OMGOMGOMG, I really really really REALLY want this job.
I can't really tell how it went. There's nothing I can think of that I wish I had answered differently (thankfully, there were no killer hypos involved). So they got a decent representation of me, and if I don't get the job, it's probably because I'm genuinely not a good fit, or other candidates are just better. However, I was a little out of practice interviewing, and I was nervous because I REALLY want this job. Hence, at least in the first (and most important?) part of the interview, I "um"-ed was wordier than I'd like.
I got some very positive reactions from some people (e.g. one guy called my writing "fantastic" - wish I could have recorded that for future reference!). But I've been doing this too long to read anything into that - nothing means anything until you get an offer. (Thank you, Ask A Manager, particularly posts like this - I mean, I knew this, but it's always helpful to see someone spell it out.) I may be a good candidate - but so are lots and lots and lots of other people.
On the flip side, other interviewers were stone-faced or skeptical in tone - but I can't read much into that, either. The stone-faced ones were stone-faced from the start, but since no one made them interview me, I figure that has to be an approach to interviewing, rather than an assessment. And I think the skeptical/challenging one just wanted to see how I would handle it. (I actualy enjoyed those questions.)
So, I just have to wait and see. But I reeeeeeeeeeaallllly want this job...*
This, for the position I least want, went probably the best. It was one-on-one, but the interviewer was fairly intense, so I was able to maintain a good energy. (I usually interview better before a panel than one-on-one because there's more energy in the room; one of the worst interviews I've done was one-on-one with a woman who'd traveled literally 24 hours to get there, arrived about an hour before the interview, and couldn't ditch because no one else on the committee was able to even get there. The interviewer was perfectly nice but wow, the room was dead.) I was back in interview mode, and at some points it felt more like a conversation than an interview. (The interviewer was clearly listening really carefully and was really good at follow-up questions, which I appreciated. Interviewing is definitely a skill!)
But again, that doesn't guarantee anything. And this is the position I least want - although I think I'd be pretty good at it.**
Really not sure how this one went, in part because I think the position isn't quite as good a fit for me,*** and in part because the interviewers were fairly low-energy and following a canned script. The job goes in a different direction than what I really want to do, and I think that came through. I also got some "how have you handled situation x?" questions that I didn't have a lot of direct experience with (like, a question about handling poor supervisors. Well, I haven't been in a legal job long enough to have to deal with bad supervisors - the jobs end before anything is an issue. And in academia, you don't really HAVE supervisors). So I answered those questions the best I could, but felt like I was spouting cliches a bit.
* * * * *
Anyway. At least they're done, so now I can think about something else (until it's time to worry about hearing back from them, but I have a few weeks on that). It was kind of a whirlwind experience, entailing 12 hours out of 36 on a plane, plus more time on public transport - tiring, but also fun.
You know, though, I worry a little about what my attachment to job applications: they're semi-addicting because they provide an external measure of self-worth. You apply (which is at least a measurable accomplishment - a task completed). Then, if you get an interview, that's another achievement collected. When you interview, everyone is focused on you and nothing but you, and you spend a lot of time talking about yourself (and how amazing you are). Finally, if you get the job, that's another affirmation of your wonderfulness. I worry that collecting job offers is, in some ways, more exciting than actually doing the job I get - and I don't want to tie up my self-worth in getting other people's (employers') approval, rather than in my own assessment of whether I'm growing, learning, and doing a good job. Mind you, clerking - while wonderful - doesn't really give you anywhere to go; you do the same thing over and over again, and the job is by definition short-term. So it's hard not to focus on the next thing rather than what's in front of you. I look forward to having a permanent job, where I can formulate longer-term goals beyond "get another job."****
* Really really really amazingly cool work that's hard to break into. The people all seemed really great and I loved the atmosphere. I know this is secondary, but I loved the building and its immediate location in the city. The city itself has pluses and minuses - a good part of the year, the weather sucks rocks. But when the weather doesn't suck rocks, it's amazing. LDH loves the area. And the cost of living is low - everyone kept pointing out that you could have a decent life there on the salary. Plus, it's a permanent job.
** It's less desirable mostly because in some ways it's very similar to experience I already have (although this is why I think I'd do it well), and because it's temporary, and doesn't lead as directly into a permanent job as the other temporary job. Also, the location is kind of a wildcard.
*** It would be kind of taking a different direction - which could be really really interesting, I might love it - who knows? But I'm a bit hesitant, though it would probably be great experience. It's technically a term position, but it sounds like if they like you, they expect to hire you permanently. The city is amazing in many ways - a great place for legal work, lots and lots and LOTS of things going on. Also closer to my family. But way more expensive and congested, and its own share of crappy weather. And, though this shouldn't matter, the building where I would work was fairly drab.
**** And I just found out I have a phone interview with another place. Wheee!