The job hunt. We’ve all been there and done that, probably several times. The best feeling in the world is getting that call to set up an interview after submitting an application. Woo! They like me enough on paper to meet me in real life! But then the pressure’s on. You have to make them like not just your credentials but also YOU as a person.
Since Johnny and I have been married, we’ve each gone through the interview process many times. I’ve been hired as a server, secretary, teacher’s assistant, and editor. He’s been a server, IT teacher, graphic designer, marketing director, and copywriter. In order to hold all those positions, we’ve both had to have success with in-person interviews. BUT the way we approach our interviews is 100% opposite.
It’s quite obvious in our house when Johnny has a job interview coming up. Our coffee table becomes littered with papers about the prospective employer, as well as questions they might ask Johnny. Oh, and there’s always a list of questions Johnny wants to ask them. And Johnny himself? He can be found pacing and repacing the living room as he puts all this info to memory. It’s kind of Russell Crowe-esque in A Beautiful Mind. Which I guess makes me his imaginary friend who supports him along the way. When I’m around during these preparations, Johnny’s all for talking through the interview scenario out loud with me, over and over. No matter the magnitude of the job interview, this has always been how Johnny does it. It’s how he gets his interviewing mojo going on.
I’m cut from a completely different cloth than Johnny in the interviewing department. Once I know I have an interview coming up, a bit of nervous excitement sets in. In order to quell the nervousness and just focus on the excitement, I try to think about the actual interview as little as possible. I write nothing down. I simply organize my thoughts and keep a few questions I have for the company in the back of my mind. And I don’t want to talk to anyone about it beforehand. I focus more on finding an outfit that makes me feel confident and not so much on what I’m going to have to say. As long as I know I’m qualified for the job, then I figure what I say will come naturally. If I overthink things, it tends to make me super nervous, and then I start rocking the whole deer-in-headlights look.
Of course, both of us think the other person is completely wacky in their preferred methods. I tell Johnny again and again before an interview, “You’re thinking too much.” or “Seriously, stop memorizing that… they’re not going to ask you to name every employee.” or “You realize you look crazy when you pace like that.” And don’t get me started on how he reacts to my lack of preparation… “Okay, Joanna, let’s talk about what they might ask you!” or “Are you even ready for the interview at all?!” or “Why aren’t you showing any emotions? Are you a robot?”
Despite not understanding each other’s methods at all, we each find that they work great for us. When it’s finally time for our interviews, we’re both calm, collected, and confident (and crazy for alliteration!). And usually (fingers crossed) that means a job offer! So even though we think each other’s preparations are crazy, it’s not crazy if it works, amiright?
What about you? How do you prepare for a job interview? What crazy method do you swear by? Are you like Johnny or me when it comes to interview prep?