Saturday, October 22, 2011

Internship 101 - The Interview Process

 The Reinvent Yourself Workshop
The Tranel Financial Group

I know some of you have been waiting for my post, hence Blue Perez. But let me know tell you that the only thing that has been holding back from writing is my busy schedule at work. I actually have much more to add on to my post, so enjoy!
I want to start out by telling you, in the next posts, about my experience at my second internship here in the United States and how life changing it was for me, not only on the professional level but also on the personal level. I have been having The Experience of A Lifetime. I say that because I feel the change and I hope you feel it too after your internship wherever that would be.
I started interning for The Tranel Financial Group in May 2011, and I think I have to mention how I got the internship…The answer is simply by being ME. Like any other student in my graduation class, I have been looking for a job or internship months before graduation. I have had a couple of interviews, mostly over the phone and it did not turn out well. I was too nervous, I felt the time emergency and really wanted to be at my best during the interview or perhaps be someone else they might like better than myself.  I think that is how many students prepare for interviews; they become less themselves and more someone else that they think has more chances to get the job! It did not work for me. After a couple of interviews and many disappointments, I became desperate and even thought of giving up, but my friend Maxim came to me one night and suggested I interview with The Tranel Financial Group, because they seemed like a good fit for me. I thought about it the whole night and thought it would probably be my last attempt. I was not nervous at all because I thought to myself “what could possibly happen?”... “another rejection letter?”.
The day of the interview, I didn’t take too much time getting ready. Threw on the first black pants and button shirts I could see in my closet and printed two copies of my resume & cover letter, and left for my interview. Of course I did some research about the company and connected with one of their employees “Kyle” on Facebook. I wanted to put a face to the company and I could do that through connecting with one familiar face I could relate to.  Once there, I was shockingly calm and surprisingly myself. I conducted the interview like I would in a mocking interview with a close friend (Sachie). I suddenly became relaxed and confident, thinking that if my interviewer did not like me the way I am then I should probably not be working for the company. The interview lasted 15 minutes, after that it was me sharing personal stories, being humorous, cheerful, over excited…being myself. When I got the positive answer I have been waiting for, I felt I wanted to jump around, of course being myself I did not stop myself from showing my big smile and sparkling eyes. I felt I made a big step forward to accomplish the dreams I came for to the United States.
Moral of the story: Be Yourself! When you try hard to be someone else, it shows and translate your lack of confidence and self esteem. It also makes the interview awkward and makes it hard for the interviewer to connect with you. Don’t build that obstacle between you and the interviewer with your own hands!

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version
of somebody else." 
by Judy Garland


  1. Lalla, OMG! I feel that we are connected in so many ways. I think i've told you this before but i'll tell you again: i kind of see myself in you. It seems for me that we are not much different even though we come from different countries.
    I exactly went through what you went through. I also though in giving up and all of of sudden i had call from this insurance company and i also thought "what else can go wrong" so i had it and i was myself the whole time during the interview. 15 minutes later they called me and said i passed the 1st phase. After that, everything got easier and i finally got it.
    Yes! Don't try to be someone else just to like someone.