Interviewing Post College: The Unfortunate Truth

Congrats! You’ve graduated college now what? The soul sucking process of interviewing begins. This is your first shot at potential rejection, but don’t worry it’s part of the process. 

My first interview outside of college I blew drastically. I wanted the job so much I just was beyond nervous. The job I had applied for did what everyone told me no job did, and asked me for my college transcripts. They had also requested I  take a personality test and send it to them prior to the interview. This made me nervous because:

  1. My college transcripts were not impressive even though I attended a top ten school. 
  2. The job literally said job training provided, and no experience necessary

My interview took place over the phone. Which was cool, because they they can’t see how nervous I am, but they can probably hear it in my voice. I found a quiet place to talk, and answered the phone, which honestly the anticipation was unreal. She started the interview off by asking me to tell her about myself. I had rehearsed this.. but completely botched it. She then hits me with the so it looks like you really struggled at Berkeley. A complete slap in the face and wow did it throw me off. What do I even say to this? She basically just said I’m incompetent and asked why, as if going to a top ten college was not enough. Now I’m incompetent because I didn’t get enough As? The interview ended- complete and utter disaster I was mortified. 

Instead of laying down, and never interviewing again I decided I needed redemption. I applied for multiple jobs a day, and started googling how to crush your interview. This is what I’ve learned. 

  1. Go in as if you don’t want the job, that way if you don’t get it it’s not that big of a deal and it will calm your nerves. 
  2. You are supposed to sell yourself, so be confident in everything you say.
  3. Don’t view it as an interview. Act like it’s a conversation where two people are getting to know each other. This honestly helped me the most. Because I have conversations with people daily and never get nervous. 
  4. Always send a follow up email when possible. Simply thanking them for their time and reminding them why you think you’d be a good fit.
  5. Do not take the rejection personally, and move on if you get rejected.
  6. Practice makes perfect so practice a lot. You can google common interview questions, and I know indeed has a good list, and potential answers that might help you out.
  7. If you get the job celebrate! 

I went into my next few interviews with a completely different mindset and crushed them all. I actually started to enjoy them and even began turning down jobs. I began to be a candidate, even though I may have lacked the experience that others may have had. I was still able to sell myself on my abilities and skill set. Simply by using the confidence I had in myself, and the way I was able to portray that to my potential employer.

Lastly, I cant stress how important it is to not get discouraged, when you face rejection. If you find yourself struggling to even get interview, take into consideration the time of year it is. I noticed that in the summer after everyone had just graduated, there is a surplus of people in your area applying for jobs. This just means there are more people to compete with, but it will die down. I found it easier applying in September and a lot of people find it easier in January as well. It is very common for people to get depressed looking for jobs after college, due to the excessive amounts of rejection, but the process is normal and it is something a lot of us go through, so hang in there and keep applying. 

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