Tuesday, March 21, 2006

BFI, interview style

I have had yet another beyond first impressions moment. I survived yesterday's interview at super-duper university, and though I don't anticipate being named as one of the two finalists, I feel I presented myself well and did justice to my abilities and experiences. Of course interview days are not simply to present oneself, but also to take in and evaluate the presentations of others. While most of my interviews (12 hours plus of them!) were one on one, the day began with a group of ten. Within the group there were some vocal questioners, some actively engaged listeners, and some listeners who didn't always seem to be with me in the room. Today, as I was sending thank you emails to the many, many interviewers (no worries--a formal, written message went to the chair; my fabulous career mentor said I could be off the handwritten hook on the whole crew since there were so many of them!), I struggled a bit more to personalize with those listeners who didn't always seem as tuned in and connected. In such circumstances, I tended to default to speaking about "areas"--as in, areas of overlap between the center I would direct and their particular center or office. Thoughout the day I have received responses from the interviewers--typically a basic "Thanks for taking the time to talk with us" message. Tonight one of the interviewers I would have perceived as not checked in sent a thoughtful, thought-provoking message many paragraphs long. I guess the group conversation simply isn't his style. Yet again, the book beneath the cover is far different than I had imagined. Beyond first impressions....

2 comments:

Alan said...

I'm glad the interview went well for you. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Sue Sehulster said...

Great update -- I was thinking about you throughout the day yesterday (although I am currently wrapped up in a major bout of the flu, so I'm not sure if my thoughts were "spot on" or merely feverish imaginings!). I so loved reading about that particular person for whom group interviews are apparently not his style -- a kindred spirit! And yet, as you know, there is indeed so much more going on behind the scenes that might not surface right away. Being "That Person" myself, I have been in more than my fair share of situations where I've been perceived as something other than who I truly am (a shy, introverted Jersey Girl does NOT equal a stuck-up East Coast snob in Iowa!) and I always smile when my beautifully Extroverted friends re-discover that reality. Not that you personally need reminding (a big hello to Matt there!) but all in all I just appreciated reading about your experience. Thanks for sharing that.

Two Jehovah's Witnesses just came a-knockin' (a return trip ... what does that mean?!), to be greeted with Jack's most ferocious howl (talk about a misperception!), an outrageously extroverted 3-year old who believes it's his job to be Door Man, and a flu-ridden mom still in PJ's holding a hungry baby ... What a picture. I wish I could have had an out-of-body experience to see that -- what a laugh! Thankfully they had no interest in sharing my illness, so they quickly left. Where or where is my husband, a former Jehovah's Witness himself, when I need him? Not a good day for callers, that's for sure.