Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Interview 1

My first interview out of grad school was at Industry Giant. Their headquarters - or rather the one that was relevant to my field of study - was located within easy driving distance from my graduate city. So I applied and when someone called within days, I nervously agreed to head a bit east and deliver my first interview talk.

It went well, I thought of the 45 minute presentation delivered in a small conference room with about 10 people in attendance. They asked easy questions, then started to speak with me individually according to the schedule I'd been given.

I remember how nervous I was, trying frantically to stay professional and focused. I crashed at lunch though. The exhaustion hit me and I went under without a fight. I wasn't able to answer the questions lobbed at me from across the table. I felt under-qualified and stupid and immature.

"You'll call us before you take any other job." The director ordered before I shook his hand and left later that afternoon. But I knew my performance had been sub-par - I interviewed much better at other places, learning to drink coffee early and fight the inevitable desire for rest really hard. I took my current position after much deliberation and out of a desperate desire to leave grad school. I didn't hear from Industry Giant and after two calls that went unanswered, I decided to write them off with my best wishes.

The hell of it is that I wanted that job. I would have been good at it, the location was optimal in terms of being near my family, and they actually have winter there. So I sighed and wished things had gone differently.

The job I mentioned earlier - the one I really want - is again at Industry Giant. So I sent my CV last week along with a delightful email and was disappointed when I didn't hear anything. That's fine though, I thought. I'm not quite ready to leave here. I haven't interviewed in a long time and would likely flub up this first one.

Of course, someone sent email this morning asking after my availability for a phone interview today or tomorrow.

"Oh, crap." I whispered, stomach clenching. All those job-seeking worries hit me hard and their familiarity was stunning. I remember exactly how this goes. The process is hard, at least for me. I get very nervous and fight headaches and tummy troubles. I try frantically to over-prepare but the first one is always messy. That's why I lined up interviews back to back as much as possible. I needed the practice and once I got going, things tended to smooth out. So Industry Giant is once again getting an unpracticed, unpolished version of me. But this time I have no doubts about industry vs. academia. If I can get them to offer me something, I'll take it.

Now I need to review notes on how to interview. Wish me luck.


Oanh said...

Good Luck!

Remember that as an academic you are a super-dooper multi-tasker and capable of performing under incredible pressure.

I’ll have my ether fingers crossed for you.

phd me said...

Luck is wished!

Phdladybug said...

All the best of luck for you. I'll cross my fingers and all the furry monsters in the house their paws!

Estrella said...

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

bets of luck!!

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