Posted by: amandaguarino | March 14, 2014

The Interview – How I Got my First Job

Getting to the interview stage is a crucial (and nerve-wrecking!) part of the job hunt experience.  Here is the story of the disastrous interview that led to me getting hired!

In early May 2012, just weeks before my graduation, I was invited for an interview taking place an hour from where I lived.  Setting out at rush hour in the fog, I gave myself two hours to drive there.  I didn’t have GPS (Sat Nav) and was unfamiliar with the roads, but I did have rough directions written down.  However, I still managed to get massively lost.  During this ordeal, I was on the phone with my interviewer (the company president) multiple times explaining that I would be late.  She eventually had to talk me through how to get there over the phone.  I felt like an idiot before I even walked in the door.  How unprofessional!

Before I walked in for the interview, I thought there was a slim-to-none chance that I could actually get hired after all this.  However, having this low expectation actually worked in my favour.  I was able to relax and be myself.  My personality and passion for the job really came through, and my boss could see me for who I really was, instead of a fake scripted act.  She informed me a week later that she would like to hire me.  I worked there one year and it was an amazing experience.  I was a really good fit for the company, and I’m glad my boss could sense that during the interview.

Now, I’m not suggesting to be late for interviews, or even forget your list of references as I also did in this situation. The moral of the story is to be yourself on the interview.  Of course, the professional you.  Being too scripted, nervous and serious will make you sound unnatural.  Plus, if you are truly yourself and don’t get the job in the end, you can be at peace knowing that you might not have been a good fit anyway, for either the desired role or the company.  Look at interviews as a learning experience.  At the very least they are practice for future interviews, a way to learn about a company or industry, and make for a story to tell as well.  Good luck!


  1. Hi Amanda, I think that this is really great advice! in the Careers Service, we often see students come in to see us for interview coaching who have prepared a ‘script’ for their answers, which I think can create a couple of key problems.

    First of all, as you said yourself, it makes you sound quite unnatural and very rehearsed, so when I’m the interviewer, it makes me want to ask them a hard question that will take them off their script! Very over-prepared candidates don’t tend to respond well to questions they haven’t prepared for, and that can make life difficult for them.

    Second, interviews tend to make candidates quite nervous and it’s very easy to lose your place in your script, and that can really throw you off your game and knock your confidence.

    So, whilst I’d always always advise you to do some prep work for your interviews, try not to script yourself – go for the ‘bullet points’ instead, which gives you a bit of flexibility and allows your personality to shine through!

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