So yesterday I had a job interview with the City. It was a bit intimidating- there were four people and they had a handout of questions. Whenever I answered, they would write something down. It was like sitting with four therapists, and I wondered if what I was saying was wrong…
Interviewer: “So, tell us what you know about Atlanta”
Me: “OK, where should I start? I’ve lived here for 11 years and grew up in the suburbs…” (panel of interviewers ferociously makes notes. I think, was that the wrong answer? Oh this is not a good start. How could I get that question wrong?)
And yes, the first question really was, “tell us what you know about Atlanta.” And although there were some good questions in there about work ethic and public speaking, it became clear that I did not have the experience they were looking for:
Interviewer: Tell us about your experience with Synchro and other traffic simulation programs
Me: …. none?
Interviewer: Tell us about your previous experience with pedestrian and bike planning
Me: Uhm, …. none?
Interviewer: Tell us about your experience writing transportation plans
Interviewer: Tell us about your experience planning transit
Interviewer: You seem to have a lot of land use experience, so why transportation planning?
So I’m exaggerating my responses, they weren’t that bad. I tried to include some previous experiences that could apply, but none were really related to what they were looking for- and that was obvious to everyone on the panel. And I felt like I was babbling at times. I mean, I liked what I was saying, but one interviewer kept looking at her phone. So maybe I was rambling a little bit.
Either way, I’ll be happy if I can make it to the second round of interviews, but I’ll be flabbergasted if I get the job. Good thing I have an interview with my old boss on Friday!