking conversation.

The goal of networking is to build a mutual relationship built on trust. You need to let them know that you are here to help them, and that you would like them to help you as well.

With this goal in mind, it’s important to go into a conversation with a plan to focus more on them than on yourself. When you do this, they’ll go away feeling good about themselves, and therefore they’ll feel good about the conversation and about you.

I talk about this in detail in my book, You, You, Me, You, The art of Talking to People, Networking, and Building Relationships.

Here are some key notes to get you started:

Let’s say you’re going into a virtual coffee chat with someone in your network that you already know and have spoken with before. You can use my concept easily during this call.

It draws on 4 simple words:

  • You
  • You
  • Me
  • You

Hint: That final You, is the most important part.

Here’s what that conversation sounds like:

Focus on YOU:
Mary, I am so glad we were able to find the time to catch up. I noticed you recently (commented on a social media post / took an action). That made me think of you so I’m glad we’re able to connect.

Focus on YOU:
So tell me, what have you been doing since the last time we talked?
Or
The last time we talked, you mentioned ________. How is that going?

Focus on ME:
You mentioned _________. I can relate because I am going through something very similar.
Or
I’m doing well. (then share something that you think they might find interesting or something that you would like her to know about what you are doing.)

Focus on YOU:
Mary, it has been so great catching up. Let’s not wait so long next time. Good luck with your work situation and if you need some advice or help in the future, please do not hesitate to reach out. You have always been so helpful to me when I’ve need advice.

Consider scheduling the next time on your calendar before the end of the call, though it’s ok to leave it open.

Take it one step further by following up with an email within 48 hours to reiterate how much you enjoyed catching up and you look forward to your next conversation.

There’s one thing in the above conversation that I hope you noticed: Begin where you ended.

You’ll ease into a conversation more smoothly if you start with where you left off. The fact that you remember will let them know that they are important and that you are invested in the relationship.

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Confidence in the Heat of Battle

confidence in the heat of (chess) battle

Confidence in the Heat of Battle

February 15, 2021

I woke up today extremely excited!

I was scheduled to speak to MBA students for an international business school in the Boston area on the topic “Presenting Yourself with Confidence in the Job Search.”

I was ready. My presentation looked beautiful, I loved my content, and I was pumped to motivate and inspire the students that they can and will find a job.

I logged on 15 minutes early to make sure all the tech was working correctly. My host and I were able to connect and warm up a little bit so that we’d be ready.

While we spoke, I mentioned that I had just bought a new monitor that I would be using for the very first time. I was excited that I would be able to see my presentation on a larger screen instead of on my tiny laptop.

When we first started the presentation, everything looked like it was working.

But then as I started sharing my screen, my whole presentation disappeared. I could no longer see what I was supposed to talk about!

You might be wondering if I printed a hard copy as back up. Unfortunately, I did not.

Do you see where this is going? Because it gets worse.

As I’m scrambling to get my thoughts in order so I can present without my notes, my screen freezes. They can hear me, but they only have a frozen image of me.

My contact and I got on the phone. “Jayne, what do you want to do? Do we need to scrap the whole thing?”

And then I remember… one of the people in the room is the DEAN. What a first impression I’m making!

It would have been easy to freak out and bail at that point.

But I was also in a position to demonstrate how to behave in this kind of situation.

I was under the gun… in the heat of battle! Do I give way to the stress and fear, or do I step up with confidence and manage the situation?

I chose option 2 and focused on the problem at hand.

“How can I get on this call?” I asked myself. My cell phone will have to do.

I log on with my cell phone… and success! I can see my host, the students can see me, and after a bit of time… ah-ha! I see my presentation. Yessssss!

I have a facilitation style of presenting where I like the participants to engage with me. It helps when I can see them, so not being on a big screen put me at a disadvantage.

However, I was able to draw them in and get them engaging with me. I could feel the energy in the room rising.

I wish my story ended here, but it does not.

We finally got things moving and we made it almost all the way through my presentation, but then..

My fully-charged phone started acting up. It kept stuttering and freezing. I kept thinking that maybe it had tossed me out of the Zoom all, but then it would start working again.

Since my host could see the presentation at her end, I asked her to read what was on the last slides so I could talk about them. After that, we rolled into the Q&A.

It mostly worked, but apparently the sound was intermittent. They could hear a few words, but then they’d miss a few, hear a few, miss a few.

Finally, I got kicked out of Zoom and I couldn’t get back into the call.

Whether I wanted to be or not, I was done.

Whew.

At this point, you might think that I settled in for a good cry while beating myself up about everything that went wrong.

But I have to say… I didn’t do any of those things!

Instead, I breathed a big sigh of relief.

I did recognize that it had been the most challenging presentation I had ever given!  And I was feeling quite proud of how I handled it. Even though the technology caused me trouble at every turn, I felt confident in my ability to talk about this topic and that’s what carried me through.

I knew my content and the actual flow of the presentation, and I could tell that the students were engaged.

What mattered was how my contact felt because she recommended me and remember the DEAN was in attendance as well.

Not long after the event ended, my host called me “You did an amazing job!” she told me. “You are a master! If you can handle this situation, you can handle anything.”

She also told me that the Dean was impressed with my presentation and how I managed the tech challenges. Sweet relief!

Some of the practical lessons here are:

  • Print a copy of your presentation.
  • Practice using your new technology before you use it to present.
  • Know your content well.

There’s an intangible lesson here as well:

  • Don’t panic. Focus on solving the problem.

When you’re dealing with a tough situation in front of other people, this is actually an opportunity!

Nothing says more about you than how you respond when things aren’t working right.

The reason that my host and the Dean were impressed is because I didn’t let the challenges rile me up. Instead, I found answers, and used those to persevere.

Have you ever experienced anything like this, where every time you turned around, something would go wrong? Please share it in the comments so we can celebrate your perseverance!

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What is the Hidden Job Market?

Hidden Job Market

What is the Hidden Job Market?

January 24, 2021

Hidden Job MarketI have a client that has been looking for a job for a few months now.

Like many, COVID put him in a position where he needed to find something new. Also because of the pandemic, it hasn’t been easy to find a new job.

Not long after we started working together, my client got in touch with a big company here in New England. The COO of the company told him that there were some positions opening that my client would be a good fit for. At the time of the conversation between my client and the COO, those positions had not yet been posted. My client expressed interest, so the COO had a conversation with HR.

Just yesterday, the position was posted publicly… and my client is already being seriously considered for the job!

This is an example of how the “hidden job market” works.

When you tap this hidden job market, you can speed up your job-hunting journey, identify upcoming openings that are a good fit for you, and find someone within the company who is rooting for you.

If you’re interested in getting ahead of the pack by tapping the hidden job market, download this guide: The Secret to Getting to the Front of the Line. In it you will find the two magic questions that you need to answer in order to access the hidden job market.

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What makes you successful?

what makes you successful

What makes you successful?

January 4, 2021

what makes you successfulAs we step into 2021, I find myself thinking about what I want the New Year to look like. And my natural inclination (and I think this is true for all of us) is to first look back at the last year as guidance for the year ahead.

Although it’s easy to look back at 2020 and grumble at all of the things that went wrong, I think it’s important that we also note that a lot of things went right.

And we can draw on those things that went right as we do our 2021 planning.

Note: Even if you aren’t inclined to identify a New Year’s resolution, setting professional goals is key for starting the new year on track.

So, as I reflect on 2020 as part of my 2021 planning, I thought I’d share my findings with you and also invite you to do the same.

I invite you to answer this question:

Regarding your professional life, what are three things that you accomplished in 2020?

In other words… What went right?

If you spend much of 2020 unemployed, this might be a difficult question. If this is the case… a better question for you might be to reflect on your entire career to date.

In this case, you might want to answer this question instead:

What are three factors that have contributed to your career success?

I actually really like that second question, and so I’ve chosen to think about it for myself. I’ll give you my answers here and I invite you to share yours with me in the comments below.

Note: When you identify your answers, it can be helpful to recall specific examples. They help make the concept concrete, which will help you remember them as you start planning for 2021.

As I look back upon my career, prior to striking out with my own business, I see these three factors as having contributed to my success then and now:

  1. Feedback I have been open to feedback that informed me about what I needed to do better. This has been true when that feedback has come from my manager, a colleague, and even my piano teacher. If my manager did not volunteer constructive feedback, I found myself soliciting it – and that was always helpful! I remember being on a conference call with colleagues and after expressing my opinion, I asked, “Did I come across too strong or was I clear in what I was trying to say?” When I asked for feedback, I was willing to hear what was being said with an open mind and chose to not get defensive. This was especially true if I asked for the feedback.
  2. Initiative I looked for opportunities that challenged me. I remember saying to my boss, “Let me help you by taking this off of your plate.” I joined a team on what I anticipated to be a high visible project and it went well! Fortunately for me, I had many bosses who were willing to delegate to me, which ultimately led to me getting promoted. I did not wait to be asked and that initiative made a big difference.
  3. Relationships This is the area where I excelled in the most. I learned early on that the people you know are our most important asset for both personal and professional success. Building and maintain relationships became the cornerstone of my career. It led me to write a book about it: You, You, Me, You: The art of talking to people, networking, and building relationships.

I have two reasons for sharing these factors in a blog for you.

First – I think you might find it helpful to see how key factors can show up in a career, which might help you identify your own.

Second – I wanted you to see my success factors because they are core to what I teach and guide my clients with. They are essential to a successful career!

I hope you found this helpful! Please let me know in the comments if you did!

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What does job hunting have in common with shoe shopping?

job hunting is a lot like shoe shopping

What does job hunting have in common with shoe shopping?

December 7, 2020

Finding the right job is like buying a pair of shoes.

If you buy a pair of shoes that don’t fit, sooner or later your feet hurt, and you can longer bear to wear them.

In exactly the same way, if you don’t spend the necessary time finding the right job so that it fits you, sooner or later, you will begin to feel uncomfortable and want to leave.

I hear this concern quite frequently with my clients: They want a job that fits them.

I hear this especially when they’re previous role didn’t fit. They are highly aware of how badly it felt, and they don’t want to feel that way again.

Here’s a specific example:

A recent client of mine wanted to move out of state. To make that happen, he took the first job that he was offered. He was so excited about the move that he didn’t pay attention to the details. He didn’t make sure that the job fit his aspiring career goals, nor did he look into the company’s culture or belief system.

It didn’t take long for him to discover that the new role in the new business really didn’t fit him and he was going to need to go right back out on his job hunt immediately. On top of that, the current position was so uncomfortable, he was feeling urgent about his job search – which wasn’t helping him focus so that he could make the right decision about his next position.

So what did he do? He made an incredibly brave decision to leave the position he didn’t like so that he could dedicate his time to finding a position that offered the right fit.

I’m not saying that you have to do this! I’m just saying that you need to prioritize your wants and needs when you conduct your search.

Hearing a client say, “I want to find a job that is the right fit,” is music to my ears!

When you take the time to think about how a job fits you, your whole job search changes. You start to focus on the skills you want to use in your next job, the values that company needs to have, what you need to feel supported, and what type of work that you find interesting, you won’t just be successful. You’ll be happy!

When you find shoes that fit, you will wear them for much longer. They’ll be your go-to pair and you’ll wear them so long that you’ll wear them out!

When you find the right job that fits you, it’s exactly the same. You will stay longer, you’ll be happier, and you will do your best work!

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Rebuild Your Confidence After a Job Loss Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Improve your confidence

Rebuild Your Confidence After a Job Loss Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

November 16, 2020

Improve your confidence“Who you are will always be the foundation of your success.” Suze Orman

Many people have lost their jobs due to the Covid Pandemic.

Whether you were laid off or furloughed losing your job at any time is scary. But losing it during the pandemic even more difficult when there is so much unknown and no end in sight.

Yesterday you were employedYour confidence was high.

You were adding value to the company and you were proud of sharing your accomplishments with others. You had a place that you belonged, a steady income, and a plan for the future.  [Jayne: We don’t know for sure that they were a top performer. I’m trying to include a sense of “I have a job” that would be valid for most people.]

Today, you are unemployed!  Your confidence is lower and that is expected.

The company had to make a tough decision during these times of the Covid Pandemic. Your unemployment is NOT because of your performance! The company’s revenue suffered and a difficult business decision had to be made. Your position along with others were affected by this decision.

But when you leave a company, you lose more than just your job. You lose a partnership with talented people, a community of friends, your daily routine, a sense of identity, plus your income. It can also have a negative impact on your sense of self-worth.

Looking forward… you will need to present yourself in the best possible light to a new prospective employer, so it’s important that you take the time to acknowledge and mourn your loss.  It is okay!

When anyone first loses a job, it is easy to fall into the trap of losing your confidence, which can cause you to doubt your ability to land a new position. If that happens, make bouncing back your top priority. The secret is not to stay too long in this space.

Aren’t you still the same talented professional who has the same skills, accomplishments, and expertise? The company did take those away from you as you headed out the door.

This all belongs to you. It is a part of you and it is what you bring to the table.

The only difference is you are no longer working for the same company.

The company took away your job, but they did not take your accomplishments. They are yours to take with you wherever you go. They are YOUR stories and YOUR experiences and YOUR skills. They do not belong to the company that you once worked for. Please do not leave them behind as you will need them for your next role.

It is not uncommon to lose your confidence during this period of transition. Re-gaining your mojo will be essential for a successful job search.

Based on my experience working with people in transition, these 7 tips have been helpful in re-gaining their confidence:

  1. Develop a routine around your job search plan

Treat your job search like a full-time job and develop a routine around it to regain a sense of control. Create a “to do” list that includes a variety of key activities including: applying for jobs, scheduling, virtual networking meetings, and using LinkedIn to create more visibility.  There are many activities that will keep you busy, so use your time wisely. Picking and choosing strategically will bring a sense of control.

  1. Find a supportive network

Surrounding yourself with a circle of support can help rebuild your confidence. The people who believe in you really do want you to find the right fit and they will be your best advocates. Anyone from former colleagues or acquaintances to family members can help boost your self-esteem during this time of transition.

  1. Be generous with helping others

Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, use your new free time to help others. Establishing new connections and applying your skills to other areas like volunteering or taking on leadership positions in your community can help you bounce back.  It will also keep your skills sharp, make you feel better, and it will give you something to talk about when meeting others.

  1. Use positive affirmation

While getting support from others is key, it is also important that you believe in your own skills. Every single day, verbalize a positive affirmation and remind yourself that you possess valuable skills. Self-talk is an important part of rebuilding your self-confidence. Do not waste this time beating yourself up. Treat yourself as you would a treasured friend in the same situation. Yes, this will be hard to do sometimes… so recognize that you will have good and bad days and be compassionate with yourself.  It really will be ok!

  1. Take time to do something you love

Filling part of every day with something you love to do will fill you with positive energy.  It can be as simple as reading a book, listening to your favorite song, baking, or going for a walk. Make sure you do something every day and that it's a part of your day that you can look forward to.

  1. Practice self-care

Taking care of yourself spiritually, physically, and emotionally is so important during this time of stress! Exercise is a natural endorphin booster, so get moving! Walking, running, or riding a bike will certainly lighten your mood.  Since you might have neglected your work-out routine due to a busy work schedule, use your newfound time to get back into shape and feel better about yourself.

  1. Reflect back in time

Being prepared for the interview process can protect you from further disappointments and plunges in confidence. Spend some time reflecting back on what you’ve accomplished. Write them down so you can go back and remind yourself before a key interview. Capture the challenging project you were asked to lead, the goal you reached that you did not think you could achieve, and the rewarding things said about you during your performance review. Remember, those stories are still true!

Going through a job loss is never easy and expect you will have ups and downs. Practicing these 7 tips will help you rebuild and sustain the confidence you need to be successful in finding your next exciting role!

I have confidence in YOU! It is imperative that you have confidence in you, too!

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Haunted by Interview Ghosting? Here’s How to Stop it

Don't get caught waiting for a phone that doesn't ring

Haunted by Interview Ghosting? Here’s How to Stop it

October 26, 2020

Don't get caught waiting for a phone that doesn't ringYou interviewed for a job and you thought it went well. You asked what the next steps were, and they responded, “We’ll get back to you in two weeks about next steps.” That sounded hopeful!

But then… silence.

You reach out to the hiring manager.

And still… silence.

So, you move on to the next interview with slightly less enthusiasm, but you’re holding on to hope.

You interview. It goes well. You ask about next steps. They say they’ll get back to you.

But then… Silence.

You reach out to the hiring manager

And still… silence.

Welcome to ghosting!

Has this happened to you? It might help to know that you are not alone.

When companies don’t get back to you after your interview, it can be very frustrating and demoralizing. It’s even worse when you’re certain that the interview went well!

Unfortunately, ghosting has become the norm in today’s interview process. It has become so standardized that I often warn my clients about it: “Expect that you will be ghosted while you are interviewing.” Managing your expectations will help with disappointments.

That being said… there are things that you can do to minimize how much ghosting you experience.

I’m going to offer you some tactics that have helped my clients reduce ghosting.

But before we get to that, we need first to take a look at what’s going on here.

Why does ghosting happen?

You thought the interview went well.  What information have you based this on?

What if you didn’t do as well as you thought you did? Maybe your qualifications and experience didn’t match up in their eyes. Or maybe they’re interviewing other people (They should be!) and found someone else better qualified.

Are these the things that have been going through your head while you’re waiting for that call back that never came? Listen to those concerns and be honest with yourself. Are they valid?

At the end of the interview, when you ask, “What are the next steps?”, the interviewer’s easiest answer is to tell you, “We will get back in a couple of weeks.”

First, they may actually need those weeks because they’re doing other interviews.

Second, if they don’t think you did well enough, they don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, so they push you off with an easy answer.

And lastly, at the end of all of their interviews, if they decide that you don’t meet their needs, no one there wants to tell you bad news so...

Yup. You’ve been ghosted.

Are you ready to eliminate ghosting from your interview process?

Here’s what you could do differently.

Most people ask, “What are the next steps?”  or “When will I hear back from you?” They shy away from questions about the viability of their candidacy.

Instead, ask how your skills, experience, and qualifications match up with the job description, and inquire about specific next steps. These questions show the interviewer how serious you are about the role. Bonus: This builds a stronger relationship as well!

And honestly, wouldn’t you want to know if you are not being considered for the next round? It’s certainly a better experience than the feelings of limbo that ghosting creates.

To help you to ask more thought provoking questions that will improve your chances of hearing back even if you are not being considered for the role, I’ve offered some specific suggestions below.

New questions:

The next time an interviewer asks you, “Do you have any final questions for me?“ skip the standard response.

Instead of saying, What are the next steps? When can I expect to hear back about moving to the next round?” try these new questions:

New Question 1: “Based on our time together, how do you think my skills, experience and qualifications align with your need? Is there any disconnect that would prevent me from moving to the next round?”

Upon hearing the response, say: “Thank you for the information, I appreciate your feedback.”

New Question 2: “If I am not being considered, would it be possible for you to let me know and share with me the reason why? I would be grateful for the feedback so that I can focus on improving in the right areas as I move on to find a job that is a better fit.”

Note on Q2: Hiring managers are sometimes not comfortable providing this information, which is why it is so important to ask while you are interviewing.

It is simply a fact that ghosting happens. However, that does not mean it has to happen to YOU.  

Ask better questions at the end of the interview to get a clearer sense of your candidacy status, and at the same time, you’ll develop a stronger relationship with the interviewer. These better questions also tell them a bit more about who you are and how you think. That can help you get the job!

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