As part of the GRADventure Specialist position in the Fall term of 2016 at the University of Waterloo, I was able to take part in the hiring interviews for the students applying for the Winter term positions. This experience not only offered me the opportunity to practice my own professional skills, but it also taught me a great deal about interviews in general. Most importantly, it allowed me to obtain a unique perspective on the interview process I had just gone through only four months before.
So here I was, on the other side of the interview table with a copy of the questions in one hand, and a notepad and pen in the other. As the interviewees came in, I could see myself in them. For the majority, the nerves were showing through - that same response that has gotten the best of me in past. Understandably so. You are sitting there being judged by strangers, preoccupied about saying the right thing, and wishing you’d get the job.
And then it hit me. I realized as I was asking the questions that I really wanted the interviewee to nail their answers. I was rooting for each of the interviewees. I really wanted them to succeed. So I thought to myself, "the people who interviewed me four months ago were probably feeling the same thing for me".
Fortunately, I was successful at obtaining the job and part of that was because I had been working on having conversations with myself in order to calm my nerves when I come across these situations. But, being on the other side of the table really drove this point through:
the interviewers are on my side, they want me to succeed
So really, I’m going to keep telling myself just that the next time I am in front of a hiring committee. Continue to self talk and say: “they want to give me the job, they are on my side, take a deep breath after each question, and do your best.”