Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Uncomfortable Interviewing Process

As I reminisce back to the days (which weren't that long ago) when I was going through the interview process I think about how stressful it was for me...as the interview-ee. My palms were sweaty, my cheeks were always blushed, my outfits had to be planned out to "the T," and my chest would--without hesitation--always get "blotchy" (one of the few great traits I picked up from my mom). Now that I am the Guest Service Manager at a growing hotel in downtown Greenville, I am on the other side of the table.

Keep in mind that I am a Communications major who was studying speech until the classes became tedious and lacked challenge for me. Although I truely love to write, I changed to journalism simply to get a variety of courses. I have no problem speaking in front of groups, giving presentations, or leading meetings. When in front of a group, I feel in control, that I'm perceived as a leader, and don't hesitate to let my personality shine through. I don't trip over words nor do I lack eye contact with my audience.

With this said, I have found that speaking to a large group of people vs. a one-on-one interview are POLAR OPPISTIES! We are severly short-staffed on our front desk and I have been given the responsibility to set-up and conduct interviews single-handedly. Being the naive 23-year-old that I am, I went into the first few interviews completely unprepared. For some reason I thought that the questions would just "come to me..."ha! I sat in those first interviews like I had no idea what I where I was or what I was there for! After those inexperienced interview "tactics" I decided it would be best if I have a list of questions to lead me through the conversation.

This week I have already had three interviews and have four more tommorrow. My first thought was that I was intimmidated by people who were older than me...

"Why am I being interviewed by someone who could be my daughter? Are you serious?"

My second thought was that I was threatened by other females...

"Look at her outfit...her hair...her lack of professionalism! Are you serious?"

My final thought was that I became introverted around men...

"She is pretty (or not)...but I don't take her seriously...I could be doing her job alot better! Are you serious?"

All of these thoughts are running through my head when all I should be focused on is how suitable they are for the position. It could be that when I interviewed an older man (early 40s) and I was going through my questions, he laughed with a mocking tone at each one before he answered. As if they were the most ridiculous questions he had ever heard! I was completely insulted but eventually convinced myself to look past his condescending personality and remember that I was in charge of that conversation...and you are NOT!! (needless to say he is not getting the job..take that!)

Today I interviewed a 30-year-old guy who was really laid back and very nice. He wasn't attractive but I was completely apprehensive during the whole conversation. I felt my chest get "blotchy" and I stumbled over my words as if I didn't have anything prepared. I felt bad for him because of my insecurities...I was relieved when the torture was finally over!! ha!

Maybe I am so nervous because it is a huge responsibility...or maybe because I feel that they are noticing every negative thing about me (physical and non-physical). I never thought that sitting on the other side of the table would be as nerve-racking as being the one just answering questions. Whatever it is, I am going to overcome the fear of interviewing and make it a goal of mine to turn that weakness into a strength!

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About Me

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I am a 20-something young woman growing up and experiencing the things my mother warned me about...love, friendship, hard work, disappointment and success.