I wrote about this on my Facebook, and it turned into the inspiration for this blog! I edited it a little, but here is my first interview experience:
Today is my first big interview. It could turn out to be the start of my adult career, or it could be a great “learning experience.” Either way my stomach is flipping faster than a gymnast at the Olympics. This time is different. I’m not just applying to work as a grocery store cashier or bank teller, this time I’m applying for a career. For the first time, I’ve done homework on this company and position, and I have taken the time to think through whether it was the job for me.
I’ve done my best to prepare, researching the company and type of position offered, writing out my experience as it relates to the job, practicing answering questions, and most of all praying that God would calm me down, and lead me wherever He wants me to go. Here I go!
Well this was definitely a “learning experience” interview. To be honest, besides the extreme dry mouth and pterodactyls slamming around in my stomach, I think it definitely could have been worse! Some of the questions and answers made me cringe, others made me laugh, and some made me proud. Here are the take-aways:
1. PREPARE! This was my one strength going into the interview – I knew how to express everything in my resume and had done some research about the company. When they asked questions about my work experience I was confident and mostly at ease (as much as I could be) and even tied it directly to information I read on their website! Bonus points!
2. Know your celebrities… “You are throwing a dinner party and get to invite 3 celebrities. Who would you invite and why?” That one took me by surprise! Be prepared to roll with the punches and don’t panic when they throw that question in; it will happen.
3. Know where you’re going. When they ask what your future goals are, its probably not a good idea to tell them you want to move in the next 5 years. That’s like telling them to fire you now because you will leave anyway. Cringe-worthy moment.
4. Dress Well! I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, God bless Stacey and Clinton for preparing me for “business appropriate attire” – and my sister, for letting me borrow her shoes ;).
Moral of the story: Prepare as much as you can, be as honest as you can, and smile! Be personable enough that those interviewing you want to work with you – also remember that however you behave in the interview is how you should behave after you are hired. This is not a “one-shot-best-behavior-until-I-land-the-job” scenario. Be who you are, laugh at your mistakes, and always learn from these experiences. I know I certainly will!
*One Addendum: When an interviewer asks you why you are the best candidate for the job, focus on the heart of the matter (i.e. shared passions/values with the company). All the externals can be learned or gained through experience, but attitude motivates action.*