The alarm goes off; I wake up groggily, wondering why I would schedule an alarm for 10 am on my day off. Suddenly, I remember, it was interview day. My first ever interview for a possible job opportunity, which I found through gradberry. I wake up, a little excited, a little nervous, and very much wanting to go back to sleep.
However, I reminded myself about the numerous things on my wish list, ranging from a Ferrari to a Mac Book and how unwilling my parents were to buy me any of those. This meant I had to cover my own expenses, which meant I needed to earn my own money, which meant I needed a job. (Don’t get me wrong though.. money is not my only motivation..umm.. I have other motives too…) Keeping this in mind, I scrambled out of bed and got ready for my interview. On the way there, I engaged myself in a make believe conversation with the employer, listing down all my achievements in life. Unfortunately, that list ended almost as soon as it began.
Before I had time to stress myself out, I was entering the front door of the office. As soon as I entered, I was greeted by a friendly receptionist, who immediately put me to ease. I was asked to take a seat and wait for my turn. I smiled at everyone around me, constantly. Perhaps it was out of nervousness or sub consciously I was trying to gain extra brownie points, by trying to seemingly appear friendly and adaptable. Realizing, I probably didn’t look serious just sitting and smiling at random people, I decided to engage with my Blackberry. I appeared calm and collected but was frantically BBM-ing my friends about how nervous I was about the interview.
Soon it was my my turn so with a confident walk and an artificially glued on smile, I entered the office to be greeted by two interviewers. My first instinct was, damn, which one of these am I supposed to please first? Before I could decide, I found myself in a question and answer session; some of their questions were expected, while some of them threw me off track; the trick was, to look at the interviewer in the eye and pretend you knew what you are talking about. The expected questions included:
-What do I know about the company?
-Why would I want to work in the company
-What are my expectations from the company?
The unexpected questions included:
-Where do I see myself in 5 years? I hadn’t thought about that at all, my first instinct was to say ‘married with kids’ but I realized that wouldn’t sound too ambitious. Instead, I went a little overboard and perhaps exaggerated my ambition more than necessary: I said I see myself as the director of the company.
-Would I be willing to give my whole self to the company, in terms of time and commitment? I wasn’t sure how to answer this, I mean I did love my free time and don’t function well without 10 hours of sleep. I answered (rather half-heartedly) ‘I am a very committed, motivated person who will do anything to get the job done’.
-Do I have any questions? I didn’t. I should have had a couple of questions, but I didn’t. I completely blanked out and my brain just refused to co-operate; luckily out of sheer desperation, I managed to construct a question which they actually liked. “What’s a day in the life of a person working in this position like?”) Genius much? I think so too.
So after what I thought was a seemingly decent interview, I left the room, making sure to give them a hopeful glance, hoping this would add some pressure on them to hire me. Driving back, I realized, this interview had made me more confident and prepared me for other interviews which I might be giving in the future. A few pointers to take into consideration would be:
-Do detailed background research on the company and their current happenings/news
-Be sure about each fact mentioned in your CV (and for God’s sake, don’t lie)
-Be calm, collected and think before answering the questions- speak slowly as that will buy you some time to think
-Don’t be over enthusiastic but don’t appear uninterested either
-Smile- especially if you have nice teeth; if nothing else, at least you will be seen as orally hygienic
-Think of the interview as a semi formal conversation between you and your ‘new’ friend- just be yourself, without revealing the not so attractive traits you possess
-Don’t go shopping immediately after the interview, thinking that next month’s salary will cover your lavish spending; you might not get the job
My very first interview probably wasn’t a complete success, but it was definitely a learning experience. So, don’t be disheartened when an interview doesn’t directly lead to a job. You’ll definitely do better in your next one, especially if you take some of my advice ;). Good luck!