Waiting for the Job: Cues to Take from Presidential Candidates

Posted November 6, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Career Moves

Today is a turning point in American politics, just as it is every four years. It’s election day, when we either elect a new President or re-elect a current President. It’s a time when we spend hours in line at the voting booths, and ultimately hours in front of our televisions watching results pour in from around the nation. This election cycle has seemed especially long to many of us, and while we’re all ready to get on with life and find out who’s sitting in the seat of the Chief Commanding Officer, we’re also biting our nails hoping for whatever outcome we want.

And while here at Career Girl, we will never get too political on you, we’re piggybacking on our interviewing tips from the Presidential debates, and giving you a few tips based on what the candidates are going through now to get through the most dreaded part of the interview process – the wait!

When you (or the Presidential candidates) are waiting to hear about a job, take the following advice:

  • Keep your head in the game. When you’ve come to the end of an interview process, you might think it’s all over when it’s not. There may be other hurdles you need to jump through in order to get the job. From background checks to drug tests to last minute interviews with big wigs, even at the end of the process, it might not be over. So keep your head in the game. Don’t throw away your resumes or the notes from your interviews. Until they definitively say yes or no, consider yourself in an active interview process.
  • Don’t celebrate until it’s 100% official. A while back I told you all the story of a job I got…..and then didn’t get. It was humiliating that I announced the job on Facebook and Twitter and told everyone I had it when….I didn’t. So sad. Same goes for the Presidential candidates. In 2000, both parties celebrated winning when we wouldn’t know the true outcome of the election for quite some time. Until you’ve signed the offer, started the job, and maybe even gotten your first paycheck, don’t celebrate.
  • Be gracious if you don’t get the job. After election results are in, there’s always a concession speech before the acceptance speech. In that speech, the candidate who isn’t victorious usually congratulates and speaks highly of the elected candidate, and often rallies for party cooperation in Washington. While you might not get to concede the job to the person who got it, be gracious to the hiring manager or HR professional who breaks the news to you. Thank you for their consideration and be sincere. You never know, years from now the same company could have another job opening that’s perfect for you. They’ll remember your grace under pressure later.

So when you’re biting your nails in front of CNN tonight, think about what the candidates are going through. It’s just like you’ve probably experienced in the past waiting to hear about a job. They’re just waiting on….a really big job!

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."