5 Tips to Help You Land a Job When You’re in Recovery.

When you land a job when you’re in recovery, there can be quite a bit of stress in the preparation for the big day.  Do I know enough about the organization?  Will I be able to answer all of their questions?  Do I have the right qualifications?  What will I wear?  Will I be judged?

Those are only handful of questions you may be asking before your interview.  When preparing for the big job interview it is important to not let the stress beat you down.

5 Tips to Help You Land a Job When You’re in Recovery

  1. Do Intel. Do you know what the organization does?  When was it founded? What is there business model?  What are your duties?  What qualifications do you need for the position?  What skills is the employer looking for?  What is their customer or clientele base?  Take out a piece of paper and start making notes, and answer some of these questions.  This will give you a boost in confidence with being knowledgeable about the company you are interviewing for.  During your addiction you may not have given this much thought, and was just happy to get a job, but now this is your time to shine.  Many employers will ask you to describe in your own words, what they do. You better be ready. The more intel you do, the more impressed they will be.
  2. Prepare Questions.  A lot of people do not put much thought in what kind of questions could possibly be asked during an interview but you should ask yourself some of these questions.  What got you interested in this line of work and why would you want this job?  What are some of your more prominent strengths and weaknesses?  Do you have long term and short term goals, and what will you be able to offer during your time with the company?  These are some of the more common questions asked, as it gives the employer a good sense of who you are.  In recovery, if you’ve done the work in drug rehab or with a mentor, you really have an opportunity to re-discover who you are and what you want out of life.  You can take these discoveries and focus it on the questions being asked, and nail every one.  Employers also like to see that you have some questions for them, as this demonstrates further your interest in working with them.  You could ask, how the position will allow you to grow and move forward in the organization.  What is a typical day or week like and how does my role in the company contribute to the overall scene?  By preparing questions, you show the employer that you have a sincere interest in the job and it shows that you think ahead.
  3. Set a high standard of professionalism.  You may have made some un-professional choices when you were an addict, but now you have an opportunity to set the bar high.  Here is a short list of what you should do: Dress the part; don’t show up in jeans and t-shirt or your beach wear.  If you don’t have professional looking attire, go out and buy some; first impressions go a long way.  For god-sakes, arrive on time!  You will most certainly not land the job by arriving late to the interview, and it demonstrates poor time management on your part.  Conduct yourself in a professional manner; just because you have a truckers mouth with your friends does not give you the go ahead to use it in front of your future employer.  There are also little things like your body language and eye contact.  Don’t be all fidgety, sit naturally, don’t slouch or chew gum, and always make eye contact with the person you are talking to.  If it is a panel interview, make an even amount of eye contact with each person, by first addressing the person who asked the question, and going across the table looking at and talking to the group, and finishing your eye contact with the person who originally asked the question.  This may sound weird, but it works and employers notice your ability to have a conversation with a group of people.
  4. Demonstrate confidence.  Employers will want to see the real you and having re-discovering this person during treatment and re-discovering your confidence, now is the time to let it work for you.  Authenticity is important so don’t overdo it. Showcase your skills and abilities while really demonstrating what it is you have to offer the organization.  A future employer will want to see how you stand out from the other interview candidates, and this is really done by showcasing what it is you can offer the company, that no one else can.
  5. Take a Breath and Think. It’s okay to be mindful. So if it takes you a few moments to pause before you answer, that shows that you think before you talk, so definitely do not be afraid to ask for clarification on the question being asked to you.  Your mouth may have gotten you in trouble in the past because you didn’t think before you spoke.  One of the first things most interviewers will tell you is take your time, think about the answer, and take the time you need to answer the question.  When answering questions it is important to answer what they specifically asked, and also relate some sort of life experience to it.  Again this demonstrates your skills and what you can offer, but more importantly shows you can give clear and concise communication.  If you do not understand the question being asked, do not be afraid to ask for clarification.  So many interviewees’ lose points here because they fumble a question they did not understand.  You may not believe this, but employers will want to see your ability to fully understand what is being asked of you, and this involves asking questions.


Remember, in many cases, the job interviewed can be just as nervous as you, so relax.

When you’re done, don’t linger around. Shake everybody’s hand, brighten up the room, thank them for the opportunity and reinforce your interest to work there.

Those are some of my interview hacks for job hunters in recovery. Using some of these tips will help you prepare for that big job interview, and you won’t let the stress beat you down.  If you want to discover more job interview hacks, take a look at:   15 Minutes to a Better Interview, by Russell Tuckerton, and 60 Seconds & You’re Hired, by Robin Ryan.  Both very easy reads and provide some useful and helpful information for preparing for that big interview.

Interview Hacks for Job Hunters in Recovery ©

interview hacks when you are in recovery