April 29, 2017

You know that exciting feeling you get when you receive a request for an interview with that cool company you applied to? Your stomach has butterflies and you feel the urge to get up, do a happy dance, and tell everyone you know. And then, once the excitement wears off, the truth swings in and smacks you in the face: I have an interview for a job.

That excitement quickly turns to panic. "This is huge! I need a job! I don't want to be poor and starving after college! Am I even qualified for the job? There's so many more talented people out there! What if I burp while I'm talking? What if the interviewer thinks I smell?" What if...what if...what if.

Last week I interviewed for a copy writer positing at a pretty cool advertising agency in Newport. This is my dream job, so of course I felt an immense amount of pressure. And it didn't help that I'm a soon-to-be-graduate who has little agency experience (I'm literally like a baby being put in the driver's seat of a car). But I swallowed my insecurities and reminded myself that I have a lot to offer - and hey, the VP told me I have great potential and he likes the style of my work. Still waiting on that job offer though...#pleasehireme.

If you're one of the lucky people who is extremely confident and has no problem getting in front of people and talking like a normal human then, well, I'm extremely jealous of you and hate you. Just kidding, I don't hate you... a lot. But, if you're someone like me who struggles with forming sentences under pressure, then you know how stressful it is preparing for an interview. So, I'm going to give you three pointers that may help you in your own interview process.

1. Be Prepared: Make sure you do your research about the company - not only through their website, but look at their social media channels, see what outside sources have said about them, take a look at their clients, and if you really want to dig deep, look at the profiles of the people who work there to get a feel for who they are. Going in with knowledge about them will make you feel less nervous because you already have an insight into their company culture and, hopefully, you'll see yourself fitting in there.

2. Rehearse: Some people can go into an interview without needing any practice and that's great for them, but there's nothing wrong with doing a little prepping. Take some time to research some interview questions that you would expect to be asked based on the job title you're applying to. And, of course, have the typical interview questions in mind and know how to answer them effectively: i.e tell me about yourself, what are your strengths and weaknesses, why do you want this job, why are you crying? (kidding!). Just a little tip, make sure everything you say somehow relates to the job. For example, when asked "tell me about yourself" talk about what you're currently doing in life career wise, any skills you have that are beneficial to the job, and what your future plans are. You'll feel so much better having an answer already in mind and you won't feel like a stuttering idiot.

3. Listen to Confidence Boosting Music: This one has helped me so much over the course of my years of interviews. Even if you're feeling like you're so nervous you're going to pass out, listening to confidence boosting music will make you feel like a badass. That saying "fake it 'til you make it" really does wonders. But seriously, as you're getting ready for your interview or in the car on the way (or both!) blast some Beyonce to get yourself pumped up. One of my favorite go-to's is Demi Lovato's "Confident" (and the title itself is so fitting).


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