I have had my fair share of interviews over the years. I got my first job at 14 and have not stopped working since then. Working keeps me busy and has been a great way for me to meet people and work on myself. With all of those interviews, you’d think I’d be great at them right?!
I’m about 95% sure that the reason I got the job I have now is because my boss talked for the majority of the interview. Now it’s not like I don’t have things to say–oh, I do–it’s just that I get RIDICULOUSLY nervous. I don’t really know why this is, because I’ve always been more of a “performer” than a “practicer” but for some reason I just can’t get past this interview phobia.
As you know if you’ve been reading my blog religiously, I’m planning on moving to Nashville when I graduate to try to break into the big, scary world of Advertising.
One of my uncle’s was nice enough to pass along my bangin’ resume (no lie, it looks gooooood) to a woman he knows in Nashville who works in Public Relations who said she’d be willing to talk to me about the business there if I gave her a call. So really, this was only an informational interview anyway.
Yesterday I was going to call her around 10, got nervous, and decided to wait until later. So around 1, I picked up the phone, my hands shaking–keep in mind, INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW. As the phone started ringing, I was pleading in my head, “Please don’t pick up, please don’t pick up.” She didn’t pick up! Time to leave my message. This is how it went:
“Hi….this is Lucy………I’m so-and-so’s niece……….he said you might be willing to talk to me……about………….the business..in Nashville????? ………………….If you want….you can give me a call back……………..or not……………………………………it’s whatever…………………alright…. well I would really appreciate it!…………………….But if you can’t, I totally understand! …ok………….oh…here’s my number…….ok……………………………………………………….bye?”
I can’t even leave a message. What is wrong with me?! I’m a very confident person. For some reason though, whenever I interview, my personality doesn’t come across at all, or at least in the way I’m intending. So, I’m taking it upon myself to compile a list of things you should never do (that I’ve definitely done) and things you should do during an interview to help anyone out there, and also for me to look at before I get back up on that horse.
Here it goes:
1) Never. Ever. EVER, when someone asks you what your favorite book is, say “‘Twilight’–but don’t hold it against me!”
-College scholarship interview. My mind went blank. I read a pretty decent amount. And all I could think of was “Twilight.” A real literary piece of genius right there. I was really showing off what a true intellectual I was. At least “50 Shades of Grey” hadn’t come out yet. Gawd.
2) Never say that you can juggle fire. Even as a joke. They will look at you with sincere interest, then when you say you were just kidding, give you disapproving looks and write things down on their paper as they shake their heads in disgust. You just flat out lied to them! You’re a terrible person.
-Same college scholarship interview. (Needless to say, I DEFINITELY got it..)
3) Avoid chairs that spin AT ALL COSTS.
-Repeat offender right here. I’m a nervous fidgeter. In numerous interviews I’ve caught myself literally spinning in semi-circles as I try to answer questions. I’m truly suprised I haven’t gotten motion sickness yet.
4) Always read up on the company and those who work for it before you interview for them. They want to know that you have a sincere interest in their company, not just in finding a job so that you can pay off your student loans (or a wild weekend–no judgement here). It’s really, really awkward when they ask you if you know any of their clients and you can name only one. Or none.
5) Be on time (early) and don’t rush.
-I had an internship interview last semester that I scheduled too close to when I got out of class. I sprinted home (waited on the bus to drive me), tried to change into professional clothes (sidenote: always make sure you have professional clothes. My days at Forever 21 might be limited…ahh who am I kidding, that store has my heart..) and was of course running behind. I was getting so stressed about the timing and the interview itself that I started getting extremely splotchy, and ended up having to wear an enormous infinity scarf to cover my blotchiness.
- Exhibit A
And let me just say, it was not cold in there. Especially when I started sweating bullets.
6) Have answers to questions you know they’ll ask you. Like, “Tell us a little about yourself.” “Uhhh…I go to UT….I’m an Advertising major…..I’m a girl…………..I’m sitting in this interview right now…………..what else do you want to know?’
You should have at least 3 words to describe yourself, you should know your strengths and weaknesses, and you should certainly be able to talk about yourself. I mean, come on, Lucy, you brag about yourself all.the.time. You should also know exactly what you want to do with the company.
7) Fake it til you make it. My boss says that all the time, but it really is true. Confidence is key.
8) If all else fails and you crash and burn, just laugh it off (to stop from crying..). There will always be another opportunity out there for you.
My roommate was watching this very episode of “New Girl” when I got home from my interview last semester: