How to Get off the Job Interview Roller Coaster

by Joseph Kwon in


I was at my favorite local Mexican joint with a friend who has recently been riding the job interview roller coaster. Some ups, some downs, and LOTS of waiting. As we devoured our grilled chicken tortas, an all too-common scenario emerged. First contact with the recruiter is promising and they set up an in-person meeting with the hiring manager. You come in for one or more interviews and are feeling pretty confident you are near the finish line. Then...radio silence. As days stretch into weeks you may experience a flood of emotions: hope, hopelessness, anxiety, self-doubt, bewilderment and finally, the 3 uglies - anger, indignation and resignation. If you are lucky, you have an inside contact who tells you: a) an internal candidate was tapped, b) an external candidate was selected, or c) the role disappeared.    

During this time of unknowing, some people go glibly about their lives without missing a beat. For others, it can be an all-consuming energy vampire. Constantly wondering, dreaming, checking emails and missed calls. I've been there and it's not healthy. In the worst case scenario, this can negatively impact your relationships, job performance or psyche. It's like the movie, Groundhog's Day, except you are doomed to repeat a certain men's cologne commercial from the late 80's.

So what's a candidate to do? The good news is there are some EZPZ steps you can take to minimize the chances of this adversely affecting you.

Find Financial Freedom. Let's face it, sometimes it is the allure of the extra ducats that captures your imagination more than the job itself. The best way to combat this temptation is to have a solid financial footing already. The best situation is one where you are perfectly well off staying in your current role. Any adjustments are just icing on the cake. If you are not there already, it may help to spend some of your energy taking baby steps to improve your financial situation.

Network Without Ceasing. Have job and networking contingencies in place. Be like a shark. Don't stop swimming just because you can almost taste success. Constantly work your networks and when possible, have other job applications in the mix. This will help prevent you from putting a single opportunity on a pedestal. Remember...

Your network is your net worth.

Engage in Meaningful Activities. Have something you love to do and do it regularly and with gusto. When yout heart is pumping so hard it feels like it will leap out of your chest, my guess is you won't be checking your phone for messages from the recruiter. 

Keep Your Options Open. Never limit yourself to just one position if others are available. Always have as many cards in play as possible. Even if you met that special job opening, nothing is guaranteed. Also, don't forget to make the best opportunities for yourself where you are. To do otherwise is to trap yourself or paint yourself into a corner.

Stop Obsessing over the Recruiter. Two strikes and they're out. If they don't care enough to re-initiate contact after two inquiries by you, either they don't want you or don't deserve you. Drop it and work on another job that does deserve you.

She was a fever from which I will never recover,
All heat and hunger,
She enflamed my senses ("save me!"),
And when she had devoured my very soul ("please!"),
when I had nothing left to surrender,
She abandoned me to the wreckage of myself,
And smiled.

Last, but most importantly...
You have to value yourself, your time, and your presence to prevent this “disease.”
There isn't a magic method to deal with this pain. The best thing to do is to value yourself, keep your dignity and move forward. Always forward.