Testing is a long, arduous process. For most it takes more than one attempt to get considered. There are also the rare few who make it in the first go around, much to the frustration of those that have been trying. There is so much involved in getting the job, time away from family, years of classes and trying to get experience anywhere, laying yourself on the line and knowing deep down you may never get hired.

A lot of the people I talk with are right there. They know they have what it takes to do the job, and to do it well. They are frustrated, by missing hiringís by mere tenths of points, and worse seeing people with less time and credentials getting through. The result, all to often, is depression. We can give a test to thousands of people and only hire a few. I donít know of any other field that has the failure rate as high in just the hiring process. There are jobs that have a high washout rate, but at least those people got to show what they could do. To make matters worse, you do not get much in the way of feed back. You get a score and that is it. If only they would let you know what you did right and what needs work. Instead you get a score of 85 and they say it wasnít high enough.

After a while it is easy to get burnt out in the testing game, and that can begin a vicious circle. The worst you feel, the worse you do, the worse you do, the worse you feel. Enthusiasm is so important in an interview. You want to sound happy to be there and excited about their department. You and I could go into the same interview and say basically the same thing, you with pep, and me in a slow depressed manner, and you would score higher than me.

So, how do you keep you the good attitude? Well there are a few things you can do. First off make sure to keep exercising. Along with being important for testing, it is proven to keep your spirits up. But it also seems to be the first thing we cut from our schedule when things are busy or we donít feel like doing anything.

Second, surround yourself with people that are positive and up lifting. You can tell yourself you might not get a job, but you donít need those around you to tell you. You would not believe how many people I talk to that are being told by friends and family to just hang it up. What they are really saying is that they would give up if they were you. Try to be around people that are happy and want the best for you. People that tell you that you can do it.

The third thing I will suggest is to give you time to others. Volunteering can be done in many different ways. Working with homeless, children, older people that need assistance. In the San Francisco area there is a group you can volunteer with by providing free medical care at rock concerts, itís both fun and looks good on a resume. Habitat For Humanity is always building houses weather permitting, they also have locations around the nation were they are also assembling pre-fab houses to send to the hurricane victims. Allowing you to give of yourself as well as gain a knowledge of building construction. http://www.habitat.org/local/

The last thing Iíll suggest are motivational tapes. They are usually designed for sales people. If you are selling door to door and the last 250 doors slammed in your face you still need to be excited about your product at door 251. Well you are selling a product, the product is YOU. Zig Ziglar is the best I have found http://www.ziglartraining.com/ , his tapes are expensive on his site, but you may find them in a library or used. But there are lost of others that do the same thing, they motivate people, and motivation is sometimes hard to come by in the testing world. In the corporate world they pay big bucks and will take the whole company to seminars, just to get the company energized. You will be amazed how energized you would be after going through a motivational program, either at home, in your car, or even better in person.

I canít grantee that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for everyone testing. But I can promise you if you start to feel itís not there it probably wonít be. Your own attitude has more to do with you getting hired than you can even imagine. But if you are at a lose as to how to live you life while testing, ask your self this. If you knew for a fact you would be getting a job in 18 months, how would you live you life until then? You still have to take the tests and go to classes, but you knew it was a sure thing. You could have fun, volunteer, see friends and family and have the winning attitude. Believe it or not, for most of you these are the good old days you will look back on fondly. I was showing my kids a place I spent the night on the sidewalk to get an app. 20 years ago. It wasnít fun then, but it is a great memory now. Make some of those memories now, and let the future take care of its self. Because if you get a defeatist attitude you may as well go to plan B.




Good Luck, Captain Rob
nrtc@sonic.net
www.myfireinterview.com
707-869-1330