By Angela Hernandez
We have all been to an interview, whether it was for a job opportunity or an internship — maybe even something between those two. They are a necessary evil in my book.
Interviews are nerve-racking. You have to worry about how you look, what to bring, how qualified you are compared to the other candidates and be ready for questions such as, “What’s your biggest weakness?”
In your head you want to say, “Pizza. I want it for every meal, every day for the rest of my life.” But you’re forced to give an adult and relevant answer so you go with, “I’m a perfectionist. I won’t stop working until the job is done, and completed to my liking.”
Interviewees have to put their best foot forward in order to get the job whether it means giving generic answers to lame questions or dressing up in formal office attire.
You can imagine my excitement when I learned for the first time the roles would be reversed.
This year as editor-in-chief of the Logos, I had to recommend to our adviser which two students to fill the work-study positions we had open. Work-study is how I started at the Logos.
I was elated when 12 prospective employees submitted their resumes, cover letters and relevant work. I think I was more excited that people wanted to work with the Logos than having to hire someone.
The only way to narrow down the candidate pool was to conduct interviews. My assistant editors quickly found times to meet with the applicants, and we even had our own set of lame interview questions to ask.
After meeting with the first applicant I realized interviews are not only stressful for the interviewees, but also the interviewer. I was in charge of hiring two people who are willing and capable of working for the newspaper, and would be a good fit for the vision I have for the staff this year.
So many of the candidates were amazing! They were enthusiastic and very qualified. It took me about three weeks, but I finally made my decision. I whittled the 12 applicants down to two future employees and recommended them to the adviser.
As a courtesy to all the candidates I didn’t hire, I e-mailed them, thanking them for their time and effort and encouraged them to continue working with the publication.
I was met with some interesting and unexpected responses. Some of the interviewees were upset with my decision and informed me since they didn’t receive the paid position they were no longer interested in being a part of the staff. Other applicants told me they weren’t even sure what position they had applied for.
I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by not hiring them, but I figured some news about the status of their application was better than leaving them high and dry. If I could I would hire all of the applicants, but that is not how the world works.
My goal for writing this piece is not to call out any one of the applicants out of malice or to gain readers.
I want people to understand rejection is something that will happen in our lives more often than not, and how you handle rejection speaks great volumes in term of character.
We can’t always get what we want, but rejection is healthy. It keeps a fire lit under our butts and a hunger in our stomachs.
Each time I didn’t get the position I applied for, I worked even harder to improve my skill set for the next time.
Perhaps those few applicants didn’t intend to come off as crass, but their reaction will most likely make me think twice before deciding to work with them again.
I hope these applicants learn from this experience and that it doesn’t stop them from pursuing a career in journalism. I also hope they learn from this experience and have a better reaction for other future employers.
E-mail Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org