Interviews: The good, the bad, the ugly

the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly1

I had to.

I haven’t been through many interviews in my lifetime. The few interviews that I have been through, I always felt let down and sad about myself afterwards. I thought I had left a terrible impression, that the employer hated me. Even after a few days passed and the job would call me to say I got it, I still thought the interview went terribly.

I suppose it’s some deeply rooted self-esteem nightmare hidden in the folds of my brain. I’ll dig it out of there eventually.

My practice interview with the Ball State Career Center went quite a different way. I felt prepared for the questions and confident in myself.

THE GOOD

For my literary citizenship class, I was required to participate in a practice interview with Eric Deckers. I was terrified. I scrambled around Muncie for an interview suit. I practiced in the basement at work while I was counting the endless pile of lanyards (retail inventory, love it). I piled my hair into multiple different types of buns, seeing if I could ever tame my massive, frizz into something professional. This, was the end result.

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The end result. Tada!

I sat in the Ball State Career Center, feet tapping, just wanting this thing to be over. The suspense was the worst part. Finally, it was time for me to go in. I put on the most professional face I could muster, and gave it my all.

And it wasn’t so bad.

THE BAD

There were two questions I was completely unprepared for.

1. Tell me about a time when you didn’t get along with a supervisor.

This was a trap. Definitely a trap. You do not EVER want to bad mouth a supervisor. I danced around my experience working at Buffalo Wild Wings. I spoke about a supervisor playing favorites, and how I never quite understood the social ropes. He said this was fine, but I must be very careful next time. Do not fall for this trap.

2. What kind of salary are you looking for?

This one threw me for a loop. I had no idea what a social media marketer should be making. Eric gave me some wonderful advice. You don’t ever want to throw out a number first, the company interviewing you will either think you are highballing it or low balling it. Try to turn the question back to them, asking things like, “What did you have in mind?” If they answer, you’re off the hook! If not, just say something like, “Well, this is something we can negotiate at a later time.”

THE UGLY

There is something about interviews that make me really itchy. I feel plastic in my fancy clothes, light make up, my wrist tattoo covered with bandaids and sleeves. The person I’m showing them is not really me. The me I know can’t shine through the stress, the sweat, the suit. How much of yourself should you show in an interview?

Eric says, despite your nerves, show most of it. During an interview, the person isn’t only looking to see if you are qualified, they are also trying to see if you are a good fit for the company. You must show them your personality. If they don’t want to hire you due to who you are, you probably wouldn’t have been happier working there anyway. Take things as they are.

However, you do have to hide your crazy. At least until they say, “We like you.”

Leave your own interview tips below, or go here!

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. writesmall
    Mar 04, 2014 @ 20:18:45

    I have been on both sides of the interview table, and it’s always a combination of these things. I can totally relate.

    Reply

  2. Brittany Means
    Mar 04, 2014 @ 20:29:54

    I completely understand what you mean about feeling like your interviews have gone badly even if things turned out well. I also feel like that even when I’ve gotten jobs I’d been interviewing for. I’m glad it mostly went well for you. I also felt weird about the supervisor question.

    Reply

  3. Cathy Day
    Mar 04, 2014 @ 20:47:22

    So many of you struggled about how much of yourself to show to employers. Brittany was told to leave certain organizations off the resume. You felt you had to hide your tattoo. I struggle with what to tell you about this. You have to be you. Yes. But you also need the job and don’t want to give them an excuse to say no.

    Reply

  4. andywelk
    Mar 05, 2014 @ 00:44:23

    I really appreciated the honesty behind the post, especially when talking about where you may not have done the best in the interview. By showing me your mistakes in answering questions, I know that I won’t make those same mistakes if the questions are ever asked to me.

    Reply

  5. Trackback: 3 Ways my Mock Interview Positively Affected Me | Andy Welk
  6. breannat1898
    Mar 05, 2014 @ 22:49:07

    I think the thing that I mostly try to focus on is being honest in my interviews. Being on the other side of the interviewing table, I always really didn’t like when the interviewee told me some cliche answer. I try to make mine honest and somewhat interesting.
    The question that has always thrown me is: Tell me about yourself that we can’t see on your resume. I don’t know why that stumps me, but I just can’t describe myself. I can let you see me in action, but it is hard for me to capture who I am to someone else I guess.

    Reply

  7. ejlong0
    Mar 06, 2014 @ 12:35:59

    That’s something I’ve always disagreed with in the interview process, how fake it all is. It’s a series of answers that are studied for repetition and blurted out on command while you dress and act like something you think is appropriate. It’s always left a bad taste in my mouth, but hey, that’s corporate America.

    Reply

    • riannehall88
      Mar 06, 2014 @ 17:13:52

      Yeah. And then, if you do get the job, I feel as though the employer will hold you to the person you show them in such a weird environment. So, can you ever show certain sides of yourself in a job position? I mean, I know there are certain sides you should keep to yourself in almost all situations, but practically all of yourself? I feel like that is unfair.

      Reply

  8. Trackback: Interviewing for Your Dream Job (Or Just Pretending To) | ejlongblog

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