You would never know it from looking at the majors selected by Vassar students, but it’s an unfortunate fact that we’ll all have to find jobs after college. In my last column, I shared with you a few shrewd tips for the internship hunt and revealed how the job-hunting process is actually an elaborate medical experiment meant to study the production of stress hormones in the human mind. But what if, against the odds, you actually manage to land an interview? Well, in that case, the first thing you should do is panic. At least, that’s what I always do. But what about after that? Well, read on!
The essential thing to remember is that there are, at a conservative estimate, about a gazillion other people all interviewing for the same position as you. This is because it is incredibly important that companies find exactly the right person to make coffee and update spreadsheets over the summer. That means that you don’t just need your interview to be a “home run”–you need to “knock it out of the park,” ensure it’s a “three-pointer,” avoid any obvious “own goals” and, last but not least, make as many “strained sports metaphors” as humanly possible.
You see, this is because interviewers are looking for something very specific in their candidates. They don’t just want talent and skills–they want charisma, confidence and a whole heap of BDE, which, for those not in the know, stands for Big Desk Energy. In other words, they are looking for an overconfident, egotistical white baby boomer middle manager from Topeka named Gary: the kind of man who masks his incompetence with exuberance and is somehow paid more than all of his female coworkers put together.
Have you noticed the problem yet? Here it is: you are not Gary. You are an overworked Vassar student who does not have the time or emotional energy to please baby boomer men. In fact, the only Vassar students who can please baby-boomer men are a few select members of the golf team, all of whom have already lined up high-paying positions in Exxon Mobil’s Schmoozing Department and, therefore, have no reason to read this column. How can you match their talents?
The key to interview success is simple: act like you’re a baby boomer. It’s easy to forget that our generation can have problems relating to other, older ones, after all! When making small talk before the interview, topics to avoid include: The climate crisis, that gosh-darn hippity-hop music and crippling depression. Instead, try more intergenerational subjects, like jazz (d’ya like it?), Cool Whip and the Kansas City Chiefs. With a little practice, you can really get into that boomer mindset. Soon, you too will find yourself friending the interviewer on Facebook and trading poorly-drawn and offensive political “memes.” That’s progress, right?
But the problem is, you aren’t a baby boomer. Subterfuge can only take you so far, and eventually you’ll slip up and say something “woke” or “hip.” My final tip, and the solution to that issue, is much more general: Make the interview itself, the part where they ask you why you should get the job, as short as possible. Interviewers like applicants who “play hard to get”; you’ll want to talk rapidly, give monosyllabic answers when possible and get up and leave while the interviewer is still mid-sentence. If you play your cards right, after all, you’ll already have nailed down the position during the Schmoozing Phase, and you’ll barely need to be there at all. For propriety’s sake, however, most Job Experts do recommend remaining in the room for a full thirty seconds’ worth of interview. After all, you have to give the effects of your last sports metaphor time to sink in.
Well, there you have it. If you follow these tips, there is no possible way you could fail to be hired for any job. Using this strategy, I’ve already secured a prime position that will allow me to make money from home and be my own boss. Have any of you ever seen the healing power of essential oils?