Of course, I care about every job interview I land. But there are some that mean more to me than others, particularly if it’s for a prospective position I really want. It’s not just about the salary or the type of job or a certain prestigious company. It’s about me seeing the job opportunity as a place to begin rather than the end of a journey.
Tomorrow is just such an interview. It is for a law library position in an environment that would be challenging in a fulfilling way. If past experience is any indicator, I find that wanting something a lot tends to automatically up the career stakes ante, which in turn makes me really nervous.
I have discovered the best antidote is preparation. For me preparing for an interview includes extensive research (company website, internet search, etc.); reading the job description/requirements over several times to anticipate the questions that will be asked; and writing out a small list of questions to ask when the interviewer inquires, “Do you have any questions for us?” The process also helps me clarify how competent I am in relation to what qualifications they are looking for. The more ticks I can add in my mental “I have that skillset” column, the more confident I feel and by default, much less nervous.
Choosing the Suit of Armour
The final part of how to prepare for an interview involves planning what to wear. And especially if the interview is scheduled for first thing in the morning, I make sure the night before that my outfit is clean, pressed and accessorized. Ever since I saw the movie Michael Clayton, getting ready for a (high stakes) job interview reminds me of that absolutely brilliant scene where Karen Crowder (played by Tilda Swinton) prepares for an important presentation: she’s running lines in the mirror while she puts on each article of clothing as though they are pieces of a suit of armour.
Life is Like That
Yes, I must admit, even after all my prep work I’m a little nervous. But even if I don’t land this job, I will know that I gave it my best shot.