How to: Conduct an Interview Successfully ( I think )

Alright, so my page has been leaning more towards interviews of all kinds recently – so I thought I would share some advice if you are delving into that field. Let me tell you -- it is crazy, weird, and a lot of fun! I am in no way an expert at interviewing, and am still awkward AF but take it or leave it, okay?

DO: YOUR DAMN RESEARCH

Do this with balance – what I mean is do not overkill it by knowing more about who you are interviewing then they do. That may come off as creepy and that is not a vibe you generally want to give off upon first impressions – unless you want your brand to be. “Stalking.” BUT don’t go into the interview just thinking the person you are speaking with is cool so you should chat just to have the name on your resume. That’s a waste of time and comes off as unprofessional.

If you’re interviewing a musician or band, research their albums and actually listen to the music. Jot down some lyrics you really like and do a basic Google search of the band to be updated on what they have been up to. That way – you can ask more specific questions that make your interview both more interesting and memorable. The last thing you want is a dry interview that feels forced – then who you interviewed won’t recommend you if that ever pops up in the future between them and someone asking about their experience with you. That would suck, right?

If you are friends with who you’re interviewing on social media – check out their page! Read through some of their recent posts and see what they are interested in on their personal time – that can make for a really cool conversation if you gel over a mutual interest. Plus, a lot of people are always asked the same things so try to stand out by changing up the topic to something fresh.

DO NOT: HAVE A SCRIPT

A lot of interviewers arrive to an interview with a word-by-word script of what they want to say and when they want to say it. In order for a natural, GOOD vibe to occur – you can’t force the person you are talking with to say what you want them to.  How does that even make sense in your brain? Is that how real life works for you? No. You may not be able to organically ask certain questions, so don’t sweat it if you don’t get to everything you have prepared. An interview is MUCH more memorable if you take it head on while also remaining quick on your feet. What I do, to give an example, is write out bullet points and interesting topics that I’d like to touch on throughout the hang out session (in no order) – just so I can stay on track somewhat and have direction for the conversation. For the most part though, I don’t have a specific set of exact sentences that I must iterate because that makes me nervous. I do come with a minimal outline, though, so I am not going in blind – ya feel?

DO NOT: BE A LITTLE MOLE

Don’t be a TMZ reporter trying to reveal all of the…perhaps embarrassing or uncomfortable topics a person may not want to discuss. Keep the conversation fun. If you are more of a “mole” and became labeled as one – you won’t get business real quick. That kind of label will stick with you for a long time and it’s super hard to remove. It’s like trust. Once you lose trust in a friend – isn’t it a bitch to get that back? Same thing with a bad label on your name. Remember, you can have fun and still peel past an individual’s layers without asking something like…”So that abortion you had seemed pretty dumb – tell me why you killed your baby.” - maybe that’s something that should remain in their personal life – or maybe not. You have to be able to feel out a situation case by case. We are not cookie cutter versions of another so one person may be completely open about EVERYTHING while another just wants to keep it light or promote their “thing” of the moment. (IE a movie, CD, ect) Just take a deep breath and remember we are all HUMANS with FEELINGS and EMOTIONS and shouldn’t be talked to like a robot!

DO: HAVE CONFIDENCE

This is the hardest part. If you are able to score an interview with your favorite band/person EVER that you look up to immensely – you will probably be giddy with  a mixture of anxiety and excitement upon confirmation of the interview – and that is normal. But, find a way to simmer that energy down and remember you are the person in control of the conversation so you don’t want to come off as TOO eager, TOO nervous, or TOO shy…because that is generally off putting which will create a domino effect of a not so great interview. You need to take the reigns and even if you are winging the entire conversation – do it with a sense of pride because that works every time. Trust me.

DO: BE YOURSELF

To tie in with having confidence – do not try to put on an act of who you think the person you are chatting with wants you to be. This is generally noticeable right away and can make your interviewee clam up – which results in a shit interview. Be yourself. Remember my confidence point – this person agreed to talk to YOU, not the YOU that you think they want you to be. Does that make sense? If you’re awkward/nerdy – embrace it. If you are soft spoken and laid back – don’t try to force an energy that just isn’t there. That will make for a horrible air between the two of you. Think of real life scenarios, like when you are a little buzzed, don’t you meet the raddest people and make the best connections when you can just walk up to someone and strike up a natural flowing convo? The answer is yes, so maybe treat interviews like you’re a little tipsy. That’s bad advice, but actually works for me. My mindset, though, when I think of being a little tipsy changes completely and my nerves calm. This allows me to appear as cool as a damn cucumber. Find your thing that will help you remember that staying true to you is imperative. Mine is thinking about my alcoholic life – maybe yours is remembering how you feel when you knit a sweater. I don’t know. Figure it out.

Those are my five main and most important tips for conducting an awesome interview! Remember, most importantly, to not do anything you don't support yourself - don't be a dang sell out! I think these five points are  key to staying consistent and owning your “brand” (for lack of a better word). Let me know what you think – these tips can probably be applied in other compartments of your life too. Remember to #staynerdy and stay tuned for a lot of more interviews in the near future!

FOODIE OF THE WEEK

For a friend's birthday, I went to URGE Gastropub and Whisky Bar located in Oceanside. It was my first time there and it is fantastic! The energy is on point, the servers are attentive but not TOO attentive, (Like let me eat my damn plate in peace) the food was delicious and the alcohol was superb. I have nothing bad to say about this place. It was a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday but also is a great little place to go for no reason at all. Check it out if there is an Urge near you.

http://oceanside.urgegastropub.com/

APP OF THE WEEK

#powerpuffyourself is the BEST. If you know me - you know I love me some Powerpuff Girls. I grew up with that shit. This app allows you to, obviously, turn yourself into a Powerpuff girl. It's kind of similar to a basic avatar creator where you choose skin tone, hair type, hair color, outfit, accessories and a background - but they are Powerpuff themed. It made me smile and it will make you grin as well! It's free and is the cutest. Check it out!

https://www.powerpuffyourself.com/#!/en

MEMORY OF THE.....YEAR?

I don't have many close, close friends, so when I heard that the girl I consider a sister was on the West Coast for the first time since I moved here six years ago - I NEARLY DIED. She is my twin (metaphorically for those of you who were confused for a second) and a huge part of my life. I met her almost a decade ago and it was girl love at first sight. She's one of the very few handful of people that instantly got me and shares probably the same mindset as me with anything you can imagine. We can talk about anything and everything. She's weird, she's artsy, she's a nerd, she's everything! I hate how much traveling costs - because it breaks my heart that I can't see her too often. It was like nothing has changed though - despite a six year gap in physical presence - and that is what true friendship is all about. LOVE YOU GIANNA - INTERNET OFFICIALLY.  (to make it real + meaningful)