You Need to Know. But Have You Been Told?
You must have done this at some time; got yourself in amess by doing something that was pretty idiotic. I certainly have, but not very often. Being in a mess is usually the result of not knowing what someone ought to have told you. If only you’d been told what you needed to know, trouble could have been avoided quite easily. The trouble was you didn’t even know it was something you needed to know.
That was clearly the reason the young lady from Swindon was in such difficulty.
She was being interviewed on radio and she was explaining how difficult it was to land a job. “The problem is,” she said,” I’m always up against 50 other candidates so I only ever have a 1 in 50 chance of being selected.”
And I thought, “Oh dear. No wonder the poor girl is in such a mess.”
You could be up against 50 other candidates. That much is true; but it’s not true that you only have a 1 in 50 chance of landing the job. Job selection is not some kind of lottery, where everyone has an equal chance of being selected but the chances are very slim for anyone. There will be a few candidates who are extremely well prepared. Their chances are much better than the unprepared candidates. Your chances are almost nil if you’re one of the unprepared candidates. But you’re not going to prepare properly if no-one ever tells you why it is so important to do so or what preparation you need to do.
Job selection is not like the lottery and neither is it like a school exam. In an exam, the grade you’re awarded does not depend on the grades other students get. If you’re good enough for an A*, that’s what you’re going to get. But the employer has only one vacancy to fill. You are not going to land the job just by being good enough to do the job. You’re only going to get the job if you impress the interviewer more than all the other candidates who are also good enough to do the job. In other words, you have to be outstanding.
Most candidates have absolutely no idea how to go about being really impressive; and most candidates who have no idea how to impress will make no effort how to find out how it’s done!
If you’re among the candidates who has made the effort, you’re going to be very much the exception. There may be very little you can do about the number of candidates you’ll be up against, but there’s a lot you can do to make sure that very few of them will be a match for you.
Now then. Is that a conversation worth having with me?