This recession has hit many of us harder than we’ve ever been hit before. For those of us who grew up in the 1980s and afterward, it has been one long movement from prosperity and excess to hardship. We’ve had gas prices at four dollars per gallon (for a little while), and we have experienced some difficulties. On the whole, however, we have not experienced a serious recession like this since before the Reagan era.
Nowadays, when on the job hunt, the objective remains the same, but the game must be played a little sharper. In this recession, you need to be a little more cognizant of your place in the jigsaw puzzle during job interviews. You need to remember that, even though you’ve gotten the interview, there are more and more people who are fighting over fewer and fewer jobs. Being mindful of this, here are seven tips for how to handle yourself during a recession-period job interview.
Make Sure Your Resumes Are Updated and Correct
There is nothing worse than speaking eloquently about all your past work experiences and having your interviewer frown at the piece of paper in hand and say, “Well that’s not what your resume says.” Having to explain your way around your own resume is one of the worst things anyone can do during a job interview. You want to be hired, and you want to fit in as seamlessly as possible. So do yourself a favor and make sure that your resume is correct and up-to-date before you go in for the interview.
Make Sure Your References Are Ready to Be Contacted
Recession times are tough. Just as you want to be careful with your resume, you also need to make sure that your references are ready and willing to be contacted. If your prospective employers get the run-around when trying to verify your references, they may just skip you altogether. During a recession, when jobs and interviews are scarcer than ever, make sure your references are all up-to-date and accurate, and make sure that the folks on the other end are ready to speak well of you.
Highlight Your Value As An Employee
You’ll want to make sure that you fit in seamlessly, so you should highlight your value as an employee. If you are familiar with the organization’s software or business practices, make sure to highlight that during your job interview. During a recession, making yourself stand out as someone who is able to hit the ground running and who will not require a great deal of training will really show your value to a potential employer.
Show Off Your Work Ethic
If you have gone above and beyond in former jobs, then make that known to your job interviewer. Showing off your strident work ethic, consistent stick-to-it attitude and ability to always put the interests of the company and of the company’s customers at the top of your priority list will only help you in your recession-period interview.
Do Not Seem Desperate
You don’t want to look like you just walked out of a dryer. Make your interview persona recession-proof by staying cool and relaxed. Try to show that you are easygoing, but still hardworking. Be sure you look well put together. If you look disheveled and desperate, you will come across disheveled and desperate. No one wants to hire someone who seems sloppy or neurotic.
Make Sure Your Terms Are Reasonable
If you think you can demand all of the same things you could during times of prosperity, you are probably fooling yourself. Temper your expectations, and you are less likely to come out of your depression-period job interview disappointed.
Make Sure Your Time Constraints Are Flexible
If you need to start working by a certain date, you may seem desperate. Even if you will no longer be able to put food on the table by next week, you should not make that known to your prospective employer. Just make sure that your time constraints are flexible and that you are willing to be amenable to the company’s hiring procedure. You do not want to be taken advantage of, but at the same time, during a recession, you do not have the same bargaining power that you do in more bounteous times.
In the end, an interview during a recession should not be too much different than an interview during any other time period. Hold your head up high, brush your teeth, comb your hair and interview with your best foot forward, and you will be just fine.