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How to Psych Yourself Up for Any Interview: The Best Pre-Interview Pep Talk

It’s interview season, and so along with professional pumps and a grown-up suit, every collegiette™  deserves a little pre-interview love. Unfortunately, in the midst of a busy semester your friends can’t always be around to sit you down before every interview, look you in the eye and tell you how fabulous you are.  So I will.

Print it out, tape it to your door, read it on the subway, share it with your friends and let me know when you get the job of your dreams.

  • You are beautiful, smart and articulate. You are qualified for this job, and if—for some unknown reason—you don’t get it, in six months be prepared to receive an apologetic muffin basket explaining their colossal mistake. Your experiences speak for themselves; you will communicate your skills clearly; you will look better than Hillary Clinton in your pantsuit. 
  • Take a deep breath and remember the person interviewing you is just a person—a person with a family and bad hair days and morning breath—so there is no need to be excessively nervous about anything except whether your new business cards will be printed in blue or black ink.  
  • Everyone at the office wants to like you because they want to hire a smart, young ambitious person with commitment and drive. They want to hire you.  The attractive man typing at his cubicle really wants them to hire you. 
  • Yes, there may be other nervous young people fidgeting with their BlackBerrys on the cushy couch next to the reception desk. Yes, they may have comb-overs or Louboutins or fancy leather briefcases. But trust me, they’re just as intimidated by you as you are by them.  They are not your competition—because you know how perfect you are for this job—and besides, for all you know the employer will hire all of you. (Except the guy with the comb-over.)
  • So have fun. Ask questions. Start a conversation. You are a qualified person talking to another person who sat in your chair at some point in his or her life.  No one expects you to be perfect or hilarious or anything other than exactly who you are. 
  • And most importantly, whatever happens at this interview—or any interview—you know you will figure it out. You’ll get a job. You’ll be happy. You’ll work hard and it will pay off. Every great person started out like you—nervous and unemployed and too familiar with Ramen noodles—and you, like all great people, will land on your feet. 
  • Look in the mirror; make sure your foundation is blended and your lipstick hasn’t smeared across your teeth; take another deep breath; remember who you actually are, what you actually want, and what skills you actually offer, and just try to communicate that. 

Now go get hired! 

Click Below For A Printable Version!


Rachel Peck is a senior at Barnard College, Class of 2012, where she is majoring in English and Theatre and minoring in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Although she admits to actually enjoying high school in her hometown of Bexley, OH, her favorite thing to do is explore her new--slightly more exciting--home, New York City. When she isn't watching good (and bad...) TV, finding excuses to plan dinner with friends, window shopping, or napping, Rachel enjoys working for the Barnard admissions office, serving on her sorority's various boards, and writing for whoever will read it.  You can also follow her on Twitter (@peckrachel) if you're into that.
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