by Edel Singh
LIM College give us a lot of guidance for our job and internship interviews, but ultimately, the responsibility for blowing employers’ minds lies upon us.
The world is filled with interesting characters, and a bunch of them are settled in the always entertaining Big Apple. These folks also have jobs, and sometimes we find ourselves interviewing with these people.
I’ve had some really peculiar interviews here in NYC where some have been outright awful, and others have led to amazing experiences. The more you have – the better you get at handling these in the future.
Let me tell you about one of them. I was applying to a retail location for an internship position when I was an undergraduate at LIM 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.
According to LIM College 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 working hard at LIM as an undergraduate I 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 said: “If you put all your time and energy into getting good grades, you won’t have time to work for us.”
I was totally taken aback. I replied by explaining 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 situation, and I received an email shortly after I left about that they had decided to go forward with someone else.
So what can be learned from this? It doesn't matter whether you're a graduate student or an undergraduate. Such a statement is a clear indication that this isn’t a person, or a company, that one would want to work for. A hiring manager can make any sort of strange or unreasonable comment. The point is 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.