Internship Interview Goes Awry
posted by Edel Singh
When you’re attending a college that has a minimum of three required internships, you end up with a bundle of unusual encounters. While the college holds our hands through a large chunk of the processes, the responsibility upon blowing employers’ minds lies upon us, individually.
The world is filled with interesting characters, and a bunch of them are settled in the great Big Apple. These interesting characters also have jobs and sometimes we LIM students find ourselves interviewing with these people.
In my three years, I’ve had some really peculiar interviews. Some have been outright awful, and others have led to amazing internship experiences. The more you have – the better you get at handling them.
I was applying to a retail location and had a few interviews that all went very well. The managers seemed optimistic and were close to assuring me that I would get the position. However, my last interview with the person on the top of the NYC hierarchy ended up being a complete disaster.
Following LIM College's interview guidelines, I brought my portfolio, and when answering the “tell me about yourself” question, I suggested that I’d walk the interviewer through my maroon binder filled with achievements. As usual, the interviewer was impressed, but as we got to the section about education, the interview took a total 180.
Through hard work, I’ve managed to get on the President’s list most semesters, and displayed this as an achievement. The interviewer’s smile was replaced by an irritated frown. After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, the interviewer then said, “If you put all your time and energy into getting good grades, you won’t have time to work for us.” I was taken aback, and explained that being a good student includes time management skills, and that I would find a way to balance school and work.
The interview ended almost immediately after this and I received an email shortly thereafter which said that they had decided to go forward with someone else. So what can be learned from this? Such a statement is a clear indication that this isn’t a person, or a company, that one should want to work for. We should strive towards working for companies that celebrate their employees’ achievement and offer room for growth, and not have to feel bad for wanting to be great at what we do.