I remember my first internship interview in NYC and how I discussed my strengths and weaknesses with 100% honesty and enthusiasm. LOL. Not anymore.
By now I have masterd the art of job interview. A proper job interview is like a dance — two parties bullshitting and tiptoeing around the truth (what the job is actually like, $, how much everyone hates the team, why your resume looks so empty. etc). Their goal? Hire a talent at the cheapest price possible. Your goal? Get a job that demeans you the least. So here’s how it’s done.
First, you give yourself a proper pep talk.
Forget about all the money and hard work that went into getting your degree because it means nothing. You’re now one of thousands of desperate applicants. Discard any and all self-respect. You’re replaceable. You’re an ant. You’re a potato. You need a job.
Realize this: Truth is, nobody’s telling the truth.
Seriously, when they ask you, “So, why are you interested in working for us?” you cannot possibly tell the truth (“Well, I’ve never heard of your company before, but I accidentally applied!” “I’ve applied to 246 positions and you’re the only one who invited me for an interview!”). Just tell them what they want to hear (“Oh, I admire your company’s work, blah blah blah…I’ve always been interested in sales and account management…”).
Always play up your strengths.
What are my weaknesses? Working too hard and caring too much 🙂
But really, if they ask you to talk about your weakness, STILL talk about your strengths. You just gotta turn it around. Here is my weakness: “I tend to overwork and lose my work-life balance. I just give, give, give myself to work.”
Yes, you can do anything with any amount of paycheck.
Do try to hide your disgust when they tell you what your salary will be. Or when they reveal that they offer almost no benefit. Or when they become overtly sexist. Try to remember how difficult it is to get a decent job. Compromise (almost) all values. Lower your standards.
Finally, accept the job offer (and the reality of adulthood)
Somehow you got the job. Yes. But the reality is, the company oversold the position and the prospect of the company — just like you oversold yourself. Work hard & stay employed. Eventually, you will find something better (at least that’s what I keep hearing. It hasn’t happened to me yet).
Good luck to everyone who is job hunting! What are your tips and tricks for surviving a job interview?