Interviews are an emotional, wild and crazy ride, especially when on unemployment for more than a year. Since trying to find a job in a recession is never easy, I have been forced to apply for mostly jobs outside the music industry, where I have spent all of my professional life. I went with the mindset of the more jobs I apply to the better my chances of an interview would be. With large numbers of talented people out there looking for work, this is not the easiest time to find a job in a different industry. Sure, the job functions of a project manager may be the same, but I have found that most industries think they are rocket-science and an outsider would just not understand.
Before the interview: I have never had a job where I had to wear a suit to work, nor did I really need to wear anything but jeans and a tee-shirt. So when an interview comes around it is always hard to figure out how to dress for an interview. A friend told me once that you can never go wrong with a suit... guess what, you can. Over dressing for an interview can be just as uncomfortable as under dressing. I have found myself finding a happy medium to a few interviews by wearing a suit but no tie. I had an interview once at a PR agency where I took my friend's advice and wore a suit and the first thing one of the interviewers said to me was, "Oh look, you wore a suit. You did not need to do that." I sat there the whole time thinking I just looked like a dork... a well dressed dork. It is hard to "know your audience" when you do not know anyone at the company.
After the interview: For me, the waiting game is the hardest part of the interview process. Since over the past year I have only been on a handful of interviews, I can not help myself but get all worked up about the idea of being offered the job. Maybe it's positive thinking, maybe it's positive hoping. I find myself at times daydreaming about what it would be like to work at the company... what my commute would be... what having money back in my savings account would be like. I so want that feeling of being needed by a company, by a group of people, who thought I was an answer, a solution. Over-wishful-thinking only seems to lead to a big crash when no job offer comes, and a bigger crash when not even getting to the second round.
I know my day will come, and my guess is that I will know it at the interview. I have a feeling that it will feel right, that the company will be as excited about me as I am about the company. I know it will be right when my only disappointment will be the idea of not being a Mr. Mom anymore. I will miss that.