How Much Is a Job Interview Really Worth?

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We don’t often think of job interviews as money-making — or money-losing — opportunities, but perhaps we should. While you can’t really put a hard price on a job interview, it could be worth far more than you think, especially if you’re unemployed.

Lower Self-Confidence = Lower Earnings

Waiting around for a job interview can affect your self-confidence. Sitting at home and applying for jobs over and over without ever getting to the interview is a demoralizing and even depressing experience. I know firsthand: When I graduated in 2007, it took me eight months to get my first job. This was an extremely stressful period of my life.

On the flip side, getting an interview can be a major confidence-booster. During the interview, you get the chance to talk about your wins and achievements as a professional — a helpful reminder that you have value, which is easy to forget in the middle of a stalled search.

Plus, research shows that self-confidence is tied to income. Each day you go without an interview can hurt your confidence — and your earning power. But each interview you get — even if you don’t get the job — can help you maintain your confidence, which in turn will help you command a higher salary when a job does arrive.

You’re Losing Out on Cash

If you’re unemployed and haven’t had a job in three months — which some experts say is on the short end of your typical job search length — that’s 12 weeks with no real wage. If you want to start earning again, you have to put just as much effort into your interview performance as you did into getting said interview. Thinking you can wing it and turning up to your interview without in-depth preparation is a major mistake.

More Interviews = Faster Money

Sure, there’s no guarantee you’ll actually get the job if you’ve been invited for an interview. However, the more interviews you get, the quicker you’ll start earning. It’s simple math. By securing more job interviews, you have a better chance of getting work. Research shows that only 2 percent of applicants make it to the interview stage for any given job. If the odds are stacked against you, will need to make a few attempts before you break through.

That said, you can’t just send out more applications. Your applications also have to be strong, so be sure you’re tailoring your resume to show off your relevant skills for each position.

You can’t really put a price on a job interview, but it’s definitely worth a lot. After all: Interviews are your path to making money!

To improve your chances of getting interviews, build a strong professional network both on- and offline. That way, you won’t have to rely solely on job ads and applications thrown into the black hole of an ATS.

Nader Mowlaee is an engineering career coach and recruiter who is motivated by building confidence in engineers.

By Nader Mowlaee