This month’s blog post is going to be on a quite specific topic but has information that can apply to many varying situations.
I mentioned in my previous post that I was being flown out to interview for a job! I have since undergone this interview and I am basically going to give a play-by-play of what this 36-hour interview looked like. I will again not be naming the specifics of the location or the name of the employer but I will give as much detail as I can.
The job is for a sound designer and audio engineer in academics. I would be sound designing several shows as well as teaching students about sound design and audio engineering.
To start I had a phone interview for this position and instantly I was very interested. They explained to me the parameters of the position and we talked about my experience. I was then informed that I would be contacted with the next steps. Within a day I was contacted saying they wanted to fly me out to the school to do an in-person interview!
I was insanely nervous! I thought who would want to fly someone like me out to a different state for a job interview? It was crazy to me! Luckily, I have a best friend who told me, “why wouldn’t they want to fly you out for the job?! You are incredible and a good fit!” This gave me the confidence I needed to get on a plane to a new place!
They booked a flight and I packed and got ready to go! I went shopping of course! My mom told me it was important I dress nicely even on the plane because someone from the school was picking me up from the airport. I got three outfits that made me feel confident and professional.
When I landed, I was picked up, and driven to the school. I had butterflies. I knew this was a place I really wanted to work and I didn’t want to mess this up. The person who picked me up from the airport talked to me about the town a little bit! They offered to drive me around the town before dropping me off at the hotel! I also asked them some questions about their own experiences in the town and the students at the school! If you are interviewing for a school I highly recommend asking those kinds of questions to the people you interact with that aren’t responsible for hiring you. This is because if they want you for the position they could hide some aspects of what life is like in the town. However, the people that you meet outside of the hiring committee have no reason to lie to you! I did the same thing with the woman who worked at the front desk of my hotel! I asked her if she had met students from the school and just how life was there because I wasn’t very familiar with the area! She was able to give me some really great unfiltered information about the town that I wouldn’t have received otherwise! Therefore, if you are considering moving to a new place for a job I definitely suggest this!
After I got to my hotel, the man that initially interviewed me, picked me up to take me to dinner. I had dinner with him and three other members of their theatre department faculty. I immediately felt so comfortable with all of them and felt that I was really able to be myself while still being professional. They talked to me about their program and asked me some more general questions that didn’t necessarily pertain to the job, they were just trying to get to know me! It was a nice introduction to the program and the people I could potentially be working with.
The next day was a day packed full of interviews! I was interviewed by several different people some from the theatre department and others on the administrative level and I can honestly say everyone were so genuine and incredible.
My biggest tip for these day-long interviews is to pack snacks and bring a reusable water bottle. This is how I survived. And most importantly gum or mints! I kind of felt like I was saying the same thing in every interview but I had to remember that I was talking to a new person every hour so I had to deliver the same information multiple times!
I met the rest of the theatre department as well over lunch and they were all so kind! I could genuinely see myself working alongside these people and I found that extremely exciting and it only put more pressure on myself to do well during this in-person visit.
Overall, the interviews all went well! They all felt more like a conversation than them just throwing questions at me which made the day way easier to take on.
The day ended with me going to see one of their department performances! I was so thankful that I was able to watch one of their shows and meet some of the students! It was an incredible production and just made me want to work there more!
This experience was like no other. I am so thankful for it. My biggest advice for undergoing a multi-day interview similar to this one would be as follows:
- Dress to impress and be comfortable. In my opinion I would rather be over dressed than under dressed BUT if I am not comfortable in what I’m wearing, I won’t be able to be confident during my interviews.
- Bring snacks and a reusable water bottle. I wasn’t super hungry at meal times because I was nervous during the day so having snacks really helped!
- Bring gum or mints. Chewing gum helps calm my nerves which was my main reason for bringing it, but you also don’t know what you’ll be eating so you want to be prepared to fight bad breath!
- Prepare questions and do research before you get there. There were so many times someone would be walking me to my next interview or location and I was so thankful I did some research on the school and had some questions ready to fill awkward silence.
- Don’t be afraid to be yourself. This might sound dumb because everyone tells you to be yourself. However, when you are doing interviews like this it is crucial to be yourself because you need to know if you feel like you fit in at this new place as much as they want to know if you fit in to them!
In conclusion, I was so stressed about this interview for so many reasons, but a big factor was the industry has turned away from in-person interviews since COVID so I wasn’t sure how I would perform in an interview in person! But you will be fine! If I can do it, you can do it! Just remember to breathe and smile through the nerves! Oh, and have a best friend who tells you that you are worthy of the opportunity even when you don’t feel like you are!