Before I continue, I should probably mention, the following advice is for your average entry-level, admin, maybe some sales position, jobs. If you want pointers on how to land the mother ship, you’ve got to find Hans Solo or some shit, because I don’t have that kind of experience, yet.
Overall I would say I’m pretty confident when it comes to interviewing. I’ve had a lot of years of practice. You know, I still get the occasional butterflies, and the sometimes sweaty palms, but for the most part I don’t clam up. I remind myself to be myself. My number one rule is you can’t go into an interview pretending to me someone you’re not. You’re either going to fail miserably or they’ll see right through you. I’m not saying you can’t boast or lie a little, to give yourself the edge, but make sure it’s still in the realm of possibility. If they ask you about your computer skills, don’t say you could hardwire a broken pc blindfolded, unless of course you can. You could say you consider yourself an expert with most programs, but like all things, you could stand to learn some more. You never want to appear like a know it-all, unless of course they’re looking for a know-it-all. Appear confident but not over-confident. All of these things will ensure you’re not accidentally hired for a position you are completely under qualified for. While I’m in the advice giving mood, why don’t I give you another piece of advice, because I’m all about helping. Don’t cry.
These are the kind of moments that I swear only happen to me. Yesterday I went on an interview. Yes, I am working on my monthly goals. It was the perfect part-time job that I’ve been looking for . I was completely qualified, if not over qualified. I had my pretty face on, hair did, and a sharp outfit. I was going to kill it. Then I was presented with this question, “In your professional or personal life give me an instance where you had a challenge you had to overcome within the last year.” If you’ve ever been on an interview this question is pretty routine. I thought a good topic would be my debt. EHH! WRONG! I started crying! Story of my damn life. I couldn’t believe it as it was happening and I couldn’t stop it either. It went something like this. Feel free to laugh because this is a joke, a very real joke.
J: In your professional or personal life give me an instance where you had a challenge you had to overcome within the last year.
Me (thinking for a second): Well just like so many of us, I (tears starting to form) am in debt and (one drop falls, she’s looking at me like is this really happening) pretty severely.
By now it’s affecting my speaking because I’m trying to regain control of the f#*$ing situation and it’s not working.
J: Do you need a tissue?
Me: No, I’ll be fine. I’m sorry I was not expecting this. Well I recently started (tears continuing to form and fall) a blog so I could….
J: There’s some Kleenex over here, I’ll just grab some. I’m sorry I didn’t mean it to be that personal.
Me: (she’s apologizing to me, for me being a hot mess) So this can be classified under what not to do in an interview 101. I’m really sorry, I wouldn’t have chosen this subject if I had known this was going to happen.
The rest of the interview went perfectly well without anymore waterworks. I’m definitely chalking this one up as a loss. I mean I haven’t completely given up hope and bless her soul if she actually calls me back. My support team is trying to convince me it wasn’t that bad, it shows I have passion. Or it shows I’m a complete nut job. I mean, I write about my debt and share my personal story daily without getting all misty eyed, what the hell happened?! I don’t know, but I can assure you one thing, I will never bring up my debt in an interview again. Yikes!
And you thought these things only happened in the movies.