When I registered for my first semester of college, I was certain that I’d graduate with an education degree and would be a high school English teacher. I know what you’re thinking, “But Lindsay, your sentence structure is wackadoodle.” You’re right, read on.
As I sat in my first class, surrounded by prospective educators, nothing felt right. My classmates would chime in during discussions and I often shook my head in disagreement, only to find I was the odd man out. Not only did I not belong but, I wasn’t passionate about the profession, only the subject matter.
A year later, I stumbled upon my first marketing class taught by Chuck Tomkovick. This man had energy, he commanded a room and had a sincere passion for helping students. Simply put, he was the best professor ever in the history of professors.
Chuck offered advice on how to ace interviews. All you need to do is make the interviewer think, “I gotta get me some more (fill in your name here).” Sometimes people laughed this off. But, years later when I switched gears into the land of advertising, this advice helped me to get past the initial interview. This mantra helped me to frame my answers and more importantly, helped me to stop rambling. To me, “I gotta get me some more Lindsay.” meant that I needed to:
- Be myself
- Be engaging
- Be memorable
I’m not insanely smart or articulate. I’m a hard worker, a team player and really love to learn. So are a lot of people.
I like to do a good job and prefer to meet deadlines. So do a lot of people.
So, how to set myself apart? I learned how to tell a good story and I stopped trying to be Perfect Lindsay. As soon as I stopped pretending to be someone I’m not, people started to perk up. I am honest about my experience and industry knowledge. I am sure to smile and crack a joke if one pops into my head. I dress like a fancier version of myself but, make sure that I’m comfortable. I ask questions and show enthusiasm (but not too much enthusiasm).
Sure, we all research the company, have our set of questions in-hand and send thank you letters. But, isn’t it liberating to think that by tucking in this little nugget of advice and acting like yourself you can get to the next step. One step closer to landing a great job.
This advice helped me tremendously. What about you? What’s the best interview advice you’ve ever received? What about the worst?