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Reality has never slapped me in the face harder than the morning following my 21st birthday when my teacher requested the entire class to raise their hands each time I said the word “like.” As I gazed around a classroom full of students wide-eyed and arms uplifted, I realized I was in fact not at a gospel church service, but instead at a crossroads between cute-dumb (whatever, don’t pretend you’ve never done it) and unemployed-dumb. I was coming to the harsh realization that my innate ability to sound (and look) uneducated, was taking a hard and fast turn from comical and adorable to sad and pathetic.

After more than two decades of twisting your hair, abusing abbreviations, and mastering the art of simultaneously texting and talking, you will be expected to abandon your old ways and maybe even wear a dress that reaches your knees. You have made it to the black hole and lightless tunnel they call job hunting. The only way out is through interviewing, a (twisted) time when your popularity will not be earned by your ability to chug, flirt, or shop.

Do yourself a favor and prepare. I’m not saying to set your Macbook background to the word of the day option, because people around you in class should totally have an outlet to see how photogenic and fun you are, but like def Google the company. Treat the job like a crush, look them up on facebook, stalk their pictures and their stati. Learn enough to be able to reference things you have in common, or things you’re interested in; bait the conversation.

Dress for your interview like you would for an “accidental” run-in with a male prospect. Do your hair and wear it down. Wear something flattering and that fits, but do not get this confused with fitted. Find a compromise between those heels you wore to Sigma Chi last weekend and anything that resembles a kitten heel.

Take a lesson from Elle Woods and put your oversized bag to use, bring your resume…but maybe yours should be unscented and printed on white paper. Make eye contact; pretend your interviewer is the bread you haven’t eaten in 2 years. Winning at interviews, much like winning in life, is all about control. Control the conversation by researching, control your seemingly possessed hand headed for your iphone, and finally, control your urge to abbreviate.

I am a senior Strategic Communications major and Painting minor and Elon University.
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