As players get ready in their locker rooms and hope that they’ll make it to the next round, I too feel like it’s time to “Be Ready for Anything,” because things can change in a split second when basketball (and life) is upon us.
At this point, I’m sure you’re wondering when I’m going to drop some employment knowledge. After all, it’s kind of what I do. But before we get down to business, I have just one question.
Are your brackets ready?
Can you defend your choices? Are they decisions that you can back up with logic? Or did you make your moves based on old-time loyalty and that feeling in your gut, no matter what the predictions might be?
For those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of March Madness, a summation: it is a single elimination tournament featuring 68 teams fighting for the chance to become the last one standing…. AKA the National Champions. Each team in college basketball has 40 minutes to score the most points, broken out into two 20-minute halves.
The premise of the thing is simple: win to stay in and advance to the next game.
Anything can happen in 40 minutes. The favorite can go home, the dark horse can move on, sometimes by the luck of a mid-court buzzer shot. It’s a loud, anxiety-ridden, joy-filled reminder that in life, even when the odds are stacked against you, anything can happen.
If you think about it, the interview process is pretty similar to a college basketball bracket. You have several rounds to get through; in each round, the best of the candidates will move on. We all hope to make it into the Final Four. We want to be the clear favorite, we want to win, but we also want to be judged fairly in the process.
The metaphor, however, doesn’t end here (proving once and for all that March Madness really is the gift that keeps on giving).
What tips can you take away from college basketball and into the interview?
- Know where you are in the process. Each round is important. You have to prepare for the interview (or game) you are in, not the game before or after it.
- You have 40 minutes. Pace yourself. It’s important to space information out. Don’t try to tell them everything you know when you answer their first question.
- Don’t make early mistakes and finish strong. If you make too many mistakes in the first half of the game, you are going to foul out and eliminate yourself from the game. Start slow and finish strong! Finish by leaving them with why you are perfect for the job, and make them wonder why they haven’t hired you already.