what i learned after my job interview marathon

Some advice for my job-seekers out there: beware scheduling 4 interviews in one week. You cheeks will hurt from smiling and you will be non-responsive to your friends because the idea of speaking anymore makes you cringe.

I am officially tired of telling people how great I am for their workplace (I mean I am but….ha). However, my marathon of job interviews this past week has taught me a few things that I want to share will my other life navigators because we can all agree, adulting is SCARY.

Don’t stress over what to wear

I stress big time about being over-dressed or under-dressed for any event… Job interviews have proven to be not much different.

HOWEVER: A simple blouse/pant combo with a smart pair of flats or heels is fine. The majority of my interviews I wore a simple printed pair Old Navy’s Pixie Pants, a solid colored blouse, and nude heels!

Body language

No matter how perfect your outfit might be – how you carry yourself is equally important. I went to the gym and out for drinks the night before Interview #3 (Just some beers!! Don’t scold me!!), and the company’s office was an hour away. By the time I sat down in the waiting room, my mind was sharp, but my body was feeling a lil’ sluggish. I caught myself slouching!! Bad!!

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Make a mental note to keep your back straight, shoulders back, smile, all that good stuff. You’ll look alert, attentive, and less like you’re tired as hell.

Better to be over-prepared

Bring your resume, cover letter, references, a pen, required application, bring your dog!!! Okay, don’t bring your dog – but seriously, even if you think the interviewer would already have document X, bring it anyway.

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I just imagine how sweaty (lol nerves) I would get if my interviewer asked me, Did you bring an extra copy of your references? And I had to be like No, I’m an idiot. I’m going to leave now, sorry bye. *speed walks out of room*

Try not to be intimidated

Easier said than done. Interview #1 was with this super pretty chick in her late 20s who quite possibly might have had the best hair I’ve ever seen on a human being. I thought, Sh*t, business Barbie is my interviewer. Needless to say she was super sweet and helpful and the interview was great – but I can imagine that is not always the case.

If you get an intimidating interviewer, don’t let it throw you off your game. Keep your eye contact and dazzling smile, and imagine them in thei underwear or maybe a funny chicken costume or something. You prepared for this interview!! You got it!! – and don’t forget they were in your position too at one point!

Take notes

For my fellow sufferers of poor short-term memory, this one’s a must. Along with documents A, B, C – bring a little notebook. Prior to my interview, I would write at the top of a page the company, the position, and who I was interviewing with.

Then I would jot down some things I already knew about the position/company, and then below that whatever questions I had. It really helped me cover all my bases and look like I knew my sh*t. It also helped when I needed to refer back to an interview when comparing job offers!

Target’s office supplies selection is DOPE, and I fell in love with this Padfolio by Suagr Paper – both a notepad and folder to hold documents! Plus it’s pretty (yay)!

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Don’t be dazzled by the lights!!

& don’t accept a job at the first interview. I think this might be the most important thing I’ve learned this week.

From the outside, Interview #3 was perfect. The office part was pretty and well decorated, the cubicles barely looked like cubicles (more like cozy work spaces), and the atmosphere was friendly. The two supervisors who interviewed me were super cool, open, and showered me with compliments.

You’re probably thinking, Michelle this is great! What could be wrong here? Well, to keep it simple… I didn’t like the job. The position was not what I was looking for, the hours were part time (I’m looking for full time post grad), it didn’t pay even close to what I was needed to stay in the area, and I probably wouldn’t be spending almost any time at the pretty office I was sitting in. But before I knew it, I was signing application papers and volunteering my Thursdays.

They moved too fast. Don’t get me wrong, though, both of the supervisors were really nice people and I’d like to think they were also really genuine. One supervisor was “real” with me – let me know that the job could be tough at times, so could I handle it? Of course I wanted to say,  Hell yeah, I’m optimistic and can handle anything!! …even if that might’ve be untrue.

As soon as I got in my car, I felt a lump in my throat. I was overwhelmed, and I felt little tears gather behind my eyes. I knew I made a mistake. I regretted not asking the questions I wanted, or at least being able to ask if I could have 24 hours to think about the position.

ASK THE QUESTIONS, ASK FOR A DAY TO CONSIDER IT. If you don’t you could (a) get stuck at a job that you don’t want or (b) have the awkward task of contacting your interviewer that you are “unable to fulfill the position” (does that sound ok?? I’m drafting the e-mail now..).

 

Whew. What a week. Don’t worry though, my job interview marathon wasn’t all bad. It ended positively, as I really loved Interview #4 and am looking forward to my follow-up interview next week.

Going on all these interviews also helped me realize what exactly I want to do after college (jesus finally) and I feel more comfortable and less nervous for future interviews! Like we said, adulting is scary… but let’s move job interviews to the not-so-dreadful list and focus more on things like “apartment searching” and “the prospect of being single into your 30s” ….. but we’re gonna save those for another time.

XO, MEESH

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