Career Advisors give Career Advice: All the Fails - We’ve Done Them Too

By Kimberly Bednarski and Samantha Go, Class of 2018

By Kimberly Bednarski and Samantha Go, Class of 2018

I was nearly in tears from embarrassment and insecurity. I could feel the blood rushing to my cheeks, and it took everything I had not to dart from the interview room and seek refuge in a dark corner. My interviewer relentlessly dug deeper with inquiries for which I had no response, let alone a carefully crafted narrative. Beads of sweat gathered on my furrowed brow, and I began to question the efficacy of my deodorant. Another question about my leadership experience?! All I could conjure was a magical rearrangement of stories I had already delivered—maybe she wouldn’t realize that I was totally unqualified and incompetent? Finally, it ended, and I delivered a limp, moist handshake. To the lockers I went, where I encountered my fellow classmates who had endured similar experiences with this same interviewer! No one came as close to tears as I, and I knew then my chances of being called for a second round were about as real as getting free fruit from the bowl in Harper. A few days later, I received the invite. The interviewer loved me! What just happened?!

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Although not all interview experiences have such positive outcomes, rest assured that us 2Ys have endured our fair share of difficult, awkward, and downright embarrassing interviews. We feel you! From arriving 20 minutes late to a 30-minute interview to realizing you prepared for the wrong interview (as you step through the door), you cannot begin to imagine the host of blunders we and countless generations before have made. Forgot your dress shoes or heels? Yup, we’ve done that.* Witnessed the life force of your interviewer literally drain from their eyes as you “walked” them through your resume? It’s happened!

Yet after all of these trials and tribulations, we landed incredible internships that have helped us discover new careers and grow as both professionals and people. Some even led to full-time offers! And if they didn’t or we wanted to pursue other paths, we had a treasure trove of great stories to use during the next recruiting cycle. No matter what happens during the process, know that YOU are an exceptional candidate with so much to offer! But if you have any doubts or just need some comic relief, come talk to any of us CAs or reach out to any 2Y. We’ve all gone through this, and we’re proud to show you our figurative (in most cases) battle scars.

*Pro-tip: Announce to all four corners of the locker room your shoe size and urgent need, and almost certainly a kind soul will lend you a pair!

Samantha is a stationery nerd - she owns over 15 fountain pens and a dozen bottles of ink. Kimberly’s love for ice cream knows no bounds. Even when it’s -15°F, she’ll still go out for a sundae or milkshake!