I Survived My First ‘Big Girl’ Job Interview

I gave myself quite the pep talk before walking in. What do you have to lose? Do not back out now! How could they not like you? Lizzo confidence. Breathe. You. Are. Fierce. 

This was the second round of interviews. In-person. No phone to hide behind. “Remember to have good posture, do not look closed off, and lean-in to show engagement… your body language matters,”  the career advisors would say. But how about eye contact - how much is too much? I am wearing a yellow, floral shirt with navy pants, and a bright yellow purse. Too ambitious? Do they expect to see the corporate grey suit? Or, does my selection show flare and creativity? Just parked, no going back now. 

I was at the point of no return, and my racing thoughts were meaningless. I am on time, actually ten minutes early... impressive. No car accident, illness, or family emergency excuses used.

I was anxious about the uncertainty of it all. My phone interview pummeled me with questions. Have you used this software? What specifically did you accomplish in this internship? Why are you the most qualified candidate? Are you certified in this program? Has the last three years prepared you for this role? 

Yet, stepping out of my car the sun was beaming, and so I thought I should too. I put my worries and the past behind me. It was a beautiful day, and I was determined to make it go my way.

I strutted into the building and initiated a conversation with the security officer while waiting for my escort. First impressions matter and I do not know, but he could be my future coworker! The escort ended up being my interviewer. We smiled, shook hands, introduced ourselves and started talking. The first icebreaker in these transitional conversations is always something about the weather outside or traffic on the road. I had no complaints. 

So this is where I blacked out. I do not remember how our conversation about the position, the company, my passions, even started. But, I know it went well. I disassociated everything on my mind when I was in the room. I put my whole heart and mind into each moment of the 30-minute interview. I cleared my head so I could listen attentively and take-in my surroundings. Could I envision myself here? Will I learn and grow? Am I qualified enough? Too soon for a ‘big girl’ job?

These are some of the questions that crossed my mind as I opened up in my interview. I shared my passions, interests, strengths, areas of improvement, motivations, and purpose of applying. 

What is your “why”? This question guided me. Through any experience or transitional point in your life. Reflecting on this question provides clarity. Clarity will allow you to take a step back, reassess, and direct your course. With this mindset, I could truly be honest with myself.

The interviewer and I smiled at one another, and firmly shook hands. Walking back to my car, I felt an overwhelming sensation of content. I knew I had to trust the process. Even though I felt hopeful, nothing is promised.

My “why” to applying and interviewing was simply “why not?” I am an opportunist; carpe diem! If I do not act, I will never know. Some of my friends say "Applying to ‘big girl’ jobs already is crazy! Take your time!" However, I disagree. It is not about “taking your time” but “making your time count.” I do not want others to take my time away. Time is irreversible, and I believe in making the most of it.

So yes, I survived my first “big girl” job interview. Honestly, I can’t wait for the next one.