Yesterday I had an interview at one of my very most top schools. It is a little nerve-wracking to have your admission to a university be based on 20 minutes. The Chicago interview was a whole day, so by the time I got to my individual interview after the first 6(ish) hours of being there, I was pretty relaxed and it went well.
I'm not saying the interview in New York didn't go well, I just think I was a little more nervous because it was really just a short period, and very very intense.
I went with my friend GeckoMan. We had lunch beforehand, where I drank lots of tea to be awake as I haven't slept much in a week for various reasons. GeckoMan waited in the lobby while I was interrogated. Basically, three people sat and asked me questions in rapid succession for twenty minutes. I think I was pretty good at answering them and handled myself well. Then, they set me up in a room to complete a short writing assignment - I had fifteen minutes to explain how I would react to a certain circumstance that could come up on the job. I answered it in probably five or six sentences, and then spent the next ten minutes rereading it trying to figure out if I missed anything. Nope. I was pretty much direct and to the point, so I let it be and handed it in.
I should find out by mid-April, which is good because I need to let the Chicago school know by the beginning of May. So far, still no word from the third New York school I applied to, and the Boston school keeps saying I don't have my prerequisites even though I am working on them right now. We'll see what happens with that.
A few differences between this interview and the other NY interview:
1. They remembered me from December! Even the administrative person remembered me, and I barely talked to her! They didn't remember that I had been there in December, but they recognized me and knew that I had already come in. That's why I went in for the information session, so I am glad that trip was worth it. Remember at the other interview, she had no idea who I was, even though I had talked to her for a while in December.
2. They took me in on time, and while I was waiting gave me updates as to whether or not they would be on time. At the other interview, I was taken in over thirty minutes late, with no status updates. At one point I was afraid she had forgotten, and the receptionist basically did not pay any attention to me - just let me sit out there like an idiot, wondering what was going on!
3. They didn't seem to have an attitude of, you are person #198237012 that we have seen, and we are bored of interviews and probably don't like you much anyway. They seemed interested in me, seemed to have read most of my application (even though they focused mostly on my volunteering in the hospital and not as much on the years of experience with people). At the other school, she basically treated me like she was doing me a favor by interviewing me, like giving me oooone last chance to change her mind. Also, she made me tell her about my slides on the spot - I had no idea that I would have to talk about my work, which really caught me off guard.
4. Even though they had a very interrogative style, they asked a wide variety of questions and didn't focus mostly on why I feel I should go to their school - ie, didn't make me sit there and tell them how great they are. They also didn't keep asking me why I chose to do things, they just asked me about my experience. At the other interview, I had questions like, "So, why art therapy?" "Why our school?" "Why art therapy at our school?" (I'm not even joking)
5. I didn't leave with a sense of utter rejection and loser-y-ness. I left feeling kind of jittery, and although I was unsure of the impression I left on the committee I was pretty positive. After the other interview, I wanted to cry. I also had to go straight to the airport. I basically left the building and immediately called JewishGuy to rant at him and feel hopeless about ever getting into school.
More on my adventures with GeckoMan in my next entry, where I talk about St. Patrick's day in NYC!