Before starting my first job search in the “real world”, I didn’t realize how the job interview process worked. I soon realized that companies usually interview many people for one position and put candidates through several interviews before making a decision. The first job interviews I had were for part-time jobs for which I was overqualified. At the time, I wasn’t thinking about these interviews as practice for more important job interviews-I just wanted some money to get me through school as I pursued a second degree. I now realize that those interviews gave me a chance to make mistakes without costing me much in terms of my career.
After interviewing with several different companies, I could anticipate what kind of questions would be asked. I’m still not extremely confident in interviews and feel that they’re too subjective, but at least I know what to expect. You might “practice” by interviewing for part-time jobs and internships. Unlike mock interviews held by some career centers or practicing with your friends, these interviews will allow you to feel the full effect of a job interview.
The most important thing I’ve learned by interviewing is to deal with rejection. Unfortunately, rejection can become a vicious cycle. You don’t get a job you wanted, your self-esteem plummets, you carry a negative attitude to your next interview and are turned down once again after the interviewer(s) pick up on your lack of enthusiasm. It can be demoralizing to face rejection after jumping through so many hoops, but it is a fact of job hunting that we have to accept. Interviews can give you an idea of what working at a company will be like and whether you would be a good fit for the company culture. Try to keep several options open and not put all your hopes on one company.