The Fourth Post

My intern interview process was far from ideal.  I interviewed with nine different companies, and two of the companies I interviewed for two different positions.  I had several second and third round interviews, but failed on almost all of those occasions.  Looking back at this process, I learned a lot.  I realized that my first interviews were ok, but not great.  More importantly, I learned that I was not really sure what I wanted to do.  I received an interview from a consulting company, but when they asked, “why consulting?” I didn’t know how to respond.

Something that surprised me was the amount of preparation that needs to go into interviewing.  There are some people that are be fine with little or no preparation, but that is not the case for me.  I needed to practice for several hours to have every question ready to go.

The biggest frustration was how much an interview determines one’s ability to succeed in the job.  I am not the best at telling stories, which is basically what an interview is.  When I interviewed for one company, I had no doubt that I could have performed the job they were asking.  There was nothing that the company said that frightened me or made me think that I wouldn’t be able to perform the job.  However, I did not receive an offer because I had a bad interview.

Before my first interview, I had not done much preparation.  After understanding what I needed to do to perform better, I prepared by going to workshops, mock interviews, and going through questions that I found online.  This preparation gave me many opportunities to advance to second and third rounds.

I did not perform to the best of my ability until my preparation was stepped up.  Of the nine companies I interviewed for, I did not receive any offers immediately.  It wasn’t until Ford planned to expand their number of IT interns that I received an offer.  I received an off the Friday before spring break last year, and I had interviewed with them over fall break. This was another company I knew I would be perfect for the job, which is why it was great to receive an offer.

My overall impression of the interview process is not good.  It is not efficient.  From one round of interviewing to another it took several weeks for some companies to respond.  In some cases there was no timetable and, in other cases, they forget to tell me what my status is.  I applied for several positions and didn’t hear back for months.  An efficient system would be a company letting you know immediately what your status is.

The interview is also not effective, and at least some people have realized this, specifically Google.  In “Here’s Google’s Secret to Hiring the Best People,” the author explains how people subconsciously make snap decisions within the first 10 seconds of meeting a possible employee.  They explain how there is no correlation of how one’s critical thinking is superb compared to their work ethic.  So all of the ridiculous questions that Google has asked of how long it takes to was all the windows in Seattle and how the person who could answer that question incredibly well, but their work ethic isn’t there.  Google has come up with a process to standardize interviewing, which has led to much better hiring process and to be effective.  However, this is not the case for some interviews that I had.



Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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