Tips on surviving college

Abeni (pronounced Ah-Ben-ee: she is neither a bean, nor a city in NY) likes to think of herself as a jack-of-all trades, master of nothing kind of gal. Having recently graduated from Pomona College with a degree in American Studies (arguably the most liberal artsy major of all time) she has her fingers in all sorts of pie. Though it is rumored that she doesn’t even really like pie; unless it is sweet potato that is. Abeni is currently working in college admissions and of course dabbling in writing and all sorts of things on the side. But she won’t reveal all of these things, cause a girl’s gotta have her secrets.

It might not be today; It may not even be tomorrow. Some of you might not even have to go down this dreaded road for year. But, eventually everyone has to go through the interview process. Whether it’s for a job, internship, or to continue your educational career, at some point in your life you will have to scratch interviewing off your bucket list, whether you begrudgingly placed it there or not.

I am no stranger to interviews (having given over 75 of them myself), still like any normal human being, I’ve Googled ways to make an impression in an interview and came across oodles of advice and thought of some myself. The best I’ve come up with so far is to treat job interviews like they’re a first date. Strange advice, I know, but the more you think about it, the more sense that it makes and I’ll tell you how. I’ll give you a list of things to remember for a job interview by relating them to the land of first dates. But, a word of caution, I’ve never actually experienced a first date, so I may have misconstrued the whole thing in my head. In which case, feel free to ignore me.

1. Be on time! (I know super cliché) but seriously people it’s just annoying and disrespectful to be late and it shows you don’t value other people’s time. First impressions are everything. If you know you need an hour to get all gussied up, plan accordingly.

2. Dress to impress. You know how much time you spend planning that outfit to make that special someone do an eyebrow raise? Spend that time and care prepping for an interview too. In our shallow world, looking the part can be just as important as backing it up with skills and experience. Besides, clothing is armor. If you’re looking like the cats meow, most likely that’s the persona you’re giving off to the world.

3. Honesty. If you pretend to love the Yankees just because your date does, but in reality you don’t know the first thing about baseball, you’re bound to look stupid eventually when you’re caught up in a lie. In that same vein, if the interviewer asks you if your familiar with Photoshop and you can barely take pictures with your iPhone, that’s fine. As long you express interest and willingness to learn, it’s gravy. And don’t apologize for not knowing, there’s nothing to be sorry for; besides you probably know at least one or two things that they don’t.

4. Don’t badmouth the exes. No matter how much of a prick your old boss was, don’t trash talk them (c’mon people at least not on the first date.) It’ll only make you look bitter and the interviewer may not want to hire you if there’s a risk you might bash them if you ever left their company/school etc. Also sometimes life’s just messing with you and your ex might know your date, heck they could even be friends.

5. You gotta express some genuine interest and be invested in the conversation or else the whole thing’s just a waste of time. Do your research. Just like you wouldn’t take your date to a sushi place if they were allergic to fish (or simply loathe it like I do) you have to know some background info about the job.
5. Unless it’s super inconvenient for you, don’t turn a job interview down. Surely the job had some appeal if you took the time to apply. It can’t all be desperation. Like a date, and interview isn’t a commitment and you might just be pleasantly surprised. And hey if it’s a dud, it’s always good practice for the next one.

6. This is an opportunity for potential employees/dates to get to know you sure, but most people forget that it’s a two way street. This is also your chance to see if you want to actually date this person for real. Hell they may not even be second date material, let alone relationship worthy. Can you deal with their bad habits (long hours, low pay) do their friends (coworkers) annoy you? Can you see yourself happy with them and can they help you grow as a person? Or will they suck up all your time and try to control your life. Maybe YOU don’t see a fit, maybe they’re not what you’re looking for and if so, that’s perfectly fine. Maybe you know you deserve more and refuse to settle, no matter how cute ($) this guy/gal (job) is.

Most of all

7. If this guy/gal doesn’t want to dive into a relationship with you, forget them. It’s their loss and they’re plenty of other fish (jobs) in the sea. Fish who will love you for you and what you can bring to the table. Even if you thought they were the one, there’s a reason things don’t work out, and hindsight my friends is always 20/20.

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