Imagine Bringing Your Mother to a Job Interview

Mom Warning

Could you imagine having your mother sitting beside you in an interview?

You are trying to show that you are the best candidate for the job, and beside you is the one person in the world who knows you better than anybody else. Everything you have ever done wrong is stored in the vault that she calls a brain.

Let’s look how your mother might answer some of the more common interview questions.

Interviewer:  Please tell me about your greatest strength.

Your Mother:  She is great at sneaking out at night, taking the car without permission and hanging out with people I warned her about.

Interviewer:  There is high independence required in this role, please give an example that demonstrates how responsible you are and how you work with limited supervision.

Your Mother:  He can’t even put his dirty socks in the hamper or put his clean underwear in his drawer!

Interviewer:  Can you please tell me about a time you worked effectively within a team to finish a project with tight timelines?

Your Mother:  She said she couldn’t stand working with her team and that her boss was “out to lunch”? The project was doomed to fail, but everyone was too dazzled by the presentation to notice? She can’t even play on a soccer team, there was one time she punched one of her teammates in the nose.

Interviewer: Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Your Mother: Probably sitting on the couch in my basement playing video games. He is so unmotivated; he only applied for this job for the discounts.

Let’s face it, we all carry baggage and have our faults. You are far from perfect and that’s OK, because nobody is perfect. If you’re nervous, that’s normal. If you stumble through an answer, that’s normal. If you leave an interview and realize there was a better way you could have answered one of the questions, that’s totally normal! You and everybody else make mistakes all the time.

Your role in a job interview is to sell yourself. You are simply highlighting some of your best traits or experiences. Yes, that means sometimes you will leave out less desirable things. Are you lying? No, you are marketing. A soft drink company does not tell you the acid in their drink can rot your teeth or your stomach lining. They tell you the drink tastes great and show you pictures of nice looking people having a good time. They highlight the positive features, just like you will do in an interview.

Try to take some pressure off of yourself. Yes, you will make mistakes in your interview and you may feel like you were talking about somebody else. But, so will everyone else that is competing for the same job. Hopefully, they will bring their mother to the interview with them … then they won’t stand a chance!

How to Stay Motivated During Your Summer Job Search

A frustrated person holding a tablet displaying an application form.

Recently laid off? Looking for a new job? Here are four tips to ensure you stay motivated during the lazy daze of summer.

Be reasonable.

Set achievable goals. Making unrealistic claims leads to neglecting your responsibilities. Setting goals depends on the person. For example: submitting one résumé per day can be a realistic goal for you, while others may set three résumés per week as a realistic expectation. Twelve résumés in one day may seem achievable to some people; however, if you’re spending less than one hour on readjusting your résumé and cover letter to match the job posting, you’re probably not going to hear back from many employers.

It’s important to know yourself and what you’re capable of. If the goal is too unrealistic, you will have no motivation to pursue it.

Set a time to wake up and get dressed, especially if you’re job searching from home.

Would you go to work with unkempt hair and pajamas still on? If you’re working from home, your house becomes your work – and you need to get ready accordingly. This small change in your morning routine will prepare you for the rest of the day. This will also combat the relaxation vacation vibe that everyone feels in the hot weather. Another trick is to work in a cool environment. Colder air keeps you focussed, so if you have a laptop, try bringing it with you to a local, air-conditioned coffee shop for the day.

Volunteer with an organization.

Having a structured schedule can be important during the summer when relaxation is most tempting. The best way to achieve minor goals and create structure into your daily routine is to volunteer in the field you plan to pursue.  Not only is volunteering a good way to network and gain contacts in your field, but it looks really good on résumés. Employers are looking for experience and volunteering is a great way to get it!

Treat yourself when you’re working hard.

It’s so critical to be kind to yourself. Job hunting can be stressful, and procrastinating on the job search can result in even more stress. One way to combat job search apathy is to reward yourself only when a résumé is submitted. The best way to do this is to develop a tiered system for your achievements. For instance, submitting one résumé may result in a snack, and submitting three personalized résumés could call for a Netflix break or a mid-afternoon lounge by the pool.

If you find yourself constantly giving yourself large rewards for minor achievements, there will be no motivation to push harder to get more done.

By Pam Simpson, a summer student with The Career Foundation.