Interviews can be tough, and while at LIM College, we have quite a few. The good folks at LIM tell us that the more we interview, the better we get, and it’s true. It also means that the more awful interviews you have, the better you get at handling them.
Last semester, I had the best internship experience that I could ever have imagined. I never thought I would get the position since I kind of messed up the interview. Let me tell you what happended!
It had been an exhausting summer, and as we drew closer to the internship placement deadline, I figured that ignoring it would be a good way to go. (Hint: it’s absolutely not. Do not ever do this.)
I couldn’t find any companies or positions that were appealing, and I was sick of looking. On top of this, if I didn’t get an internship I wouldn't graduate on time. Talk about pressure.
Finally, I got an email about a company that I admired, offering a position that I was genuinely interested in. A long weekend later, I was on my way to the office for an interview.
Like any other interview, it opened with the "Tell me about yourself” question. For me, this is the worst question ever, which is also included in almost every interview it seems. After my 45 second personal pitch, the interviewers started talking about the responsibilities of the intern. They talked for about 15 minutes and concluded with asking if I had any questions for them. Cue: confused face and nervous chuckle.
You see, in their extremely thorough explanation of the daily activities and responsibilities, I was left with very few questions to ask them, and ended up asking if they had any questions for me. (In retrospect, I guess I could have asked them some questions reiterating what they had said to make it look like I was checking that I understood all of what they had to say. Hindsight is 20-20! But, next time I will know what to do.)
In the end they asked me one question. Just one. Nervously, they asked the most generic question ever. “So you’re in college. What do you want to do after you graduate?” As much as I wanted to give them a generic answer, I gave them a five-minute presentation about my involvement in CSR and how this position would help me get where I want to be in the next few years.
As I walked out of the building, really confused about what had just happened, I suddenly got a phone call. They were offering me the internship! I broke all rules and accepted right away because the paperwork had to be submitted in three days. I started the following Monday, and ended up having the time of my life.
So, sometimes, weird interviews lead to life-changing experiences.