"Luck, be a lady tonight."

"Your whole approach is about how to plan and prepare so thoroughly that the interview goes perfectly but then you often add the words 'good luck' at the bottom of articles or blog entries. Where does the luck come in?"

That's a very good question. We often use those words, and often unconsciously or automatically. Firstly, I am an absolute advocate of the 6Ps -

Perfect Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

But luck is never that far away. On the day of the interview you might wake up with flu. During the previous evening, you may have received extremely bad family news causing you to miss most of your night's sleep. Or on the way to the interview there might be a major traffic incident which holds you up for an unplanned two hours. There is almost nothing that you could do to completely anticipate all of these types of events and still maintain a normal pattern of human existence.

What can you do? Sometimes not a lot, except battle through the best you can. Facing reality, on the day of your interview your best just may not be good enough to get you through successfully. Unfortunately that's life. There's nothing to say you wont get hit by a meteorite as you read this. Luck is everywhere, good and bad, all around us. People who say "I don't believe in luck" are deluding themselves.

So really, what can you do? Start by proactively managing your situation:

  • Recognise that it's a numbers game. Yes, everything I try to put across is about working to move the odds to be more in your favour, but there's always the risk that you miss something or that an unplanned event occurs.
  • Always keep more than one route open. If you always shift the odds in your favour and have more than one opportunity on the go, clearly not every single opportunity will get blown out through unplanned events, just by the law of averages, if nothing else.
  • Never say 'die'. Even if it all looks hopeless, keep pressing on the best you can - you never know. Often, people think that they are performing at a much worse level than they really are.
  • Try your luck. If you think that you are perhaps already doomed, you have nothing to lose by being honest with your interviewer and bringing your particular problem out into the open. You need to pick your moment, and the way you do this, but a) you'll at least get proper respect and the door will always be open to you in the future as a consequence and b), if ever an interviewer can cut you some slack (perhaps rearranging your interview for another day, or perhaps getting you to come back in a couple of days and try again) then giving them a reason to do so whilst showing that you've tried your very best can really work in your favour.

"The harder I work, the luckier I get" (attributed to Samuel Goldwyn) sums it up quite well in this context. As always, please do let me know what you think, or just share your experiences with us all.

Good luck ;-)