Friday, January 4, 2013

Lessons Learned: The Interview


When I was in college, we had to interview for our internship as if it was an actual job. I went to my interview in a bright red dress, 4-inch heels, and more eye make up than you can shake a stick at (I was interviewing at a gym) and I was overflowing with confidence. 

My interview lasted for almost two hours. We were talking about anything and everything. I had my interviewer on the edge of her seat. I left feeling amazing; driving down I-83 with my windows down and my music turned up. I called my friends and told them I nailed it.

The next day at school, I was waved into the Dean’s Office. She sat me down, looked into my eyes, and said sternly, “What the HELL happened?!” Apparently, my take on the interview was entirely different than the hiring manager. My Dean showed me an email from the gym that talked about how I was not the right fit for the company, especially because I mentioned several reasons that I didn’t like working out or going to the gym. The Dean proceeded to give me interviewing tips and told me not to do ANYTHING that I had done in that interview in the future. I was speechless. How could things have gone so wrong?

The following week, we were required to attend a mock interview session with several local businesses. Like speed dating, we would have 5 minutes to interview with each of the employers and they would give us feedback on what our strengths and weaknesses were. Each person who interviewed me had something to say about the way that I talked, my body language, or my wardrobe- all things that would have been great to know BEFORE my actual interview. The “expert” interviewers even informed the group that wearing red to an interview was a big mistake, which made the audience laugh in agreement at the ridiculous notion that someone would do such a thing.

I share this story because I believe that reality is often clouded by our own misconceptions. In life, we don’t always know the best way to go about accomplishing what we set out to do. However, your experiences will be there to teach you a lesson- and if you’re lucky, you just may learn something.

by Kristen Keyes

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