Job Interview Tips Professional Development

Surprise! You’re Always on a Job Interview!

Written by Miranda Pennington

According to Nance Rosen over at The Personal Branding Blog, 85% of hiring comes down to personality and attitude and as little as 15% might be dependent on skill, since you can be trained to do practically anything on the job.

One way to prepare for a job interview is imagining you’re being interviewed all the time. I don’t mean when you’re at home or with family or in the shower (although I do practice my interviewing spiel in the shower on a daily basis, to my husband’s bemusement), but if you’re working in a field where you interact with the public, keep in mind that any individual you interact with could someday be on the other end of a job posting.

Employers want good people who are committed and engaged in whatever job they’ve found for themselves. The kinds of people who make hiring decisions are evaluating every salesperson, customer service rep, receptionist, VP, sales director, and barista they encounter—if you think about your interactions in an intentional, deliberate way, you have dozens of chances to make a great impression every day.

We all have lousy days of course, when we don’t feel like talking to anyone and putting on a public face feels too difficult to endure. But the more often you rev up for an invisible interview, the more familiar the process will be when it’s time to actually suit up. From making eye contact to being generous with your time and expertise, it all has a way of paying itself forward to your next big opportunity.

About the author

Miranda Pennington

Miranda K. Pennington is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar, and the Ploughshares Writing Blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction for Uptown Stories, a Morningside Heights nonprofit organization. She has an MFA from Columbia University, where she has also taught in the University Writing program and consulted in the Writing Center.