Thoughts I Have During Interviews

In less than five months’ time, I’ve had seven in-person interviews, two phone interviews, two informationals, and have attended one open house.  That’s 12 total interviews; more than two a month. But, what choice do I have when I graduate soon and have yet to add that vital internship experience to my resume and LinkedIn profile?  I feel like I’m constantly reading case studies off companies’ websites and trying to memorize their core values.  My travel-sized notebook is full of company names and 2-3 questions I’ve brainstormed to ask a potential employer when they inevitably open the floor for such.  All this said, you’d think I’d spend an interview dressed in my very best, poised to answer any and all situational questions thrown my way.  But, here’s what really goes on in my head:

“Ugh, why is parking so expensive?!  Do they think I can afford to park in this ramp?  If I had $12 to spare, I wouldn’t be frantically searching for a summer job.  Oh, well, I get paid again next week.  I can live off Ramen in the meantime.  Alright, so Google Maps says the office is just down the street, east of the parking ramp.  East?  Which way is that?  Shoot, I’m going to be cutting it close.  What a great first impression: Hi, I’m 3 minutes late because I can’t tell which way is east.  Ah, there’s the door.  Nice, an elevator.  Now I won’t be out of breath when I get upstairs.  Stay cool.  They’ll be able to sense if you’re nervous.  Oh man, you’re almost to the fourth floor.  Deep breaths.  Do you have everything?  Of course you do, you don’t need anything, except your resume and a smile.  Check, and check!  Introduce yourself.  Make sure your handshake is firm.  Should I enter the room first?  Is that rude?  Maybe I should let them enter first.  Where do I sit?  What if I sit in their favorite chair and I ruin my chance of landing this internship?  Okay, tell them about yourself.  You can do that.  You’re awesome.  Well, that was probably the worst elevator pitch they’ve ever heard.  Moving on.  Oh, a situational question!  I prepared for these.  Oh man, I did NOT prepare for that one.  Think, think, think.  Did that answer their question?  Now they’re telling me about the responsibilities of an intern; this part’s easy, all I have to do is listen.  Remember to smile.  Smile and nod.  Stop tapping your foot.  It smells like cinnamon in here.  I wonder if they had donuts brought to the office this morning.  If that’s the kind of place this is, count me in.  Speaking of donuts, when is the last time I ate?  I’m starving.  Can they hear my stomach growl?  The interview is almost over, time for me to ask some of those questions I thought up.  Is it too pushy for me to ask when I can expect to hear from them?  No, I don’t have any more questions… should I have more questions?  Alright, just one more hand shake, another smile, and you’re out of here.  Thank goodness that’s over.  Now, where’s my car?”

-Erika Voeller