from the desk of... Candidate 4

Days after my Austin trip with the girlfriend, I was on another trip, albeit one for business rather than pleasure, this time to the Pacific Northwest for a job interview.

It was my first face-to-face interview since the TPE conference two months ago.

True Story:

I remember being disappointed at TPE in March. I wasn’t getting the interviews I wanted. Very few people were talking to me. Interviews were lackluster. I felt I was just another face in the crowd, drowning in the sea of applicants.

As the weekend died down, I had only a few more chances left to talk with schools. I had already talked to or been turned away from the schools I liked.

There was one school in the PNW that I never heard of but asked for an interview regardless, hey, I was feeling desperate.

The school sent a note back to me at the conference saying they were interested in talking to me. I should have jumped at the chance to talk with anyone at the point. But something kept me from replying immediately. Maybe it was interview burnout, or depression, or a strong growing sense of apathy. After so much stress and anxiety over the job hunt, I just didn’t care anymore.

That Sunday morning came around, the last day of the conference, and all the positions were filling up. I still hadn’t replied to this school. But something told me I needed to try, even if the school didn’t necessarily excite me. “It would be good interview practice,” I thought. “What have I got to lose?”

While most professionals were starting to leave the conference, I tried to set up one last interview with the obscure school in the PNW. Luckily, the last slot of the day was available, minutes before I had to jump in a taxi to the airport to catch my flight.

So, I talked with the representatives of the school, in an empty auditorium, while TPE shut down. It was their last interview of the conference, and my last ditch effort.

The talk was pleasant, they sparked my interest in their school’s residence life program and the gorgeous natural soundings of their campus. I think I did an adequate job selling myself and my experience. It was over soon enough, and we left. TPE was over and I had completed 8 interviews.

For the next two months, I heard nothing back from any of the schools.

But then last week, I got the call from the director from my last ditch effort. “Still interested in the job?”

“Absolutely,” I said. What have I got to lose?

I was only hours away from finding out.

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