I once had a professor tell me that in order to get the result that I wanted, I should visualize the outcome I wanted in my head.
So the night before my most recent job interview, I calmly anxiously, laid squirmed in my bed, thinking of how I wanted the next morning to play out. It was going to go perfectly: I would wake up early, have some coffee and a good breakfast, shower, get dressed and not be rushed in any way. A true “girl boss” of a morning.
Reality? I woke up late, tore my closet apart trying to find something to wear, slapped on some makeup, grabbed an uncooked Pop – Tart and ran out the front door with my shoes in my hand.
As you can imagine, my drive to the interview didn’t go much better. My armpits had started to sweat, I had gotten crumbs all over my freshly steamed blouse and I had failed in my attempt to put on heels while driving in morning traffic – not exactly what I had envisioned. Yet somehow I had managed to make myself presentable.
With a little bit of grace and a whole lot of crumbs, I climbed out of my car and teetered into the building for my interview.
Elevator door reflection check? Don’t mind if I do.
My light purple (almost mauve) top was tucked into a pleated, chiffon grey and black flowered skirt that hit just above the knee. The outfit was finished off with a pair of killer black heels, some delicate gold rings and my signature gold necklace.
It was a bit on the safe side for me, yet it was the perfect chameleon outfit – helping me fit into any office environment, whether relaxed or a bit more professional.
In that moment, for the first time in my life, I truly believed that the right outfit really does make a world of a difference when it comes to a girl’s confidence.
Making sure my shirt was tucked in juuuuuuust right, I squared my shoulders, looked down at my feet (to make sure I wouldn’t trip over anything) and walked right into the man getting out of the elevator.
Flustered didn’t even begin to describe it.
After a round of apologies, on his end and mine, I made my way into the elevator and took a deep breath. The telltale ping of the elevator door sounded, letting me know that I had reached my destination. (Cue the sweaty palms.)
Just like that, it was go time. My outfit was on point and I had answers for every question from my LinkedIn guide to interviews. (Shout out to my friend Matt for that one!) I took one last deep breath and walked through the office doors.
During my interview, I made sure to talk up all of my most impressive skills and managed to avoid some of the more out-there questions on Matt’s handy list like, “What was the last book you read for fun?” (“If You Have to Cry, Go Outside” by Kelly Cutrone – a MUST read) or the cringe-worthy “Describe yourself in a tweet form of 140 characters or less.” (REALLY?!?!)
The whole process lasted around 30 minutes, which I thought was a perfectly respectable amount of time two reasons: one, because they had spent enough time with me to know I meant business, and two because they hadn’t spent enough time with me to notice the sheen of sweat that was beginning to develop on my forehead.
When I left the interview, it occurred to me that the reason I had been so confident, despite my hot mess of a morning, was because I knew my shit. (And my kick ass outfit didn’t hurt either.)
So while the morning of my first face-to-face interview may not have gone exactly how I had wanted it to, once I got inside, my inner girl boss kicked in and saved the day. Thanks to her, I landed the job. And even though I will probably never get the sweat stains out of that blouse, that morning taught me that being late, frazzled and slightly sweaty still couldn’t get in the way of kicking ass and taking names.