My 3 Minute Interview From Hell

It’s Friday. What should be the best day of the week, right? Here I am, getting ready for my first big interview. I cannot put into words how absolutely stoked I was. For anyone who doesn’t know, this was going to be one of my first REAL interviews in LA. I was going to make the drive from Orange County to try and prove to someone that after a year of rejection emails in my inbox, I deserve to be in this industry.

Let’s take it back a couple days. I am sitting in my room debating if I really want to get out of bed and spend another $5 to sit in a coffee shop and apply to jobs. Of course, I am Snapchatting everyone asking if I should waste the money or not. Then, out of nowhere, my friend sends me $5. The caffeinated push I needed! So, there I am. Sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops, with my coffee jitters, applying to jobs. Anyone close to me knows that this is no strange occurrence. I spend days at a time sitting in coffee shops for hours on end just hitting “send application.” So to me, this was going to be just another day. I send in an application that reads, “Talent Agent Assistant/Trainee.” To be completely honest, I applied to this one on a whim. It seemed a little too good to be true; that something was posted from the general line of work I wanted to be in.

Fast forward to an hour later. It is 2pm and I get an email that reads, “Call me at 3:15 for your first initial screening.” FIRST OF ALL. Not only am I excited, but I am full on internally panicking. How can someone prepare for an initial interview in only an hour???? I was still fully fueled from my caffeine binge, so my confidence was at an all time high. I spend the next hour writing down notes, questions, and anything else I may want to know about this position. The website I apply to most jobs on, lists everything as confidential. This means, the company name is not disclosed, and there is little to no information on the actual position itself. So, I was going in blind. 3:15 rolls around and I make the call. The man that answers the phone, let’s call him Jimmy, seemed awesome. He was straight forward, honest, and seemed to be a laid back guy. He told me that the job was going to be extremely stressful and that I should only be looking at it if I truly wanted to be there. I assured him that I am very serious about this job and I would do anything to work hard in the industry. He then proceeds to ask if I am available to come in for an interview the next day, in Beverly Hills. There is no way I can turn down this opportunity, so I tell him it will be no problem.

Friday rolls around and I make plans to get to LA with plenty of time to spare. Anyone who has taken the 405 North at any time in the afternoon, would understand why I felt the need to leave 4 hours early. I get to my friends’ apartment to change and grab a quick coffee before hand. My energy was undeniable. I had never felt more ready and confident for an interview in my life. Anyone close to me knows, that my passion for things is contagious. I am sitting in this coffee shop before my interview, mapping out the rest of my life in LA. Where will I move?? What will I do?? I had no idea, but I was so excited. That is the energy anyone should have before going into something big. Interviewers can almost smell your level of confidence from the minute you walk into the room. I get dressed, and drive another 40 minutes to beverly hills in heavy traffic.

Upon arriving, I am given a parking ticket and a specific spot to park in. Seemed very exclusive. Me being me, I memorize the suite I am supposed to be in, and confidently walk to the elevator. I am adamant on not asking for directions, even if it means being severely lost in the meantime. I arrive about 15 minutes early, and decide to go in. What’s the worst that can happen? They make me wait? As I walk in, I am greeted by a man who steps out of an office, wearing what appears to be sweats or a track suit. Honestly you can decide what is worse, and keep that image in your mind. As I go to shake his hand, I realize this is Jimmy. The man I spoke with on the phone. Immediately I can sense that he is not the super laid back person I thought I was talking to the afternoon prior. I am just really keen at feeling a person’s vibe right away. He takes me into a conference room and has me sit down. He instantly starts spewing a few questions I am totally prepared for. However, I was also trying to determine if the tone of his voice and the way he was phrasing things, was meant to be a scare tactic. If it wasn’t a scare tactic, then I was left to assume that Jimmy has a shitty personality, and that’s why he has been struggling to keep an assistant. This went on for about 3 minutes. Then, he gets up, tells me he just wanted to “get a feel for me and look at me in person.” He thanks me for my time and has me leave. As I am walking out, there are other people waiting in the lobby-ish area. In my head, I was wishing them luck because they looked absolutely terrified.

As I walk out of the suite, I am internally shaken. So many things were running through my mind. Why was that so short? I really came all this way for this? Why was that so judgmental? Did it seem like he was basing this off of looks? I looked okay, right? He really didn’t offer to validate my parking? As I am overthinking like I usually do, I realize how messed up of a situation this actually was. While I was bummed, I definitely couldn’t be sad. This was a great opportunity nonetheless, and I got my first taste at what the entertainment industry is really like. It almost fueled my desire to be in it, even more. I wanted to make it and rise above people like Jimmy. Who were superficial while interviewing, even though they were dressed in sweats. If I wanted to be judged based off something that had nothing to do with my actual experience, I would audition for a reality TV show.

This experience was a good learning lesson. It reminded me that for what I want to do, I have to have an extremely thick skin. This doesn’t mean emotions have to be off the table. Believe me, I spent a maximum of 5 minutes crying angry tears, before realizing my worth again. It’s okay to feel discouraged after something you believed was going to be so exciting. Especially if you went out of your way, only to be shuffled out and pay $5 for 10 minute parking. I think everyone can take note from this. If you’re interviewing people where you work, make sure you’re doing it appropriately and for the right reasons. If you are going into a big interview, just remember the results don’t define who you are as a person. This can be applicable to any industry. For me, I am using the frustration to motivate me to work harder, be better. For anyone else, take this as guidance. Not everything will turn out exactly how you want it to, but it is the outlook you hold that will define the situation.

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