The other day I got a call from a woman named Sue whom I met about 7 years ago and to whom I hadn't spoken in almost that long. Talk about a blast from the past! I met Sue a long time ago when she was an in-house recruiter at a large bank in Chicago. The bank was recruiting me for an opening in their staffing division. I didn't want that particular job but I was interested in possibly working for the bank. I was very honest about my career aspirations and I interviewed with a bunch of very interesting people. They didn't have a job for me at that time but I really enjoyed all my meetings and considered the experience to be a success since I got to meet some very senior execs whom I wouldn't normally have been able to network with.
Fast forward to the year 2007 when I got an email out of the blue from Sue. She remembered me from that long-ago interview and had done some internet research to see what I had been up to. She is now an in-house recruiter for another prestigious financial services firm and they have a position open for which she thought of me. I was, of course, very flattered and honored that she would remember me after all these years.
That is the thing about interviews - they are fantastic opportunities to meet new people and to network. Generally speaking, when I go on a job interview I try to keep a very open mind and just approach the whole situation as though I am meeting new friends. And, as a result, I have met many new friends and business contacts through my interviews over the years. Even when I have gotten rejected I reach out to my interviewers and let them know that there are no hard feelings and that I would like to stay in touch. I have made some great contacts that way.
If you approach interviews in this manner you won't be as nervous and you will probably have a lot more fun at it. Don't think of an interview as a situation in which you are being "judged" because that is just too stressful. Just think of going out to meet new friends and you will be amazed at how your interviewers respond to you. Your interviewers will be more relaxed and friendly too! And you never know, they just may think of you when a great job opens up many years from now...
Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry-level jobs and other career opportunities.