Let me preface this by saying I’ve never been interviewed by more than two people at a time. The panel interview concept was a bit intimidating to me anyway but I was not even close to prepared for my bizarre interview experience yesterday. In the olden days we would say I thought I was on candid camera. I think the modern term for it is getting getting punked.
So I walk through a maze in the bowels of the Police Department. The door waaaaaaaaaaay in the back opens to reveal a long, skinny table with four people seated at it. Five feet in front of that table, with the back facing the door, is a much smaller table with a single chair. On the table is a bottle of water, a Dixie cup and a pile of note cards.
“I think I’ll sit here,” I say, you know, as kind of a joke because obviously that’s where I was supposed to sit. They look at me blankly and I think, huh, we’re off to super start.
They introduce themselves, first name only, no clue what their role is in the department. And I say, “Hello, I’m Nathalie.” Blank faces. My second attempt at humor, since they naturally know who I am … anyway.
They start with the questions, explaining that on each of the cards is one question (with several mixed in) that they will ask (read) me and I will then answer. Okay. At this point I’m waiting for this type of question:
“Well Ms. Hardy, we found the murder weapon in your Subaru. Can you explain your whereabouts on the evening of September 6?”
I answered the questions the best I could and feel like it’s something I got through and figure it’ll go down as my “worst interview ever.” Looking up from here.
As always, I consider myself one of the luckiest people on the planet since I’m so blessed by the people in my life.
Me: Oh my God, I’m so screwed. How could I quit my job without a plan? What if I never get another one?!
Matt: Okay, but you have plan.
Me: What?! What is the plan?
Matt: You’ve always had a plan. To write. So write. That’s how you’ll make money writing - by writing.
I so picked the best partner in the world for me! He’s right. I’m going to write and trust the money will follow. (If I don’t answer the phone for a few days in a row, you might find me under my desk freaking out). I am not going to waste my time to write by fretting about what I’m going to do for “real work.” My writing is real work and it will, and has been, bring in real money.
- Raelene giving me practice questions and advice
- Dan’s suggestion right before leaving for the interview to “think of it as you interviewing them instead of the other way.” Genius!
- Jocelyn, Rosie, Christine and Niki calling/emailing before and after to make sure I know that I’ll rock the interview. Sorry, kids, we didn’t know what we were up against ;)
- And this is one I’m taking into my thirties – from Niki. We’re talking last night and I’m telling her about how they were writing the whole time I was talking and I wonder what they were thinking of me. She suggested that we should consider this: What did I think of them? Because that matters more than what they thought of me.
With people like that on my side, how can I fail?