I left for my three o’clock interview at twelve o’clock. I did this for two reasons. First of all, the interview was in Seattle and I was in Olympia. And second of all, I have a propensity to get lost whenever I drive to a new place. I’ve left my little sister alone in a parking garage twice because I got lost and it made me late when I was supposed to be picking her up from the train station. Needless to say, she was not pleased either time.
This was my first interview since I graduated and I wanted to be prepared. I had a copy of my resume, my social security card, a brush, deodorant, and a book. It turns out that I really did need the book because after all my planning and worrying I arrived at the interview site an hour and a half early. So I ended up sitting in the lobby reading The Wizard of London and munching on a power bar.
The interview itself went reasonably well. It was a group interview for a recruiting agency, CampusPoint, that works with recent grads. There were two recruiters and seven of us seated around a conference table trying not to stammer too much. Personally, I only said um once and shook both recruiters’ hands at the end of the session. For me this counts as a win—one of life’s small victories. If nothing else, it was good practice.
I don’t have very much interview advice yet because I’ve only done one but I will say this: If you get lost and start going down First Avenue in Seattle, they will not let you make a left turn to go back up. Left turns are forbidden. And if you can help it schedule your Seattle interviews so you’re not leaving the city at rush hour. Driving home in Seattle rush hour traffic feels like an Odyssey. Only instead of dreaming of getting back to Penelope, you’re dreaming of collapsing on your couch with a bag of popcorn and some M&Ms. Let yourself have as many as you want.