So the Superbowl was last night. Sigh. I made asked a friend in the middle of the game, “How much do you think the plays on the field look like what each time watched on films of each other these past two weeks?” (Because frankly, the Patriots didn’t seem to have much of a clue when it came to what the Eagles were doing offensively.) Since I am not a professional football player, I don’t know exactly what the prep is for a game – not to mention THE game – but I would imagine it comes down to a lot of analyzing how the other team plays and devising plays and strategies to counteract said plays. Then it’s a matter of practicing said plays and strategies and maintaining fitness, etc. etc. etc.
In other words, there isn’t one approach to every opponent, but a structured approach based on every opponent. All of this is to say I realized last night that getting ready for an interview feels like it’s the same process.
I had an interview last week and since it’s been, oh 21 years since I’ve interviewed for a job, I thought some prep work was warranted. There was matching the job description to my experience, both generally and coming up with specific examples. There was a deep dive into the company itself, looking at the employee list on the website and LinkedIn to see if I had any connections and how the company was structured. I also needed to feel comfortable with exactly what the company did so I could mentally connect the dots on what the job description said and how it (and I) might fit. Then it was onto trying to understand the person who would interview me as well as all the crazy, untraditional, open-ended questions that might come up.
It was a lot of work. Mostly because I hadn’t had to study myself and my experience in such depth for such a long time, but also because a) I like to know what I’m getting myself in for and b) I didn’t want to be taken by surprise by something I should have seen coming. The extra time – which to be honest felt really good. It felt tangible and like my brain was clicking in a way it hadn’t for a bit – had the extra added unexpected bonus of helping me determine whether the job and company might be a good fit. I say might because you can’t really know that until you talk to people on the inside.
The long and the short of it was several days of research and introspection which left me feeling positive about what I have to offer a company. Which ended up being a surprise benefit that I can now carry forward as I continue to scan the job scene and network my way into more interviews. The Superbowl as a metaphor for a job interview. Who knew?