Literary Citizen in Training

Interviewing for Your Dream Job (Or Just Pretending To)



My practice interview didn’t go exactly like that… but getting to know your interviewer is a strong step in the right direction, maybe just not so (ahem) intimately.

Thanks to the Ball State Career Center, I was able to hone my interviewing skills with a knowledgeable and friendly mentor. I know what you’re thinking, “why practice for an interview, Eric?” Well, I’ll tell you why! Just like with a speech or a presentation, you want to deliver your message calmly and confidently (it makes you look smart, trust me). Practicing is the easiest way to build that confidence needed to kill the actual interview.

So get out there and start practicing. Or, delay that order and check out some quick advice I have for you.


Here’s a picture of my interview attire, upper body only–sorry pants fans. While it might not be the classiest get-up, it qualifies for business casual. BUT, remember to dress better than the position you are applying to, within reason. You don’t wanna show up for an interview with pizza king in a suit, it’s off putting. Try to get a feel for the company’s culture and mirror that look for the interview.


I took note of some of the questions he asked me. They may help you prepare for a practice interview of your own.

1.) Tell me about yourself. – This one is most likely always going to be asked. Try to keep it brief and professional. Only list things that you have completed our achieved. Leave your personal life out of it.

2.) Why are you a good fit for the position? – This is where you need to list your attributes that relate to the position you’re applying to. In my case, I informed Eric on how I have intermediate Japanese proficiency and am currently enrolled in a TEFL program. Both of which bolster my credibility.

3.) What is your desired salary for this position? – This was one that caught me up. I had researched the position before-hand, and being the well-informed candidate I assumed I was, I quickly answered $2500-3000 monthly. Apparently, you should never be the first to suggest a salary or wage rate in an interview. Always attempt to have the interviewer give a range. If the given range is acceptable, leave negotiations for later, but if the range is too low for you, negotiations may take place right then and there.

4.) Have you ever had a supervisor you’ve had disagreements with or problems with? – This is where you show how well you can handle disagreements with the chain of command. Don’t make the supervisor out to be a bad-guy or poor worker unless it’s absolutely black and white. I stammered through this section because I haven’t had much experience with upper management conflicts.

5.) Have you ever had any group conflict and how did you resolve it? – Much like the supervisor question, try not to place blame on other members or make them out to be the bad guys. In my example, I told a story about group members not pulling their weight in an academic setting. I was able to conquer this problem in later classes by setting strict deadlines that everyone had to adhere by.

For more questions, check out this helpful link. For a sample interview, you can check out this video.

The practice interview was definitely a helpful experience, and I’d really recommend it to those of you who are nervous about such a situation. Take advantage of the resources available to you; more preparation is always a good thing.

If you enjoyed this post, check out some of my other class-mates’ experiences. They all participated in the same program I did, and you can positively learn from our collective embarrassment.

Brittany MeansAndy WelkKrissy MccrackenRiane HallHaley Morgan

Author: ejlong0

Wrapping up my final year in earning my Bachelors from Ball State University. I have a Marketing Major and a Creative Writing/Japanese Minor. Currently trying to secure a position in the JET program to teach ESL in Japan!

7 thoughts on “Interviewing for Your Dream Job (Or Just Pretending To)

  1. The salary question is the one that I was completely unprepared for, as well! There were so many little things that Erik asked about that I completely over-looked in the interview process and I’m glad that you benefitted as much from this as I did! I wonder how many other people were unprepared to offer a number for a salary (or did what he said to do and asked him first!) Being fully prepared to go to the first professional interview is something that might never happen, interviews are terrifying, but I’m glad we were able to at least have the chance to figure out where we needed to put in a little more work!

  2. It was nice to have a list of questions. I have never been in a professional interview, so it is nice to know what to prepare for.

  3. Thank you for posting this. I don’t have my interview until the end of March, but I definitely wouldn’t have been prepared for some of those questions. I feel like I have a better idea of what I’m getting in to now.

  4. For some reason, I can’t see your picture!

  5. I think this post does a really good job of preparing the readers for what to expect. In my interview, the interviewer was a banker and I was interview for a job as a professor, so neither of us had any knowledge about each others field of work. I knew that he was going to ask me if I had any questions for him. I was completely unprepared, I researched about the university I was fake applying for, but I knew he couldn’t have any answers, but I also remember that in Lit. Citizenship class, we talked about how it was crucial to have something to ask. I stammered, and eventually asked if the occupational world he entered into was exactly how he thought it was going to be, or if it wasn’t how it differed from his ideas about the banking world. It lead to a nice ending discussion to the interview, so I think preparedness and knowing what to expect is pretty key.

    TL;DR: Be Prepared

  6. Man, I wished I had looked at this before my interview… This is some great advice! 😀

  7. There must be some mad interviewing going on up at Ball State. Guys, just relax. You are going to have more than one interview in your life. I promise. You ‘ll have so many that you eventually start asking the interviewer questions. Seriously. You want to make sure you are going to work in a place that works for you. Never work in a place just for them.

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