Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An interview gone wrong, kind of

I clicked a link on our PRSSA twitter (@MaristPRSSA) that led me to a few essential interview tips. The introduction, in my opinion, was right on target. It reminded me exactly how I felt when I set up three different internship interviews on the same day. Thinking back, why on earth did I set myself up for endless nervousness? Well, it was convenient. I wouldn't want to pay for round trip tickets into NYC any more than necessary.

Luckily, I gave myself some time in between the second and third interview to hop on the subway downtown and relax my nerves. My first two interviews were back-to-back and I believe they went well. I arrived early to give myself time to find my way from the subway to the PR firm, but I ended up getting there an hour early. A generous amount of time to flip through some magazines in the lounge area and carefully read over my resume one last time.

By the time I had arrived at my third interview, I became confident in my ability to talk about myself and my resume. Of course, I had given myself a little too much time as I showed up an hour early again. Just enough time to let my nerves heat up and generate small talk with others waiting to interview for possibly the same exact position. Knowing it is a competition only made me more anxious to get in there and show them what I've got. Too bad I was the one an hour early and the other person's interview was before me.

You're probably waiting to hear where the interview went wrong, right? Well, I narrowed it down to the third interview so you have just enough anticipation for what I am about to tell you.

In the future, make sure you specifically ask which position you are interviewing for. I'm not sure why I didn't ask this question. Oh, that's right...because I assumed I was interviewing for the position I wanted. I had spoken with the HR rep to set up the interview. She asked Sports or Entertainment PR. I said Entertainment, not Sports. But what interview did I show up at thinking it was Entertainment? A Sports interview. I was blindsided. Literally. But I had to play it off like this Sports internship was what I wanted, which I pulled off to some extent.

It got worse, however. I had to meet with three different interviewers. I was forced to keep playing this role of a wannabe Sports person.

Among the three interview tips USA Today College offers, I obviously could have done better with step 3: know your employer. I was studying up on Entertainment when I interviewed for Sports. I learned my lesson: Never assume.

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