Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Smoosh Time

This afternoon, nobody call me! I have my first internship interview by phone. Tomorrow I have another phone one, and then I have to go out of state to attend two more on Friday. (Which will mean about 6 hours of interviews in one day.)

Internship interviews are not normal job interviews that simply assess your job skills and whether you'd be a decent person to be around all day and maybe try to figure out whether you'll steal from the company. They are interviews by psychologists, trying to see what your secret flaw in relating to others is. Or what your personal insecurities are, since in Psychology your personal insecurities are a job liability--they are your flaws in relating to others.

And all this is going on while you might be suddenly tested on something you learned in grad school at any point during the past five years. (Or worse, didn't.) I've heard of someone's interview being conducted entirely in Spanish because one of her reference-letter writers mentioned that she was fluent in Spanish. (Not that they're likely to find someone to interview me in Norwegian, but one never knows.)

And the thing I find myself worrying about most today is out of my control (of course). It's that the one-time guest parking pass sent me by one of the out-of-town sites is marked for the wrong date. And it promises in small print that if you write on it, you get a $100 fine, so that's out.

I also considered bringing a bunch of quarters, but does that mean I'll have to repeatedly run outside to feed the meter during the all-morning interview? (Even if I did find a pay spot that was coincidentally close to the interview building, which since it's on a college campus I'm seriously doubting.) It could be a stress test, but I don't think so. I think it was just a dumb mistake that's now stressing me out. I emailed the contact person about it, but never heard anything back from her, and at this stage it would be really bad form to complain about inconveniences, since she's likely to be one of my interviewers.

Today I had planned to try to finish my cramming and then spend some time relaxing by painting, before the phone call this afternoon, but we'll see. I may end up feeling too nervous to be distracted like that. At least it's not one of my top sites today, so I'll probably feel less anxious about making "mistakes". However, tomorrow morning's interview is my top choice site. Too bad it's not scheduled for next week after I've had some more practice.

So anyway, wish me luck! (And don't call me this afternoon, for the love of dog.)


Update:

Upon viewing my MapPoint depiction of interview Friday, I realize that not only did I choose a close hotel, I chose a very close hotel. Neither of my interviews is more than .5 miles from the hotel. Now, regardless of weather or what fant-see clothes I'm dressed up in, there is no half-mile I can't just walk on my own two legs.

Whew!

17 comments:

argotnaut said...

This whole thing has sounded cruel from start to finish. I hope the linguists don't treat me like this.

Tim said...

Hmmm. Now here's a thought.

Since you already know that these interviewers will be picking you apart to tell what kind of personality you have, perhaps the guest parking pass isn't a mistake at all. Perhaps, it's a test to see how organized and assertive you are. Maybe (and I'm just spit-balling here), you should call/email the person responsible regularly (once a day) until the date of the interview.

I'm guessing my advice isn't making you feel any less stressed is it?

liz said...

I did wonder if it was a test. (How could I not, in my field and my position?)

The funny thing is, I did get an answer back from the individual, and she specifically stated that it was not a test, except perhaps a test of her patience with her assistants who apparently mailed out a lot of wrong passes to a lot of people.

Melanie said...

I press my thumbs for you (for your interviews).

(that means good luck!)

argotnaut said...

Oh yes -- the pressing of the thumbs.

liz said...

Wait--so you both know about the thumbs?

Now I can't remember where it came from in the first place.

argotnaut said...

It's the German equivalent of crossing your fingers. But I never did find out what it actually _looks_ like ...

liz said...

Oh, _that's_ why you both know it.

I thought it was some universal non-religious alternative to crossing fingers that we made up.

liz said...

And by "we" I mean one of you.

Melanie said...

Now that I think of it, I've actually never seen it done either. But, I can imagine that it is 1 of the following scenarios.

1. Pressing both thumbs together
2. Pressing a thumb and a pointer finger together (one or two handed)
3. Pressing one or both thumbs on a desk, like in grade school (sort of like knocking on a school desk instead of clapping)

If I get some time in the near future, I'll take some illustrative pictures!

liz said...

Maybe we can ask our German Flick'r contacts to do so.

(And by "we" I mean one of you.)

liz said...

I'll email ya.
(I don't know how much "sensitive" [negative and or positive] information about sites I should post in public.)

Melanie said...

2 comments in 1...

1. I asked a friend (who is in a phd German/Linguistics program)about the whole pressing of the thumbs thing. He had no idea how it is expressed physically So, we came to the (temporary) conclusion that it is just an expression, not something people actually do like crossing your fingers.

2. So, how did the interviews go in my home state?!? My thumbs are a little fatigued from all the pressing yesterday :)

Mark said...

The direct translation from German is actually "Hold the thumbs" and it's like making a fist with your thumb under your fingers as far as I know...

Mark said...

Sorry, I just caught up... the first translated phrase was "Daumen drucken".

I think it's a modernization of "Daumen halten".

liz said...

Yesterday I spent some time searching for variations on "pressing thumbs" and came up with only two actual descriptions. (The rest were mostly promises to do so for someone's benefit.)

One of them sounded like what you're describing. (The other one said something about pressing the thumbs together, but obviously they have no idea what the heck they're talking about!)

The really disturbing aspect of that search was how frequently it yielded 5n u f * or b0nda6e p * r n describing a m@n (first-person, of course) pres51ng his th_um bs int0 a w*man's l@ryn_x. Or in one case apparently a child's. Uccch.

(Terms mangled to stay beneath the radar of those searching for that kind of material.)

Anyway....next topic!

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