There are many different positions in every office. Have you ever considered applying for a different position with in your current place of work? Recently I did just that. I am currently a Student Assistant in our office and had considered becoming a Peer Educator. A position opened up and I debated for about a week whether or not to apply. I felt that I would be good for the position, but knew that the process would be a little weird since I know everyone in the office and that it would be awkward if I did not receive the position.
I did end up deciding to apply for the position, after talking to my current supervisor. I went through the process of polishing my resume and cover letter and then I got an interview! The next thing that I really had to think about was how to conduct myself in the interview. I wasn’t quite sure how the interview would work because I have been working in the office since Fall 2011 so I knew everyone who was going to be interviewing me. I didn’t know whether or not I should act like I knew them or as if I didn’t because I felt both would be strange.
I then decided to ask around. I talked to a couple of my friends and they told me that I would be fine. If I knew the people interviewing me, then they knew me and they already knew my work ethic and background. This would likely help me in landing the position, not hurt me. I also expressed my anxiety to one of the counselors in the office. She stated, “It is going to be a little strange since you already hold another position here, but just treat it like it is a completely different job because it is.” I really thought about both of these statements and realized that they were right. It was a different position and I should treat it as such. This means that I still dressed up, came early, and acted professionally. I did not act like I did not know my interviewers, but instead I just went with the flow.
The next part was the actual interview. At the beginning I was really nervous because ultimately I was being judged or rated by my peers. This is very intimidating especially since even if I didn’t get the job I would have to see them on a daily basis. The atmosphere when I went in was very light, but I could still feel a really awkward tension in the room. After I finished answering the question “tell me about yourself,” someone acknowledged how awkward it was for everyone. It was amazing how just that statement made the whole room relax a little bit. It really made me feel better knowing it was awkward for everyone not just me. I don’t know why I hadn’t really thought of how awkward it would be for them also when I was preparing, but when I realized how awkward it was on their end as well I felt a lot better. So keep in mind that you are not the only one who may be nervous or a little uncomfortable.
The next thing is how to prepare for if you do not get the job. I decided that the best way to make things go smoothly was to keep the fact that I applied on the down low. I did not want to make a big deal about the fact that I had applied. This way if I did not get asked to take the position, I would not have to deal with the fact that everyone in the office knew that I did not get the position instead it was on more of a need to know basis. This way I would not have to deal with as much of the awkward tensions afterwards.
This is how I dealt with my interview in an office where I am already employed. I think that it is important as in all interviews to really settle in. You want to come across as poised and polite, but at the same time the more you act like yourself, the better off you are because you will be answering genuinely and so they won’t seem forced. It is often a little odd to be on the interviewer’s side as well so it is important to keep this in mind when you are interviewing. My experience once I realized this was a very positive one and I am happy to announce that I am one of Career Services’ newest Peer Educators!
Job Search tip of the day photo source: The Prepary