Time Management and the Interview Process


You’re ready to take the next step in your career. Whatever the reason may be – a change of industry, faster career progression, or maybe you’re tired of being a cog in a wheel and you’re ready to join a startup. It’s now or never.

If you are interviewing with only one company – your dream company – then managing your time isn’t an issue. But it’s a bit trickier if you have eight job interviews, a regular job, the same 24 hour day we all have, and somehow need to find time to eat and sleep; it can be challenging to make time to attend, prepare, and commute to interviews without making your colleagues suspicious. Should you focus on two interviews per week? Take a day off work and cram in ten meetings? Or give up, try next year, and perhaps miss a life-changing chance?

Some job seekers overwhelmed with multiple offers and interviews, managing to squeeze in a lot of interviews but reducing the quality of their preparation in the process. Others narrow their choices down to one or two companies, resulting in lost opportunities (because they “didn’t have time for it”).

While there is no magic formula, this guide addresses some key questions that will both make things a bit easier for you and maximize your chances of success.

In this first post, we’ll go over the core components of effective time management and how to prepare for interviews.  In the next, we’ll apply the same principles to prioritizing, scheduling and attending all of the interviews you’ve earned. Let’s dig in.


Essential Time Management

Let’s take four universal techniques and apply them to the job search. Then we’ll break these out further with more concrete examples.

  1. Take time to plan
    Spend 15 minutes planning out what tasks you need to complete for the week . This minimizes surprises and increases efficiency.
  1. Block out your time
    Design a schedule and stick to it. Allocate uninterrupted time to your job search. To get anything done, you need to hold yourself accountable for that schedule. One hour of focused work is 200% more efficient than one hour of multitasking.
  1. Group tasks
    There are a lot of moving parts to contend with when finding a job. Luckily most of these are repetitive and once identified can be grouped accordingly.
  1. Be selfish with your time
    Why do executives want you to get to the point? Because they recognize that their time is valuable. Your time is no less valuable and you should treat it as such.

Next, ask yourself,
what are the 20% of activities that take up 80% of my time?

In a job search, we can break this down into three categories: a) finding an opportunity, b) preparing for interviews, and c) scheduling/attending interviews.


Finding an Opportunity

There are a number of small things you can do to maximize the opportunities you find here on Justa. Let’s take a look at them in order.

Step 1: Profile
After you register, your first priority should be to create a complete and accurate profile. List all of your skills and experience, upload your resume, a photo, and Linkedin and Facebook if you want to add extra legitimacy.  You are a real person, with real skills and a real desire to perform a new job well. No client wants to waste time with a half done profile.

Step 2: Activation
A complete profile means that you will also include contact information. Not only does that let companies know you are legit, it lets us know as well. People with complete profiles will be contacted by a Justa associate to go through a 5-10 activation by phone. During that call, we’ll follow up in more detail about what you have been doing and what you want to do, as well as details such as salary expectations. Why? We meet clients every day.  If we know you are active and know what you want, we can point companies towards you.

Step 3: Reply
Companies and candidates have slightly different privileges on the Justa platform. From time to time (or, if you’re awesome, a LOT) you might get comments from companies impressed by your background and/or experience. Write back to them! Justa is here to help as many people build great connections as possible–that should be a priority for you, too.

Step 4: Apply!
Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But you’d be surprised how many people “wait” for good things to happen to them. Apply to jobs. Apply to the jobs you can do, and apply to the jobs you want to do. You’ll be in a good position to get invaluable feedback, even if you don’t get a job from your application.

We’ve got more to give. Stay tuned for part 2.

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