Since I started actively applying for social media jobs two years ago, I’ve been on 17 million interviews (that is an accurate number). Some of them have been successful, some were bombs, some felt successful and never amounted to anything and some were just plain strange.
My first interview I prepped super hard (understandably, it was my first-time interviewing for my new career choice and my first interview in six years!). I had lots of analytics, practiced my answers and “speel” and felt very prepared. And then I forgot my nice shoes. I was going to my interview after work and it was June, so I had my old crappy flip flops and my work shoes. So, work shoes it was. They were runners and had some blood on them (totally normal for my old job) but luckily my nice “interview” pants were 7 years old at the time so were very wide legged (ah fashion) and hide the majority of the shoe. It didn’t end up mattering because we were sitting the whole time, but it definitely threw me off my game a bit.
After that I didn’t apply to anything much for a few months (not because of the Shoe Drama but because I was busy with other things). Fall 2016 was really when I started to do some hard core applying and interviewing. I had my first technical glitch when I was trying to do a Google hangout interview and even though I had practiced with it beforehand, it wouldn’t work when they called me! We ended up on a normal call and the Starbucks I was in got really loud, so I had to go outside to talk to them. In November. Next to a skytrain station. It was less than ideal, and I looked like I didn’t know what I was doing. I never found out if the issue affected my chances as they set up another round of interviews with me and then never replied with firm details. Not the first or last time I was left hanging.
For the last year of working full-time I was juggling interviewing at the same time as work. It could get tricky at times. I had a lot of phone interview at the Starbucks by my work (and changed clothes there a lot too!) but what surprised me the most was how many people wanted to set up an interview with me in the middle of the day after looking at my resume listing my current full-time job. It was so strange to me but the reactions that I got when I brought up my availability were even stranger. Why did so many people think it outlandish that I wasn’t free in the middle of the day? Even if there isn’t a time that works for both of us, don’t be rude about it.
After all these interviews I definitely have my prep down. I research the company, look at their current social media, think of ways I could improve it (they always ask that one) and try to think about what kind of content I would create for them. It works pretty well. Well it did until a few weeks ago when I went to an interview (at a Starbucks-they are so multi purposeful!) and as soon as the woman came over to introduce herself I realized I had researched the wrong company! It was such a crazy random happenstance.
The company I was interviewing for has an “S” at the end of the word in the name and I had Googled it without an “S” and it turned out there was a company named that too. Also based here. What are the odds?
Luckily the question “what would you change about our SM” never came up but I was super distracted and panicky the whole interview. I left and was telling people what happened and couldn’t remember a thing from the meeting; the questions she asked, how I felt it went, nothing. Needless to say, my total lack of focus did not win me that job. But it did give me a blog topic so go me!
With all of these interviews under my belt I don’t really get nervous anymore, but I still find them to be strange situations. They are like a weird blind date. You get dressed up, you talk to a stranger, you get excited about the prospect and/or you talk yourself into how it could work and then you never hear from them again. Only in this situation, it’s your livelihood that depends on it-so fun!
I’m trying to end this post with a piece of interviewing wisdom to pass on after all this experience. I guess prepare properly (with your research AND your shoes) be confident but don’t lie (instead say “I haven’t had any experience with that, but I have no issue learning and asking questions to ensure I get it right”) and always always ALWAYS have questions for the interviewer. I don’t think I have been to an interview yet where they didn’t ask me if I had any questions for them. The answers you get from your questions can be incredibly informative and they can open the discussion up to a bit more informality which is a great way to finish the meeting. Look at that, I guess I do have some sage wisdom. So put on your fancy out-of-date pants, find your questions, and head on out there-I’ll see you at Starbucks.