When you’re a job-seeker, landing an interview is an exciting part of life. It’s the phone call or email that you’ve been waiting for. It’s that spot on the calendar that you’ve been waiting to fill. It’s that half vacation day for which you cannot think of a better use.
It’s a definitive moment in time that you get to look forward to. Ideally, you also spend time preparing for it, doing your research, learning about those with whom you’ll be speaking, and self-interviewing so you can avoid any possible downfalls.
That is what happens when you’re job-seeker.
So what happens when you’re on the other side of the coin? What is life like when you’re a business owner?
The short answer is that you’re in one endless interview.
Hopefully, if you own your own business, you’re doing something that you love to do. If not, then we need to start there before we go any further in this conversation! The reason being? Owning your own business is tough. It’s strange hours, it’s struggling, and ultimately, it’s one endless interview.
That’s not to say that The Endless Interview is a bad thing. Quite the contrary! It’s great to go into business for yourself, and it’s the perfect position for you to be amazing at whatever it is you do. For me? I love words! I love local businesses. And I can’t think of one single better way to combine the two than to write web content and business blogs for Denver area businesses (of course, I’ll happily look outside of the walls of Denver County if someone is in need of my services.)
Recently, I’ve been talking about What’s in Your Words? to random folks and local businesses. I love what I do, and I do it well, so why not talk about it? (Plus, those pesky bills seem to keep coming back every month. They’re like Gremlins — if you feed them after midnight they multiply faster than you can extinguish them)… I digress.
I’ve had some interesting questions asked of me lately, and I’ve had some regularly reoccurring questions come up. As such, I did a little thinking about my own endless interview, and my business as it relates to small businesses in general. Here’s where my thinking led:
- “Why do you like to write for other businesses?”
Valid enough question! Why does anyone want to do any chosen career? For me, I’ve always been a giver. There was a time when I volunteered thirty hours a week in addition to working a full-time and a part-time job. It’s safe to say, I was really good at being busy. Volunteering, unfortunately, didn’t really pay the bills. Combining writing, which I love, and local businesses, which I adamantly support just makes sense!
As it relates to any company, why do you do what you do? It’s probably the first question you’re likely to get asked in your endless interview, so perhaps it’s the most imperative answer to practice. Nobody wants to work with a company that isn’t passionate about what they do, so be ready to sell yourself as soon as a curious inquiry comes your way.
If you’ve never really thought about it, that’s okay. You might be surprised at how many obvious interview questions are never, ever practiced by the interviewee because they’re, well, too obvious! Now that you are thinking about it, jot down some of the reasons that you do what you do, and really delve into the psychology that made you branch out into your own business.
- “How do you get the material that you write?”
Before I proceed with this answer, allow me to clarify. I don’t plagiarize. I don’t believe in producing anything except unique, well-written, well-researched content that my clients can proudly post to their sites. That said, I absolutely do research links, other blogs, and specifically, other companies within the same industries as my clients.
I never thought this was strange. In fact, I’m not sure if it’s the fact that my degree, among other subjects, is in Marketing, or if it just seems natural, but doesn’t every business do a certain amount of market analysis to ensure the success of their own business? I ask because I once met with a new client, and when I informed this person that I would be reviewing the websites of the competition, it wasn’t well received. It made me wonder… was it my delivery of my answer? Or was my answer itself off-putting?
The amazing thing about what I do is that I get to learn a little bit about a whole lot of stuff. I love it! I learn from the experts in each field, and I get take-aways that allow me to write content to the best of my abilities. One of the great parts about my research in reviewing competitors’ sites is that I often get to learn more about the industry itself while I can explore exactly how not to convey the messages. Keep in mind, having competition means you can learn how to do better what “the other guys” do poorly. For me, that includes words, so it’s nothing to be afraid of when I tell you I’ll be looking at others’ sites. Rather, it’s something to embrace!
After all, what sets you apart from those competitors? Words and web content aside, you’re better at what you do for a reason. If you don’t take a moment to compare yourself to the other guy that’s up for the same job, you can’t highlight what makes you more worth the investment! How will you rule the world if you don’t know how to be better than the other guy?
- “How long are you planning on being a writer?”
This one, in particular, is always interesting to me. I never really know how to answer it, and I’m never sure if the answer that I give suffices the inquiry of the person that asked. So far, I haven’t yet met a client that has a finite business plan and a day on which their calendar says, “This is the day we will close the doors.” As long as there are amazing local businesses, and as long as my fantastic neighbors are supporting them, I will continue to write for them.
How long do you plan on being in the business that you’re in? It’s a bit of a strange question, but every time I’m asked, it makes me evaluate my thought processes!
If you’re a small business, please share your most frequently asked questions with me! Whether they’re industry-specific, super uncommon, or totally obvious, I’d love to hear what’s asked of you! Please share your FAQs or answers to the above questions in the comment box below or post your note to my What’s in Your Words? Facebook page!