Yesterday I had another interview. This time with a different future employer. Future employer 1 was unable to accommodate my school hours, so she referred me to a manager of a different location (one three blocks from my apartment).
The interview went great. At one point she even said "I don't think you could be answering these questions more perfectly." If there is one thing that I can take pride in, I interview like a champ. If I can give any advice on interviewing, it would be this.
"Know your history well, know their history better."
Employers care much less about what you would have done, and are exceedingly more interested in the details of what you have already done. Bring up specific examples from your experiences, never hypothetical situations. It's easy to live in a world of would have and could haves, but what they are looking for, even if it doesn't put you in a positive light, is how you responded under pressure and what you learned from the situation. I say know their history because the industries of today are no longer jobs that you clock in and out of. They are brands that you assimilate into your daily life by living the culture they promote at work. There is a standard question that you will be asked 100% of the time, and that is "What is it about our company that interests you the most?" The worst possible response you can have for this is "the paycheck" regardless of how much truth is in that statement. Nobody works for free, so the question would be better phrased as "What aspect of our corporate culture will make you most motivated to being a top performer at our company?" I've been on a hiring team in the past, and I will have to select barbers to work at my shop in the future, and I want to make sure the people I bring on match my goals and the goals that my brand stands for. I will want people who want to volunteer for nonprofits and be involved in the community. How much better is the position of the person who gives me the answer I'm already looking for, rather than the answer I've heard before.
We had a good conversation for about 20 minutes, a lot about the C.E.O. returning to the company and a recent scandal that had been in the news, as well as some information I had read in a Bloomberg interview about some changes that were recently made that were not met with a lot of support by investors . By showing a future employer you will quickly embrace the culture they promote, it's not just opening a door, but tearing the roof off the building. I would have been hired on the spot (providing me the ability to quit an industry today) but the same concern came up. Working around school.
I am genuinely surprised I didn't meet this with my pessimism. But at the end of the day, I still have a job, and it pays better and guarantees me consistent hours on days I don't go to school so I have more opportunity to focus on one thing at a time and excel. These are great things. I am not taking anything away from the company I work for right now. They actually have a great culture for those who want to succeed. But it hit me this morning on my first break when I was talking with a peer about why I hadn't put in for a promotion that had recently come up. I feel almost like I'm disappointing them by not putting my skills to good use, but I literally have no desire to take that away from someone else who would find betterment out of that opportunity.
So no closer and no further away, the waiting continues.