The Application Process: Interview Edition

The prospect of doing a Skype interview chilled me to my very core. I’m not the most tech savvy human and all I could think of was what could go wrong. And I was also planning my summer vacation and they said the ‘know by’ date was September and the Application deadline was in June so I was good, right? My vacation was in June, so obviously the interviews would be in July, right?

WRONG!!!!!!

One and a half weeks into my vacation in Sweden I got an email “Please select the following date to conduct your interview,” and ALL of the dates were before I returned home. Not to mention if they did have an interview whenI was home I would have to hope I wasn’t super jet lagged and emotionally hungover from all the traveling, site seeing, food eating, bike riding wonderfulness that is Scandinavia. So I bit the bullet and scheduled the earliest interview on the first open day and began to pour over the provided questions. Yeah. They give you the questions…well all except for one (in my case) so don’t get too comfortable. You can also find them online with a simple search. I had all my questions and answers written out and bulleted and I had luckily borrowed a top from my wonderful friend Katarina so I could look ‘professional’ considering all of my travel clothes weren’t what I’d call interview material.

Game Day

The day of the interview I woke up early and went for a run to calm my nerves… I had a while because 9 AM EST would be my 3 PM (I’m more of a morning person but asking the interviewer to wake up at 3 AM to conduct my interview seemed like a bit of an ask).

Once 2 PM/ 8AM rolled around I headed back to my friend Frida’s apartment, got dressed in my interview attire, and set up my interview space…not too hard since her college apartment was 2 rooms and there were only so many chairs with stable to sit at (i.e. 1). Frida had graciously allowed me to use her iPad to do the interview on so I wouldn’t have to hold my phone out the whole time. I had a glass of water, and Frida was going to do laundry and take the recycle to give me privacy. The interview was to be held via a special Skype plug-in called go to meeting i think (Im still not entirely sure you would even have to have Skype downloaded to use the platform they had. All I had to do was click on the link in an email P.C. Sent me and I would be fine. Or So I thought. Right at 2:59 I clicked on the link and attempted to go live one minute early, to my horror the iPad sent me in Swedish an error message, which to the best of my abilities said ‘this application does not work with Swedish iPad.’ In a blind panic I called Frida to tell her of this catastrophic failure. I then emailed my interviewer that I was having ‘technical’ difficulties and that I might be a few minutes late to the call. Frida came back we looked over the iPad and we realized my phone was the only real option at this time. So with the Swedish iPad Fully charged and totally useless  to me I realized I hadn’t charged my phone completely..it was sitting at 67%, so I switched it to power save mode, hoped for the best and clicked the link.

The Interview to Never Remember

As I logged on and saw my flushed though make-uped face flash on the screen and hear my interviewers voice introducing himself I thought, is he also having technical difficulty? Sadly no, he apologized for the set up and told me that he would not be using his camera function and that after each of my answers there would be a long, awkward pause in which he would be typing up my responses, and sadly there was nothing he could do about it. After that is was a blur of answering questions, and sometimes answering two questions at once (on account of being flustered and having written my questions out on paper and not flash cards). Then just when I thought it couldn’t get worse he asked a question I had not accounted for… I scrambled to find an answer and however dreadful it was I felt I’d at least answered it.

So at the end of the interview when I was T-minus 13% battery power and 1 or 2 failed sentences away from accepting defeat my interviewer said something along the lines of, “I can’t say anything just yet, but you seem like a very strong candidate for this job.” and he only said “Can’t say anything yet” because one of my references hadn’t put sent in her letter yet. My mood ripped itself off the floor and did a summersault. I signed off at 11% and I was 110% ready to celebrate my unexpected victory…tentatively.

 

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