The first Friday Five I’ve sat down to complete in… well, too long. In light of several RevGals participating in interviews of various sorts, that is the theme of this week’s questions. Here are my responses:
1. What was the most memorable interview you ever had?
For one of my summer break jobs in college, I interviewed for a job at a small airline that served our small local airport. And when I say small, I mean small… Being an agent meant taking care of check-in, collecting boarding passes at the wingtip, helping load luggage, then using the orange flashlights to guide the plane out. Anyway, to interview, I put on the one dress I owned, went to the airport at 5 am, flew to the company HQ in a neighboring state (1-stop, so I was there at 8:30 or 9), met with a “good ole boy” who complimented me on my interviewing skills and hired me on the spot. He then proceeded to let me know that the company was on the verge of bankruptcy and would likely not be around for next summer, but he was “awful glad to have quality folks like me to represent the company.” He was right… and I was glad to know that I should cash my paychecks immediately.
Second place… I had looked up the location of the interview and mapped it, but I didn’t realize that some of the street names changed depending on the block you were on. I left 90 minutes early for a 20 minute drive. I got lost. I called in (with about 10 minutes to spare) to say that I was lost, and they put David on the phone, since he was most familiar with the area. I confessed my embarrassment and nervousness, which he graciously dismissed. His directions were perfect and I was only a couple of minutes late. I walk in to interview with the company president…. Who was, of course, David.
2. Have you ever been the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If so, are you a tiger, a creampuff, or somewhere in between?
I actually enjoy interviewing, especially with a team. I’m just relational enough, and have survived enough rough interviews that I tend to be the one who puts the interviewee at ease. I guess I’m in between.3. Do phone interviews make you more or less nervous than in-person ones?
The one thing I hate about phone interviews is that you just don’t have the visual cues to let you know when you’ve said enough or need to go on. Especially if the person on the other end isn’t sensitive to offering those cues verbally. Otherwise, I’m fine (on both sides of the resume) doing interviews by phone.
4. What was the best advice you ever got to prepare for an interview? How about the worst?
Best… Be your best self. Don’t be someone else, but don’t be afraid to present your very best. That and be sure to wear your interview clothes before the interview, so that you “own them” and are comfortable.
Worst… Wear a suit. Never in my life have I been a suit personality. I am not a formal person. For my first round of interviews, I had the official skirt-jacket-blouse interview uniform and could never quite be me. Once I moved to something that was professional, but “me” I started getting offers.
5. Do you have any pre-interview rituals that give you confidence?
Not sure it’s a ritual, per se. I just take a few minutes to remind myself that my family and my God love me no matter what the outcome, pray for a quick mind and clear speech, and then do one last check for stuff on teeth/clothes (first post-baby interview, I realized after walking out that I had dried spit-up on my shoulder)