Want A Successful Interview? Do These 9 Steps!

08 January, 2021
Q Assalamu alaikum.

I belong to a poor family. I was good at school. My family and I decided that I have a good education so that I can help them fulfill our basic needs. My family invested a lot in me, but I have not got a good job. Out of despair and the feeling of guilt, I decided to commit suicide. I disappointed my parents.

I prayed a lot, cried a lot, but I fail at the interviews.

My friends are lucky. They didn’t take efforts like me, but they have a good job and enjoy their life. I exerted lots of effort, yet all I have are anxiety, failure, and disappointment. I am a stupid woman. I want to end my life.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

• If at any point you are going to harm yourself, please immediately notify your family or contact the local hospital, or dial your local suicide hotline.

• You only fail if you stop trying.

• Write all of this down so you have a visual reminder of your short term and long-term goals.

• Research the company, understand the position, smile; practice the interview. Read below for further tips.

• Don’t insult yourself.

• Stop Comparing.

• Make du’aa’ to Allah continuously and be patient.


Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu,

Thank you for writing in and sharing your struggles with us, sister. Please know that you are not a failure. You only fail if you stop trying.

To begin sister, we need to discuss your mentions of suicide. If at any point you are going to harm yourself, please immediately notify your family or contact the local hospital, or dial your local suicide hotline. Your family loves you and believes in you. If they didn’t, they would not have supported your efforts in education.

You can be so successful, Sister, inshallah and you can help support your family, but only if you don’t give up.

Want A Successful Interview? Do These 9 Steps! - About Islam

Often in life, we may face setbacks and sometimes the best accomplishments take a lot of time and sacrifice. However, if you keep trying and pushing forward, you are being successful. Allah (most honored, most revered) is always with you, remain patient and don’t stop trying.

“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient” [Quran 1:153]

Career Growth Step by Step

Please understand, even the most successful people in the world making millions often failed and struggled in the beginning. Career success is not a race. It is a marathon that takes stamina and continuously putting one foot in front of the other.

Firstly, you need to get hired. Once hired, you will work that position until you fully understand it and can seek out going after advancement within that same company or applying for advancement at other companies. This is a process that takes time, but step one is getting the initial job. This begins with the interview.

Interview Skills

You mentioned not doing well at interviews. This is not unusual. Many people struggle with interview skills, but the good thing is you can improve.

Do your research on the company. When you go into the interview, you should already know a brief history of the company, what their focus is and where they excel. Spend time reading about them online and familiarize yourself with them.

Understand the position you are applying for. Ensure you have a base understanding of what the job will entail. You can often find websites online with reviews from other employees describing their typical day.

Smile at everyone. Be friendly and courteous to everyone you meet; you never know who they are or how that may impact you getting the job. I once read a story of a man that stopped to help someone with a flat tire and when he went in for his interview the same man who had the flat tire was the man interviewing him! Subhanallah, you never know.

Dress professionally. You should look the part and be presentable. It doesn’t matter if your education is stellar, if you don’t look presentable it will take away from your entire presentation and first impressions last.

Practice interviewing with others. This will get you more comfortable with answering difficult questions. Additionally, prepare two questions you would like to ask them. They will often ask you if you have any questions at the end. If you do, it shows them you are interested in their company and really want the position.


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Be mindful of your body language. Our communication is more nonverbal than verbal. Sit up straight with your back straight and shoulders back. Don’t fiddle with your hands and look the interviewer in the eye. This demonstrates confidence and competency.

Understand you lack experience. While you have an education, you don’t have experience yet. Don’t apologize for this or make it seem negative. Instead, if it comes up tell them you are a quick learner and eager to put your knowledge to work.

Remember you are selling yourself at the interview. Know your strengths and highlight them.

After the interview is complete, if you don’t hear back from them within a week contact them yourself to follow up. This will show them how serious you are and ensure they don’t forget your name.

Don’t Insult Yourself

Sister, you insulted yourself many times in your email. Please understand none of these statements is true. You are actually hurting your chances of getting a good job if you keep putting yourself down. You are bringing your confidence down and employers prefer a candidate who is confident in themselves.

Instead of these harsh words, every day tell yourself you are intelligent, you are capable, and you are going to be a success. Make du’aa’ for this constantly and never stop trying. I am happy to see you do make du’aa’ on a frequent basis.

Remember our du’aa’ is always answered, but it might not be in the timeline you prefer or exactly how you prefer. Rather, Allah (most honored, most revered) will answer your du’aa’ in the best way for you.

Stop Comparing

You compare yourself to your friends and mention they are “lucky”. You don’t know their unique struggles. Most people hide what they are truly having difficulty with and only show the positive. Their path is not yours, instead of focusing on them and comparing yourself to them, focus on yourself.

You have education and family support. This is more than some people have in the world. Others would look to your situation and say you were luckier than them! Be grateful for what you do have and strive to achieve more.

“iI you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]” [Quran 14:7]

Identify Goals

It can help you to identify specific goals and make a physical representation of them to keep you motivated.

For example, if there is a specific job title you want that takes experience and years to get to, then put that as your long-term goal. Identify the short-term goals, which lead up to that position, such as a certain amount of experience or specific job titles you must work in first.

Write all of this down so you have a visual reminder of your short term and long-term goals. Every time you hit a short-term goal, reward yourself! This will help to keep you feeling motivated and going after growth.

Final Thoughts

Dear Sister, you are experiencing a transitional time in your life as you adjust from student to career professional. However, inshallah, you can be very successful and continue to make your parent’s proud.

Identify your goals.

Practice your interview skills.

Make du’aa’ and only speak kind words about yourself while avoiding comparing yourself to others.

This is just the beginning of your career. As long as you don’t stop trying you have not failed.

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you and guide you to success,

Ameen.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Monique Hassan
Monique Hassan graduated with honors in 2012 with her BSc in Psychology and a minor in Biology and is certified in Crisis Prevention and Intervention. She has years of professional as well as personal experience with trauma, relationship struggles, substance abuse, identifying coping skills, conflict resolution, community outreach, and overall mental health concerns. She is a professional writer specialized in Islamic Psychology and Behavioral Health. She is also a revert who took her shahada in 2015, Alhamdulillah. You can contact Sister Monique Hassan via her website "MoniqueHassan.com"