A few months ago I told you about my daughters dilemma- show up late to a college open house or miss her tennis match. Last weekend she was invited to this particular university club again- but this time there would be no choosing- this time she would not only be on time, she would be early. This time it was for the interview.
Now my daughter is the queen of advance preparation. A few days before the interview she approached her guidance counselor and said- “Interview this weekend. Any tips?” To which the counselor replied- “Don’t worry- the interview doesn’t matter at the majority of schools. Which school?” And my daughter dropped the name and the counselor said “except that one. Let me tell you what to do.”
- Be on time
- Clean, neat appearance
- Eye contact
- Provide a resume or CV
- Do not give one word answers
- It’s OK to tell them about your achievements- don’t act like an idiot, but it’s not bragging in an interview- it’s what they want to know
- Be mature yet effervescent (my daughter had her interview after a certain round of newspaper articles recently came out)
- Be prepared to ask them questions
- Shake hands
- Don’t be nervous
- Email a thank you within 24 hours
Ok- so my daughter was armed with this info- but trust me she was nervous. I was nervous. My daughter is an amazing student, great leader, good person. She is also not so great when she is interacting with people she doesn’t know. She’s a wonderful writer and her personality comes through in everything she puts on paper, but unfortunately she is like me in person: awkward and introverted.
So- knowing this- we had interview lessons in my house. We asked questions so that she would get some practice at answering questions, to learn how to be mature and effervescent. Yeah- that was fun. The least charming person in America attempting to teach the second least charming person in America how to be charming…
Now the day of the interview hosted its own set of challenges. My daughter chose to wear a skirt, long sleeve t shirt, tights and short boots. The outfit was appropriately businessy yet showed that she was a teenager. The only snag we hit were the tights. Now, I grew up in a generation of pantyhose and tight wearing. My daughter has not. Needless to say my daughter called out to me: “Hey- can you come here?” and I walked in to find the crotch of the tights somewhere around her knees. “These don’t fit.” And I looked at her and thought – really 99th percentile and you don’t know to ball up the tights and slowly put them on? So yes- we’d prepped for everything except how to get dressed…
But before you know it she was out the door and on her way. She felt the interview went well. Which was the best news I could hear. She felt confident, and that she gave it her all. And I’m slightly calmer now- that is over.
Of course- she has more schools to apply to and already got an interview date for another school…but at least she can put on tights.
Honestly, I don’t know if interviewing ever gets easier. I think we all face them with a little bit of apprehension- I mean- you are going into a room to have people judge you. If that doesn’t make you nervous them you have nerves of steel…
But it’s all good. We all survive interviews and live to tell the tale…