Job interviews are nerve-wracking, especially when it is your first time interviewing. Job interviews for part-time jobs and job interviews for full-time salary jobs are completely different. Today I had my first job interview.
The expectations in interviews for full-time and part-time jobs might as well come from different planets. As I said in my previous post, it is easy for me to look the part. It is a completely different thing to be the part. Going into the interview, I was not sure what to expect. I was not sure how to prepare. I did not know what types of questions I would be asked. I did not know what to expect overall.
Would I say I hit a homerun in the interview? No, not really. By the time the interview was over and I looked over the kind of person the company wanted, I began to wonder if I truly was the right candidate for them. It was hard to connect the dreams I have for my life to a company based solely in Texas. It was hard for the interviewers as well. However, there was one thing I did in my interview they can never take away from me – I was honest.
As a history major, it is difficult for people to connect the things I wish to do with my life to some of the jobs I choose to apply for. My dad and I talked after my interview and we agreed, whether or not the interviewers like or agree with the goals I have for my life, that is their personal choice. But I chose to be honest. I told the men who interviewed me who I was. I told them why I chose history and PR. I told them where I wanted to go and who I wanted to be. I’m not sure if government affairs actually fits into what this company strives for, but the bottom line is I cannot change who I am. All I can ask for is they respect me for being honest with them.
I still find it crazy I had my first job interview today. Since I enjoy learning so much, here are some things I learned during my interview.
- Be early. Despite the interview being on campus, I didn’t know where the room was. Thankfully I was running early because I had a meeting at 9:30 and my interview was at 11. Still, timeliness is definitely key.
- Research the company you are interviewing with. Even though the interviewers led the conversation, I still found it was important to know more about where I was showing an interest to work.
- Ask questions. Never at any time should there be an awkward lull in the conversation. I feel the most awkward time is when the interviewers ask if you have any questions. I usually try to think on my feet, I asked a couple of questions, but I do think having a list of some prepared a questions would have been beneficial.
- Don’t stress. You can only be the best that you can be. I found that when I had fun with the questions I was asked, I was much more relaxed. My anxiety levels went down and my heart wasn’t racing nearly as much.
- Be transparent. This goes back to the conversation I had with my dad. No matter what, this company cannot penalize me for being honest. When I was transparent with my interviewers they got to see who I truly was. I cannot ask for anything more.
This whole job-interviewing process is still taking a while for me to wrap my mind around. I am sure that as I continue interviews I will continue to learn more. Today I learned not everything in life is going to be a homerun. Occasionally we’ll try to steal second only to get thrown out. There is no rule saying I have to take the first job that comes my way. There is no rule saying my first job interview is going to be “the” job. My goal is simply to try and get a base hit for my next phase in life. When I tie everything back into my faith, I know ultimately God will lead me where he wants me to go. Whether I end up in Dallas with this specific company or somewhere in Norfolk, VA working for the Navy. No one knows. All I can do is work with what God has placed before me.