Interview Tips

Not a fan of the X Factor? I don’t believe you!

It’s the most addictive program on TV and it turns out that public humiliation can be pretty funny when it’s not happening to you. Harsh but true. I’m just kidding of course, but you sure do see some interesting auditions in the early stages of the show!

Come to think about it, there are many similarities between the X Factor audition process and the job search experience. You start off as a single applicant among a hoard of others and just hope with all your heart that it works out for you this time round. Throw in a few awkward moments and disappointing rejections and they’re pretty much the same thing.

To prove my point, here are a few things that the two have in common:

1) The vast competition

Tens of thousands of people audition for the X Factor each year hoping that it will be their big break. Unfortunately, when you start out on your job hunt, you are in a similar position. Chances are that for every role you go for you are going to have to go up against others and prove yourself as the strongest candidate.

2) Round 1…round 2…round 3….

The X Factor is far from a speedy process. Starting with an audition with the producers, followed by the “first audition” in front of the judges, followed by boot camp, followed by judges houses….and finally the live shows. No wonder X Factor contestants talk so much about the “journey” they have been on throughout the show, it’s taken them the best part of a year by the time it comes to a close!

Frustratingly, the interview process can become pretty dragged out too, depending on the size of the organisation and number of applicants. For a large company you should expect more than one round of interviews, so buckle up, you’re in for a long ride!

3) The suspense

You’ve just had your audition/interview; welcome to the waiting game. Whether you feel like it went well or not, awaiting your fate can be a pretty daunting time. No doubt you’ll be replaying  every word that left your mouth over and over again in your head, scrutinising each moment in great detail.

At least on the X Factor they generally find out if they’ve been successful pretty soon after the audition; however waiting for an employer to get back to you after an interview can sometimes take weeks!

4) An emotional rollercoaster

A mixture of nerves, excitement, terror and tenacity mean that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. One minute you’ve been issued the good news that you’ve been called for a second interview/through to the next round of auditions and the next it hits you that you’ve got to put yourself through another petrifying ordeal in the imminent future.

5) Forgotten words

It’s painful viewing when an X Factor contestant forgets their words mid performance. You’ve got to feel for them though, as the best part of us can probably relate to it to some extent. Whether you have a complete mind blank and can’t remember what you wanted to tell your interviewer, or nerves get the better of you and you suddenly develop a stammer 10 minutes in, sometimes our brains and mouths don’t sync up quite as well as we’d hoped.

6) Critical judgment

On the X Factor, contestants will go all out to impress the judges and receiving negative feedback must be gut wrenching for them. During a job interview you must also do your best to ensure that you make a good impression on your interviewer. They may seem like a nice person, but remember that you’re there in order for them to critically assess whether you are suitable for the role, so they will be judging your every word. No pressure!

7) Poor wardrobe decisions

Creating a happy medium between presenting yourself smartly and showing a bit of personality isn’t always easy to get right.

8) Rivalry

It’s a dog eat dog world out there. Sure your rivals are great on a personal level, but they are your competition standing in between you and your dream, so for the time being they are your arch nemesis.

9) Rejection

Unfortunately rejection is a large part of both experiences. After all, only one person can get the job/prize at the end of the day. Though you know that competition is tough and you tried your best, it never seems to weaken the blow of a rejection.

10) A scary boss

Successful? Congratulations! Now meet your terrifying new boss…

Image: Shutterstock

About Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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