Some people believe in signs. I happen to be one of those people. However, when it comes to my career, every “sign” I thought was leading me to the perfect job has been wrong. For instance, when I decided I no longer wanted to work at a Law Firm, I did a lot of research on jobs where I could still utilize my law degree. I ended up getting an interview at a Pharmaceutical Consulting firm. This was obviously meant to be! My husband was in the Pharmaceutical Industry AND one of my best friends was a Consultant. Clearly, between the best friend/husband prep sessions, I was getting this job. Wrong, so wrong.
On hour three of the interview (well, more like ten minutes in) I realized I knew nothing about this type of Consulting. Towards the end of the interview, I was asked to explain how many Mercedes were in New York City. Ok, so maybe my friend mentioned I would be asked something along these lines, but that question is ridiculous, right? Well, not in a consulting interview. The interviewer kept pressing me to further explain my thought process, and show him my calculations, etc. Instead of trying to sell my “interesting” analysis to this Harvard graduate, I really wanted to say “I’m a Jewish lawyer living in Manhattan. I can tell you where to BUY a Mercedes..does that count?” I knew after that intense three hour interview, this field might not be for me- lesson learned.
So, learn from my mistakes-
1) If you are going to switch careers, you better do your homework before an interview
2) Make sure you have the skill set for the job which you are applying
3) If you do not have the skills for the job which you are applying, try to get some in-depth assistance with interview preparation
4) The fact that your husband is in the Pharmaceutical Industry and your best friend is a Consultant doesn’t mean you will ace an interview in those fields
5) Know how to figure out how many Mercedes are in New York City prior to a Consulting interview.
Sometimes when you think something is perfect, it turns out all wrong. However, you ALWAYS learn something from a bad interview (and any other career mistakes you make along the way). Take notes on what you did well, as well as on what you can improve. Lastly, don’t get frustrated. If you wait for it, there is always another more fitting opportunity that is much more “meant to be” right around the corner.
Image courtesy InAweofGod’sCreation