So results day has come and gone, now it’s time to celebrate your entry into university! Err, for the rest of your friends. The thing is, you didn’t quite get the results you were hoping for, and Mum and Dad have you whisked down the Job Center in your best suit* before you can say “At least we won’t need to buy a new duvet cover now.”*And believe me, this stage won’t last long. After the first few weeks of attempting to come across as a sane and employable individual down the Job Center you’ll eventually lose all pretences of normality and start appearing in clothes that are basically one step up from pyjamas. My personal favourites were from the Jumpers with Pictures of Majestic Animals and Completely Inappropriate for my Age Dungarees collections.
Or perhaps you decided not to go to university at all. Who needs it? Getting a job will be easy. All you need to do is ace your interview. Well hold on, cowboy, because I have some news for you – If you are anything like me, you will forget every single basic function of existance as soon as you enter an interview room. These people are literally judging you in every aspect and this is the time that your body goes into complete revolt and forgets how to talk, walk, blink and breath.
Don’t worry! I am here to help (Sort of. I’ll help you out here, but if we ever happen to be in a situation where we are both interviewing for the same job I will take you down, my friend. Take you down.). Here, for your perusal, are the 7 Deadly Sins of Interviewing.
LUST: No, i’m not talking about looking down your potential new employer’s top (Although, don’t do that either). The fact is, for most positions, if you appear to be slavering at the mouth like some variety of rabid pitbull, so desirous are you for this job, the first impression you make probably won’t be a favourable one. Don’t get me worng; You have to seem interested in the job and passionate for the work, even if that work is serving up fries to fat toddlers every day of the week, but if this passion begins to lean on the side of begging than your interviewer will probably begin to question why you are so desperate for the job. Expensive drug habit? Got fifteen members of the Mafia to bail out of prison right away? Probably not, but desperation is never the key to getting anything you want in life. Imagine that your job is your girlfriend. Commitment is good, sobbing phonecalls at five AM is bad.
Gluttony: Don’t be selfish, mister! Ask questions about the company and what kind of things you would be doing if you were to get the job. After all, you’re being hired for a reason; And no, that reason isn’t so that you can buy a new pair of shoes and finally get your hair cut somewhere nice, it’s because the company needed somebody to perform a specific task. It’s not so much what your employers can do for you, but what you can do for your employers. You’ve already got an interview, so you must be doing something right – Don’t wreck that by appearing self centered in person!
Greed: Your interviewer will expect you to ask questions about pay, along with working hours, holidays etc so don’t fear if you’re curious. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get; But for the love of Liza don’t act disappointed if the pay isn’t exactly what you expect. Attempt not to let your face drop in shock and horror at the fact that you won’t be getting paid very much more than you would have earned on benefits, because who knows, maybe this will be the only job you’re offered and you’ll have to take it. Don’t ruin that option by leading your employers to think that you are greedy.
Sloth: Wear something nice. Make sure you don’t smell. Sit up straight in your chair, you’re not at your mother’s house now! If you pretend that you’re a very neatly turned out and polite individual at the interview you can slowly slide back into your slovenly ways after the job is secured.
Wrath: So maybe you didn’t get the job, this time. Try to have a good attitude about it! It’s just possible that if you take the rejection with a pinch of salt and a smile on your face the company will keep your CV on their files and contact you if another vacancy pops up. Along with this, don’t badmouth the last people you interviewed for/worked for at your new job or interview. Nobody likes a person with a stinky attitude.
Envy: Okay, this is kind of a convoluted link to Envy (Maybe I should have thought my theme out more) but it’s a valid point nonetheless. Don’t lose confidence if it seems like another candidate has more experience/shinier shoes/nicer smelling hair than you. It doesn’t matter if you’re some spotty 16 year old teen looking for your first job and the other guy in the waiting room with you is a charming silver haired fox with a three piece suit, flipping a silver coin up and down, mumbling disheartening things such as “Hey, Timmy, you’re never gonna make it in this town, see?”. If the job advertisement wasn’t asking for experience or qualifications then it’s entirely possible that they’re looking for a fresh young face rather than an experienced pro who think they know it all already.
Pride (aka “Billy, don’t be a hero” syndrome): I’m going to use one of my own anecdotes to illustrate this one. I’ve had a lot of interviews in my life, and only once did I not get the job, and that was because I was suffering from Pride. On the day I went to this interview, I happened to have a very bad cough. I was 18 at the time and pretty shy, so when I was offered water at the interview, which I desperately needed, I declined very politely and carried on. Only problem was that for the rest of the conversation with my potential manager I had to keep my mouth clamped shut, growing physically more and more uncomfortable, and I tried to avoid coughing up various organs all over the desk separating us. When asked if I was okay, I simply replied “Hmm!” very enthusiastically. Needless to say, it did not end well.
Final thought: Just be relaxed, friendly, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, they’re not doing you a favour by letting you have a job. They need you as much as you need them.
Well, at least that’s what I like to think.