The Interview

by Carolyn Wachman | 5/20/98 5:00am

C Says: So, P, how did that interview go in New York last week? Have you found an internship yet for the summer?

P Says: Well, C, it was kind of weird. During the interview I couldn't tell if I was doing well or not, but apparently it was fine, because I just found out this morning that I got the job!

C Says: Congratulations! I'm impressed. It was so competitive, so you must have said all the right things. Tell me about the interview.

P Says: Well, C, the best way I can describe the interview is with one word -- schizophrenic.

C Says: What?

P Says: Picture it.

Interviewer Says: So, P, tell me what your ideal summer experience would entail.

P Thinks: Well, here's the thing. This is my last summer before I graduate from college, and ideally I'd like to sit on my ass on the beach in Aruba, enhancing my mind with Vogue, sipping margaritas and getting a great tan.

P Says: Well, I'm so glad you asked that question. This is my last summer before I graduate from college and ideally, I'd like to sit in front of a computer in an office environment exactly like your company's, enhancing my mind by learning as much as possible about investment banking, Excel and Powerpoint, sipping coffee at 3:00 a.m. to stay awake, so I can be sure to complete all projects to your satisfaction and mine and getting an invaluable experience all at the same time.

Interviewer Says: Now that I know what your goals are, I'd like to know a little more about you. If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be and why?

P Thinks: Lazy, because I'd rather sit on the Green for four hours with my friends than do my reserve reading in Baker. Frustrated, because I've been looking for a summer job and a meaningful relationship since October, and I'm still looking. And distracted, because I haven't slept in a week because of midterms, I skipped breakfast to get here in time, and your questions are making me want to vomit.

P Says: Hardworking, because Dartmouth has taught me how to have a good time and yet strive for excellence; satisfied, because I feel like I have reached my goals that I made for junior year, and focused, because I am an extremely organized and patient individual.

C Says: P, I can totally relate to your experience. I had a very similar one last term when I had an interview with a consulting firm.

Interviewer Says: C, if you had to invent and market a new product, what would it be and how would you do it?

C Thinks: Are you serious? Is this some kind of twisted joke? Is this a stress interview so you can see how well I perform under pressure? Well you know what? You suck.

C Says: What a challenging and creative question. I love these types of things. Well, I suppose I would create a new form of communication technology something like a portable e-mail gadget that you can carry around in your pocket because e-mail is a growing world-wide trend. I would start by marketing this product at Dartmouth since everyone is so e-mail dependent.

P Says: Wow C, you pulled that one off well. Did you get the job?

C Says: Yep.

P Says: I guess what we said really dazzled those interviewers. I bet they were clinging to every word that we said.

Interviewer Thinks: I hate the interviewing process. I can't help thinking about how much I'd rather be soaking in a hot tub at the health club than half-listening to these college kids try to impress me. In fact, I'd rather be building one of those e-mail gadgets or working until 3:00 am on a project designing an Excel spreadsheet than sitting here... Ooops, what did she just say?? I hope that wasn't important...