{Interview Hell}

September 17, 1999

The nerves start the day before. In the morning when I wake up and remember that the next day when I wake up I have to put on a suit and talk myself up, sell myself, become my own personal salesman, adopt that smooth, suave web designer personality that everyone likes so well in interviews.

I hate it.

I hate every minute of it.

And it's exhausting. Especially when the nerves start twenty-four hours ahead of time. So I don't think about it, or at least try to think about it as little as possible. The suit still fits at least. I tried it on to be sure. It smells musty and it's awfully dusty; testament to the fact that I haven't hauled it out in a long, long time.

I didn't need a suit for my last interview, the interview at GW. That was an informal affair really, just myself and Dave and Josef, sitting around figuring out if I'd make a good fit for this project. Thinking about that day sort of makes me want to cry in the light of the outcome.

Eight months of blood sweat and tears. Sure, I now have a solid command of Cold Fusion. But it's still sad. It just is. It's sad to lose your job, your project and a bunch of potential friends all in one.

It's sad.

So. Today. Today was extremely whacky. I got up on time but with all my nattering about what to wear with the suit, I didn't make it out the door on time and had to call a cab. At least the cabbie was nice, wished me luck and all that.

Interview #1
Company: D&P
Job: Web Developer

The building is tucked away in a little office park, of whose existence I was completely unaware. The office park is also tucked away, behind Fort Meyer right on route 50. I had no idea it was there. It's a little bit inconvenient to get to via Metro, but there is a shuttle that runs between several of the Metro stations. It's also not too far from home -- about a 10-15 minute drive I'd guess, or a 20-30 minute bike ride.

This one went well. The web department is small and they were all fairly laid back. The manager guy is, I'm guessing, about ten years older than I am, but his team members (all guys) are about my age, and one of them is a Star Wars fan. Yes, this came up in the interview.

The company does Navy contracting and is looking to do some third-party development as well. In essence, they're small and want to expand. They've got a good base to build on, but they're not the most hip n' happenin' place either. Other than the stricter dress code, the office dynamics reminded me a lot of GW, which made me feel pretty comfortable.

I walked in at 10am still feeling a cloud of doom and gloom hanging over me. I walked out at 1pm (actually drove out since the manager guy, Aaron, was kind enough to give me a ride to the Rosslyn Metro so that I'd have time to get to work, grab some lunch and still be able to make it to my next interview which was downtown at 3pm) with a job offer.

Interview #2
Company: WestLake Consulting Group
Job: Web Developer

Right in the heart of down town, these guys are in the National Press Building and my is it an impressive one. So impressive that I got completely lost trying to find the elevator up. By now, my feet were killing me. I keep hoping that the shoes I wore will be broken in. But they refuse doggedly to be comfy, no matter how comfy they look. At least I bought them on sale, so I don't feel quite so bad about the money, but I just wish that I could find a reliably comfortable, yet nice-looking enough pair of shoes to wear on interviews so that I don't arrive with blisters on my feet, limping along and looking patently ridiculous.

Wow. This place is happening. Young, swinging, hip company with a very avant garde company policy. Very cool office digs too. I like the place and it's exactly the kind of place I want to work -- it has lots of different projects, a supportive atmosphere and lots of light in the building.

Unfortunately, I don't think I impressed the company owner very much. I was tired out and in pain and I'd already been put through the wringer for three hours at my previous interview. I kept forgetting where I was going with my points.

We'll see. But I don't think I did well enough to warrant a call back, which is a shame too because I'd really like working here I think.

All righty -- now to gear up for the big interview on Philly on Monday. Pending the outcome of that one, I'll have a big decision to make. It's not a decision I'm looking forward to making either, since not only my fate, but Sabs' as well, depends on it and I'm all ready so very tired.

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