Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Second Professional Interview Done and Done

It all began last Wednesday night. Though I had been dreading making any "adult" decisions of giving up my last "free" summer (ooh lots of quotations here) but in the end Responsible Ophelia took over...darn you, RO.

I emailed the firm and luckily by Thursday, they responded that they had not begun giving interviews so I acted as quickly as I could and asked them to pencil me in for Monday at three. I felt fine, no nerves- just cool, calm, and collected.

I spent the weekend preparing my resume and portfolio pieces only to experience a few hiccups at Staples while printing. Apparently "print all of the PDFs please" did not really mean print everything. Or perhaps she had selective printing capabilities...nah, she was very kind, it was just a bit stressful.

Anyway, hiccups aside, I was ready and armed with a borrowed black portfolio book to add to my coolness.

But they never responded to my email where I specified which date and time would be best for me. That was Thursday and it was already Sunday night. Oooh the nerves.

Monday morning (today..or what was today) I emailed the firm and sat impatiently by the computer while tapping my fingers and rearranging the same pile of magazines. Then I called and left a message asking if my appointment was made correctly and I did not confuse which Mondays - by the way, when someone says "next Monday" do you understand it as the coming Monday or the one after? I always thought it was the latter but I suppose I am the wrong-o one.

I spent the afternoon feeling a bit stressed at what I should do and if I would get my interview when finally the desperation forced the email to come! Ding ding! ...not the typical email sound but you get my drift.

I made my way there twenty minutes ahead of time only to arrive seventeen minutes early... It was SO close.

Anyway, I don't want to bore you with my interview but here are some key elements that they taught me that I could pass on to all of you:

-It's really okay to ask when you don't understand or do not know the answer. Yes, some people may not react kindly but there will be SOMEONE who will lend a helping hand

-You are not only being chosen by the company to be the employee because you yourself need to choose which company you want to be a part of

-Understand your industry. No two field are exactly alike. They may operate one way in one field and another way in another field. Do your research!

and finally,

-Try to always be yourself because if a company does not like the type of person you really are then why would you want to torment yourself and work for them? You need to find a place that fits you. And though times are tough and jobs are not plentiful, never lose your integrity, fight for your values because at the end of the day a job is just a job. You should be walking away learning something for yourself every day.

Ok, that last one is more my personal take on this experience.

Well, I think that with every interview and every firm visit, I become more and more comfortable. I am sure the nervousness will never truly disappear but I know that as long as I am presenting myself the way I really am, then I will feel good about myself.

And that is how I felt today as I walked back to my car. Whether or not I get this internship, I feel like I did not disappoint myself. Sure, I was not perfect and no, I will never be...but I was me and that's really all I can ever ask for.

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