Saturday, October 17, 2009

Interview War Wounds

I had my Kellogg interview yesterday, and I made a classic, classic mistake.

I've owned a comfortable pair of shoes for about five years that I use for work, and resoled them twice. They are a bit scuffed, but extremely serviceable and molded to my feet. Two years ago, I bought a 'replacement' set of shoes (never worn) that are new and shiny, and of course decided to interview in the new and shiny shoes rather than the scuffed standby's.

My interview was at 8am about 25 minutes from my house by public transportation, and 5 minutes after leaving my house I was in severe pain. The left shoe, which fit wonderfully at the store two years ago, was tearing up the back of my ankle. Given the severity of the situation (I would never recommend being late to a b-school interview!) I soldiered on. I hobbled all over Arlington, and since I beat my interviewer there I tried stuffing some napkins down the back of the shoe so I wouldn't be limping as I stood to greet him and followed him to a seat.

As a result, this morning I have a blister about the size of a quarter on the back of my ankle, and it stings. The interview itself was quite pleasant, and while I felt like I had a good connection with my interviewer I'm not certain of anything. I can name two pitfalls I fell into that were my misreading his intent (neither seemed to end badly), and he asked me several times if I wanted to know anything further about the school. Since I have two former teammates there and researched all my schools fairly extensively, I didn't really have anything to ask... but in retrospect, I should probably have figured out something new to ask ahead of time, or just asked something I knew the answer to to indulge him. It's people brownie points, after all; people like feeling helpful! My only clear negative was that several times I touched on other schools (after researching so many schools, it's all fresh in my head!) and I probably should have eschewed those stories or parallels unless specifically asked about them and kept the interview focused on Kellogg.

That said, there were no clear disaster moments, and it was a pleasant experience. While I hope I get more than one interview, Kellogg's was very relaxed and enjoyable and a great one to start with! Time to limp off and find some breakfast.

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