by Rebecca Boorstin
Getting to Know (the best version of) You
Before I started at Pitzer, I attended a high school for the fine and performing arts, where along with standard academics, I majored in acting. While learning how to juggle, mime, and speak in a British accent (ugh) did not help me learn how to professionally thrive, another component of our education waslearning how to audition.
As a (former) shy and (still) awkward person, speaking to people I didn’t know was a nightmare, and trying to get them to like me made the matter even more terrifying. However, auditioning and acting helped me fake my way to being comfortable meeting new people, applying to colleges, and later, interviewing for jobs. Even if I was not the best actor in the room, or the person most suitable for the position of interest, learning how to audition taught me how to best present myself.
While there are many professional fields that require different experiences and characteristics to obtain the job, there are several auditioning techniques that I found I still use to this day when interviewing for jobs and internships—none of them, sadly, involve juggling or miming.
1. Do not shake the interviewer’s hand unless they offer it to you. Some people are genuinely not fans of germs and it can come off as pushy.
2. Speak as loudly and clearly as you can. Not only will this make your interviewer’s life much easier, especially on a phone interview, but it also helps portray a message of confidence and capability. No matter how scattered your answer is, it will sound impressive and well prepared.
3. Get yourself into a neutral mindset beforehand. Studies have shown that the music you choose to listen to before a task gets your mind moving to exactly that beat. Listening to classical music before an interview is a better bet than rap or EDM. Save that for the victory lap afterward. Also, don’t cram, don’t text friends, just relax and make sure there’s nothing in your teeth.
4. When they ask what your weaknesses are, they really want to know what your weaknesses are. You’re not perfect, and if you were, a lot of people would probably be annoyed by it. You don’t have to go into major detail. As long as you acknowledge that it’s a habit you need to change, they’ll be impressed by your confidence and self-improving mindset.
5. Have fun with it! Now’s the time you get to wear the conservative-but- powerful outfit you never wear at school, learn all about a career, meet new people, and talk about all your amazing qualities with no judgment. And if you’re naturally shy and uncomfortable talking about yourself, it’s a good role to play until you actually feel self assured.
6. When they ask if you have any questions, always ask one. No matter how insignificant it seems, it’s very impressive to show interest in the job, company, and person you’re talking to.
7. Thank them (duh) and then thank them again. Follow-up emails are a must. It helps you stand out, and it’s just considerate to thank them for their time.