It’s a great time to be alive and in your 20s, but not necessarily a great time to be on the job hunt. Competition is fierce. Everyone applying has the same credentials and education. If you get lucky enough to land an interview then comes the challenge of not getting into your own head during it. Good luck with that. At least it helps to know you’re not alone. Here are those thoughts that race through every 20-something’s mind during the dreaded job interview.
Please don’t have sweat stains.
Your armpits are sweating, your heartbeat is racing and your voice box is practically doing the cha-cha slide. You’re trying to play cool and confident but it is super apparent that your nervous system is going haywire.
I hope I get this job, I can’t ask my parents for money again next month.
You’ve already started imaging how much that salary would improve your life. Not only could this job provide you with financial freedom and free you from the ramen noodle and dollar menu diet you adopted in college, but it would mean you could stop asking your parents for an allowance.
Yes! This question was totally on the list of interview questions I Googled.
You’ve been on so many interviews at this point that you’ve actually started rehearsing them the night before, Googling “Common interview questions.” Sadly the interviewers have Googled those questions as well, and only ask about two of them, but you totally crushed those two!
Can I see myself working here?
You spend so much time searching for a job and preparing yourself for the interview that you hadn’t really thought about how it would be to come to this place every day for 8 hours at a time. Once you get there it’s very real and you start to freak yourself out.
“That parking garage is really far.”
“The person at the front desk wasn’t very friendly.”
“I wonder if there is a snack machine.”
Crap what was his name again? Just say sir, he won’t catch on that you’ve totally forgotten in the 10 second walk to his office.
You are so focused on keeping it together you totally forget your interviewer’s name. You try to avoid having to address them by their name at all costs. As soon as the interview is over it pops into your head.
Mr. Weaver! I knew it was with a W!
I am totally blowing/killing this?
It depends on where you fall on the confidence spectrum, but about 5 minutes in you are pretty sure you know which way this will go. This thought is incredibly dangerous! Remember people change their minds. Don’t stop trying your best because you think you’re nailing it and don’t give up because you think you hit an interview iceberg and are sinking fast. Impressions can change very quickly.
Was that a joke? Should I have laughed?
You always thought Michael Scott and Leslie Knope were just fictional characters, but here you are sitting across from a real life hybrid. You can’t tell if they are making jokes or are just really intense and awkward so your respond to most of their “jokes” with a polite smile.
Is that a trick question?
“What’s is my greatest flaw!?! I am super late all the time. But I’m not telling you that.”
There is always at least one question you just aren’t sure how to answer. You want to tell the truth but not too much, because it might not paint you in the best light. You try to answer the question without actually answering it.
“My greatest flaw is probably once I start something it’s hard for me not to finish it. I can’t leave tasks incomplete.”
I can’t believe I just said that! Idiot!
Remember that scene in Girls where Hannah makes a joke about her interviewer being a possible rapist? Yeah, it wasn’t that bad but you may need to backpedal.
Is it too early to ask about vacation days?
You’ve heard it’s bad etiquette to ask about benefits during the first interview but you’ve also heard “you don’t know until you ask” and you really need to know if you would be able to get off work for your best friend’s bachelorette trip in January.
Interviewing can be scary, but remember—if you got an interview, something about you stood out and made them consider you. So take a deep breath and don’t think too much.
(Photo Credit: Devil Wears Prada/ Twentieth Centrury Fox)