Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Surviving Job Interviews

It's been four months since graduation. FOUR MONTHS. Where does the time go when you're sitting on your rear end sulking in a bucket of ice cream while you're checking your dream job's website every five minutes to see if there are any new job opening that you can apply to?

But no, seriously. Time has flown past and in 2 short weeks, not only am I going to be competing with all the Winter graduates for jobs, but I'm going to be competing with Spring graduates. Yaaayyy.. not. When I first graduated, I had job interview after job interview after job interview. Let's get one thing straight: my dream job is to be an event planner and fundraiser for a certain nonprofit organization that is very close to my heart.

Now listen to some of the job interviews I've had since graduation through. Receptionist at a lawyers office, bra fitter for a certain retail store (my current job), telemarketer, door to door salesperson, marketing specialist for an event rentals company, entry level social media updater, two jobs that I'm not even sure what they were for, and a nanny position. Sounds so much like my dream job, right?

Well, I got a call the other day for yet another job interview, so of course here I am going through everything trying to figure out what I'm going to wear and what all I need to pack, etc. The worst part about the interviewing process is when you have to travel for the interview. i.e., I have to drive 3 hours to my interview tomorrow morning. So here's some handy survival tips for those lost souls out there in the same boat as me, just looking for a bone in their world of job interviews and possibilities.

1.) When you're offered a job interview, make sure you have he gas money to get there BEFORE you agree. Trust me. This is my problem 95% of the time. Then I stress the entire way to the interview about if I'm going to run out of gas and I can't relax and focus on how I'm going to "wow" them.

2.) Handshake! One of my main problems when I'm going into an interview is I am thinking about everything I need to do: good posture, stand when someone enters the room, don't bite my nails, don't play with my hair, don't tap my foot, smile, nod my head, etc. I overthink so much, that I forget to have a sturdy handshake and then my wrist just feels like a wet noodle as their enthusiastically shaking my hand.

3.) ALWAYS stand when someone's coming in the room. I know it feels so awkward when your standing and sitting and standing and sitting repeatedly, but just do it. It's a sign of respect and for some reason these people love it.

4.) Most of the time, you hear people say "don't sell yourself short." That's true. But on the same note, don't oversell yourself. I know. You want this job. No, you NEED this job. But telling your interviewer how perfect you are and how great you are at everything will only give them unrealistic expectations, and give you so much more stress when you have a thousand things on your shoulders and they just expect perfection.

Those are the four things that I'm horrible at when it comes to interviewing. What I tell myself before I go in is this: you're 20 years old with two college degrees, you have a part-time job in retail, you have a part-time (that I work full-time) internship, you live with your mom, you share a room with your 17 year old sister, and you have tens of thousands of dollars in debt from school... what do you have to lose?

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