Sunday, March 11, 2012

Small Town, (Big) City Dreams #11

The On-Campus Interview

Recently, I had a friend go on an on-campus interview. On picking him up and taking him to the airport, I was able to witness both ends of his experience. The ride to the airport was marked with apprehension, slight self-doubt, and nervous excitement. On the ride back, was marked with relief and disbelief over the entire experience, reflecting on the sense of peace coupled with exhaustion. He offered a few tips for job searchers:

1. Utilize your midday exhaustion. Some of the most genuine interview rapport occurs when the nervous guard is let down. He was able to answer the question “why do you want this job” in a way that was true to himself because he no longer was hyper-sensitive to the interview environment. The earlier you can tap into that feeling the better.
2.  Ask the same question to different people. You may be surprised at the array of responses based upon individual contexts.
3. Remember to formally thank everyone with whom you have contact with, including the administrative staff that makes your visit possible. Recently, a graduate school candidate asked the coordinator of admissions to distribute thank you letters, without thanking the coordinator! This reflected very poorly on the candidate from my perspective, and is something that I have kept in mine as I move through the job search.
4.  Own up to your shortcomings.

I will carry this advice with me in my own job search. Until then, I will be living vicariously through my friends' successes! 

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