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.”

  1. Be on time
  2. Clean, neat appearance
  3. Eye contact
  4. Provide a resume or CV
  5. Do not give one word answers
  6. 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
  7. Be mature yet effervescent (my daughter had her interview after a certain round of newspaper articles recently came out)
  8. Be prepared to ask them questions
  9. Shake hands
  10. Don’t be nervous
  11. 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…

 

 

29 thoughts on “The Interview

  1. Good luck! I read these stories and feel two things: absolutely glad I don’t have to go through this again, and slightly apprehensive what to expect when my two reach that point.

    You are a great parent. Even though you (and I) grew up with pantyhose… lol (Once I stopped working in an office and the flight attendant gig I ditched those and never looked back. Feetless tights for those few times I wear a dress or skirt is about as close as I’ll ever get to it again).

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  2. I am glad we did not have to go through such a rigorous application process with our daughter. Fortunately for us she was accepted to the only college she applied to and while it is obviously not as prestigious as the ones to which your daughter is applying, she now has her Psych Degree and a good job. I hate putting on pantyhose but I may have to do it soon as we were invited to a wedding and the attire is semi-formal. I don’t own semi-formal.

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  3. We are at the point of having to really dig into talks about college with MC. He is pretty set on one of two schools, both in state and, hopefully, don’t require those kinds of hoops. He is such an extreme introvert, I’ll be a little shocked if he decides on the one that would require him to live away from home, but one of his good friends plans to go there, so there is still that chance. I am incredibly grateful that I still have 2 years before I have to deal with the reality of him going to college. At least he knows what he wants to do. My daughter is too much like me and has too many things that interest her so she has absolutely zero clue. Good thing she still has a couple of years before she has to start really thinking about it.

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    1. It’s such a pain! And schools have made it more complicated than it needs to me. It’s like one giant game. My advice is look at the schools he’s interested in and make sure he’s doing what he needs to for acceptance. And good luck. My guess is they all end up where they should…

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  4. So the open house was for colleges in the New York area?
    Correct me if I’m wrong but it sounds as though your daughter is aiming for a hoity toity college that charges more for tuition than an ivy league college it’s crazy when you look at the top 50 most expensive colleges in the United States the 50th is brown and the 47th is Yale no other Ivy League colleges are on that list

    If your daughter has a good SAT score like 1350 ish and above and a good GPA I’d say go big and apply for ivy league colleges.
    MIT for example if the family of a prospecting students earns less than 90,000 a year tuition is waived
    I forget the average cost for undergrads after scholarships it’s in the low 20,000ths but then you have to factoring getting an apartment like 15,000

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    1. This was an individual college open house. There are fairs, but my daughter chose not to go to any of those. I’m not allowed to say where she’s applying…but yes…she’s looking at highly ranked schools. And you’re not wrong….ivies are often more affordable than other schools. Larger endowments.

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  5. Interviews never get easier just less unnerving. Ah the classic life skill of being able to get dressed when nervous. I hope she feels as if it went well, that is the big thing, that she feels comfortable with how it went.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds all to familiar! My daughter is also interviewing for PA schools, all out of state. She has borrowed all my clothes, rehearsed practice questions and spent a whole lot of (her) money on travel!
    Good luck to your daughter!!💕

    Liked by 1 person

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