Well, I had my interview this afternoon, and oddly, I wasn't stressed about it at all. I guess I exuded all my pent-up energy on my pre-screen interview, and that one went well and I had a good time with it, so perhaps there was just no more stress left in me.
Or that's what I thought, anyway. As calm as I was before the interview started, I got more and more stressed as it went along, leading me into a nervous, false energy that I'm sure translated onto the phone.
Shall we recap the awesomeness?
The phone rings. I'm in the office already with the door closed, my interview notes nicely laid out and waiting. My name is paged and I take a deep breath and pick up the phone.
"Hello this is Brittany!" in my best positive interview voice.
Except I don't hear anything. Well, I do, but it sounds like a tiny voice at the end of a tunnel, and the phone in my ear is making weird buzzing noises. That's when I figure out that the phone has been switched to the headset, and the piece I'm holding is basically useless.
I quickly fumble with the headset, put it on, and hear the interviewer's voice now loud and echoey in my ear. Ugh, that sounds horrible. Do I have to use the headset? Too late now; I don't know how to change it. Not knowing what to do with the phone receiver, I put it back in the cradle, assuming the headset will stay on.
Nope. There's a click, and then just empty space.
Great, I just hung up on my interviewer.
In an angry panic, I rush out of the office, my notes now messily in my hand, trying wildly to find another phone. Instead, I find one of my managers, Rob, who shows me how to turn the headset off. Ironically, it's the big red button. Figures.
My interviewer calls back, and this time I'm ready, and apologizing. She just laughs, though, and promises, "it'll all be easier from here!"
Except it's not. I start out fine, excited and ready to go. But the questions get progressively harder and they throw me off guard, because she's not going by the interview guide and some of her questions I don't have good examples for. I stumble my way through the answers, sounding confident but then my brain makes the mistake of thinking about what I'm saying. Never a good idea. My brain goes haywire, asking in my head, what are you saying?! Where are you going with this? Are you even answering the right question? Haven't you said the word "impact" three times already this sentence? Then my brain catches up with my mouth and I start to stutter and stumble over my phrasing. I catch myself, annoyed that I've psyched myself out, and try to keep going, but at this point I've paused long enough to sound like I've lost my train of thought, and now I'm thinking about that and once again my brain takes over, alternately prodding, keep going! Just keep talking! and stop now! You're just blabbering! Make your point and shut up! It's an endless cycle.
I talk with my hands, trying to emphasize my points to people who can't see me. I repeat myself, say "um" and "kind of" too often, and wince though the long and awkward pauses at the end of the questions. I know they're just writing down my answers, but my brain is still running a mile a minute: did that answer the question? Should I add something more? Did I mention all the examples I had ready? and the inevidible, what did I even say? I don't remember...
Somehow I had all kinds of great things to say before this interview started.
But not to bash myself completely; there were a few questions that I know I gave really strong answers on, and had some really great examples to share. But of course you never dwell on the good things after an interview, do you? You always come out of it a little deflated, a little annoyed at yourself, thinking, oh, crap, I should have said THIS, or how could I have forgotten to mention THAT?
It was an hour long interview, and at the end I was flushed, exhausted and really just needed to go home. But with six more hours of work left, I settled for a chai tea and a fifteen minute break.
And, being myself, I mailed a thank you card to my interviewers that I created myself (with some idea-bouncing between Tanner, of course). Two birds talking on tin cans, and the penguin (me) saying "thank you." Here's the kicker: the bird on the other end of the line is the state bird of Oregon, the Western Meadowlark. If they pick up on that subtlety, I think they deserve to hire me. :)
So now only time will tell. I should know by Friday the 11th. The funny thing is, I don't know whether I'll be more freaked out if I get the job it or if I don't get it. If I don't get it, it just means I can try for other things, or enjoy my time in my home state a little longer, surrounded by the things I love. If I do get it, it means moving 2,824 miles away and starting all over in a job that's probably much more difficult than I'm giving it credit for.
So then, which is the harder choice? Staying stagnant with those things of comfort, or moving forward into a life unknown?
It's the eternal question.