What do the Kentucky Derby and interviewing have in common?

Kentucky Derby.


In watching the Kentucky Derby this past weekend, it may seem a bit odd, but I couldn’t help think of the similarities between the Kentucky Derby and interviewing. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy and admire the ambiance, the tradition, the excitement and beauty of the race, and mean no disrespect.  If anything, I see it as an opportunity to learn and be inspired!!!!


  • Especially in this competitive market – only the champions are invited to both the Kentucky Derby and the interview. So many times, I’ve had candidates share they  are completely frustrated because they are getting interviews and not getting the job.  What can you learn from this?  While it is frustrating, stay positive and change your focus.  Commend yourself for getting the interviews.  You are doing something right to have that opportunity and should focus on what you can do different before and after the interview to ensure you are the winner at your next interview.   Here’s where working with a coach can possibly give you that bit of information that you don’t see while you’re running the race.
  • The Kentucky Derby is known as the most exciting two minutes in sports.  While an interview can (and hopefully does- for good reasons) continue for longer than two minutes, your first impression is made in the first two minutes of your interview.  While you should never judge a book by its cover, it’s difficult to turn that perception around. What can you learn from this?  Put your best foot forward, be respectful to everyone, dress to impress, look your best, arrive early, relax and smile.
  • The world is small and many of the horses and jockeys have raced against eachother before and will run together again and again.  One of the things I admire about the Derby is that it’s gentlemanly, rich with respect for others.  You don’t really hear about trash talk in the press.  What can you learn from this?  Your career community is very small.  Treat others well and network.  As you land, there may be opportunities that after you land, may be a great fit for someone else.  Share!  It may come back to you one day.
  • Networking has its benefits.    There’s an area known as “Millionaire’s Row” at the Derby that features elegant seating,  Macallan 15-year whisky tastings and an amazing view above the finish line.  What can you learn from this?  The same skills you use to network into a position, can help you stake your claim to this tony Derby real estate.
  • While there is only one winner, your performance may be remembered and create another opportunity for you.  There’s no better feeling than winning.  The true test of character is showing the resilience to come back as many times as possible until it’s your time to be in the winner’s circle.  What can you learn from this?  Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we don’t understand why we didn’t get that job.  Sometimes, you can give it your all, but it just wasn’t right.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Learn from it, evaluate to see what you can do better and believe that this no, is putting you closer to your yes. Stay positive, have faith, continue to hone your craft, train, practice, practice practice and believe!!!!    


Feel free to reach out to the Career Yenta- let us help you shorten your time in transition.  Join us for the Career Yenta BootcampTM!




Love Always

Career Yenta





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