Interview Tips

I know that I am still young and that I haven’t had as many interviews as someone that is older than me. However, I think that I have been on enough interviews to tell you guys about some of my experiences in interviewing and what I did to eventually be successful in getting a job.

Before I start off with how I was offered the job I am currently working, I want to talk about my first interview: to become a volunteer (Office Aide) at the Department of Food and Agriculture. To be honest, I was so nervous. Who isn’t nervous for an interview? On the sad side, I rarely had any experience. I had just graduated from high school and only had small volunteer experience from the required volunteer hours I had from high school.

The interview started off with them telling me about the position and briefly about the department. Then, they asked me questions about my resume and about my work experience. I really didn’t have much to say since I really didn’t have much experience. The interview was no more than 10 minutes. They ended up choosing me to be a volunteer, which I was happy about. I learned so much from volunteering and gained a lot of experience and knowledge. My supervisor thought I was a shy person, based on the interview. But after I started volunteering, she soon realized that I am far from shy and we got along really well.

Now, let’s compare it to my interview I had for the position I have now, which was a year and half later. I have gained a lot of volunteer experience, volunteering at the Department of Food and Agriculture and with the Department of Public Health – WIC. I also had taken a lot more courses in college.

I came into the interview more confident. I dressed professionally (like you always should). I smiled and said hi to everyone. I brought a binder portfolio, which included work I have done in school, my volunteering, internships, as well as personal things like posts from my blog.

The interview was about an hour long but I only had expected it to be 15 to 20 minutes. The time just flew by. The interviewers and I talked for a long time. We asked questions, answered them, and it was really nice. It was like a real conversion and I got to know them a bit just from the interview. Surprisingly, I was only nervous for the first minute of the interview. The rest was just a breeze and I was comfortable and at ease with them.

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My interview outfit.

After the interview, I thanked them for their time and left. I sent them all thank you letters for the interview. It really did help! The first day of work, one of the three interviewers thanked me for sending them a thank you letter, saying it was very thoughtful. The other interviewer (my boss) said I answered the questions well and that he loved the portfolio I brought to show them. I also believe that since we talked so easily in the interview, they believed that I would fit in with everyone. How one gets along with their co-workers is important too.

I believe that the portfolio is very helpful when it comes to interviews. It shows them that you are organized and that you are proud of your work. Depending on what you decide to put in your portfolio, it can show that you are a well-rounded person. Those are some qualities employers want.

There was also another position I was offered and I had also brought in my portfolio. I, however, sent a thank you e-mail instead of a letter. I turned down the position though, since I had already accepted the job I currently have.

It’s true that you should be yourself in an interview but you still have to act professionally and show the interviewees what you can bring to the company/department. I also think that having interview skills in general is important. Interviewing for medical school, dietetic internships, anything. It’s important.

Do you have any interview tips?

Do you have any interview stories you want to share? Tell us about them. =)

Life Updates

I haven’t been as active on social media as I have been a couple weeks ago. I am really sorry about that but I have been extremely busy! Here are the two main reasons why:

  1. I have a job now. I work for the Department of Food and Agriculture.
  2. I will say this one in Spanish. Tengo novio.

I work full days for my job, which keeps me pretty occupied. I wake up early to  exercise, shower, get dressed, go to work, and eat something as I work (in the early morning when I arrive). Sometimes, I do eat before heading out of the house if I have the time. After work is my relaxation time, where I either hang out with the novio, watch Switched at Birth, Criminal Minds, or Breaking Bad, or just read other blogs and maybe comment on a blog post or two. I can’t be online 24/7. He got me into watching Breaking Bad, which I thought I’d never watch. It’s a good show but it’s crazy!

All I can say is that my life is good right now. I have a good job (especially for a young student like me), my co-workers are awesome, and mi novio and my family are very supportive of me.

Mi novio can’t believe how much I eat in a day. Trust me. The meal plans are just a general guideline. I never mention  portions. When we eat, I end up eating my portion plus at least ¼ of his. When we eat out, he is even more surprised, considering the huge portions. He wonders why I am not overweight! He says I have a fast metabolism from all the running I do. Go running! Haha.

On the job side, I have to say that I love my job. My co-workers are awesome and are easy to get along with and my boss is just amazing. We all help each other out and they are all very nice. It’s a good work environment, which I like.

My boss wanted to show me the lab a week or two ago, which is a different location from our office. The outside of the lab looked really nice, considering it’s a lab. The inside was nice too. I looked around and was introduced to the workers there. My boss talked to the other scientists there as well and got some work done. Then, he took me to Dos Coyotes for almuerzo. I ordered a vegetarian burrito! It was so good! Today, a group of us went out for some Japanese food. All of us get a long and work well together, which is important in a work/office environment.

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Earlier this week, a co-worker brought in donuts. As you know, I rarely eat donuts. I don’t even remember the last time I ate one was. I ended up eating a chocolate chip donut. It was so good but it was a little sweet. It was nice of them to bring them in. Gracias!

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On Monday, I went out to eat with family members that work in the downtown area. We went to a local sandwich shop (walking distance from all of us). Two cousins and my uncle (the one that runs) all went to eat. One of my cousins is into nutrition and the environment and we both decided to get two different types of veggie sandwiches. We shared both sandwiches so that we could try both of them. My uncle and other cousin ordered their own sandwiches con carne. It was a nice family lunch before we all had to go back to work.

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I don’t want this post to be too long. I will talk about the interview in another post. That post will also have a few interview tips based on my own personal experience. One thing I will say about the interview is that it was almost an hour long and I didn’t expect that at all. We kept talking and asking questions and the time just flew. Most interviews are no more than 15- 20 minutes.

That’s it for now.

What have you guys been up to?

Do you guys have any interview stories/tips to share with other readers?