This past Saturday I sang at a local nursing home for a Christmas program. A friend of mine, Ivorine, came to support the program, and afterwards she said, “Well, since you’re in a singing mood, why don’t you come sing for us tomorrow?” I didn’t know what she was talking about. I thought maybe her church was going caroling. But she was referring to a Christian radio program that she hosts on Sunday afternoons.
On the way home I remembered that I had promised another friend, Lisa, that I would meet her at her house to work on some songs. I called Ivorine back to let her know that I couldn’t come, but I would like to reschedule. On Sunday I recorded some songs into Lisa’s computer, and afterwards we sat down to talk. I mentioned to Lisa that I had had an opportunity to sing on a radio program that day. Lisa was insistent that I call Ivorine back and see if I could still get on the program. (This was about 3:00, and the program was at 5:15.) Lisa handed me her phone, and I sheepishly called Ivorine and explained that I would be available to sing.
As it turned out, Ivorine was doing the program from her home instead of the studio, so I needed to drive to her house for the show. When I got there we had to figure out how to get me set up so that I could play my soundtrack and sing at the same time so that the audience could hear the music. At this point we only had about half an hour to spare, so we had to move quickly. We used her speaker phone to call in to the radio show and her computer to play the CD with the soundtracks.
It was all pretty nerve wracking for me since I prefer to plan what I do. I have experience being on radio for my career coaching business, but this was for music—my avocation. And it was a live program at that. There was no time for a do-over. However it went was how it went.
I sweated my way through it, and in the end it turned out fine, but I would like to share with you some important lessons from my impromptu radio show that relate to interviewing for a job.
1) Preparation is key. Even though I had not expected to sing that day, I was in the habit of practicing regularly to stay in good voice. As a job seeker you may find yourself having to answer questions in an interview that you didn’t anticipate. If you have prepared appropriately, you won’t be completely caught off guard by questions you didn’t expect.
2) Sometimes you have to go with the flow. Everything does not always work out the way that you planned, so you have to be adaptable. You may go into an interview thinking that the format may be the standard question and answer interview only to find that they give you a list of questions with 20 minutes to answer them all. There is no interaction to help you quiet your nerves. This is where flexibility is required.
3) Always have stories you can share. Ivorine interviewed me in between songs. She asked me about my musical background and when I had started singing. I was able to share with her stories that my father had shared with me about his parents and their musical ability. Because I had those stories at the top of my mind, I was able to make the interview more interesting. As a job seeker you will make your interviews more interesting and more memorable by sharing stories that illustrate your ability to do the job that resonate with interviewers.
To find out how a career coach can help you interview more effectively in a very competitive job market, call 877-743-9521.