Sunday, January 30, 2011

Interviews and Suits and Such...

I'm in the process of applying for summer legal internships. Being out in the world searching for employment is kind of a new thing for me, and I've definitely been pushing myself outside of my comfort zone with all the interviewing, networking, and resume-mailing.

Until now, I had never interviewed for a job that I wasn't 95% sure I would get, and my biggest job so far (as a music teacher) involved more of a clarinet-playing audition than an interview. I didn't even own a suit until a few months ago. But now, I'm printing resumes on fancy paper and mailing them off with cover letters, and I'm going out into the big world wearing a suit and shaking hands and interviewing my heart out. It's like I'm a grown-up or something!

Look at me in my fancy suit! I took this picture for the sole purpose of posting it on the blog to prove to y'all that I actually am doing something productive with my life.

Back before I was dating Jeff (like, in middle school and the first three years of high school), I used to say that I wanted to just be a businesswoman and be successful and then worry about getting married when I was 30 or 32 or so. I really had my life planned out that way. But then of course, things happened a bit differently and I ended up marrying my best friend at the age of 21. That's what life does when you try to make big plans!

So now I'm reconnecting with my career-woman self and venturing into downtown Houston and going into really tall buildings, and I just feel so, so out of my comfort zone! But it's a little fun, and I feel a little adventurous, and I'm feeling a lot better about the whole thing now because on Friday I was offered a summer internship with a court here in Houston, and it's pretty much my dream job, and the people at the office are so nice, and I'm so, so excited! It's a part-time, 3-days-a-week-ish thing, so I'm still looking for something additional, but I have a few applications pending with some non-profits that are looking good.

I had Jeff take this picture because the last one (above) turned out so grainy and weird.

I should mention (because you guys like it when I contrast real-life law school with Legally Blonde)... the legal job hunt has so many random rules! Suits with pants are not okay for women. No necklaces, no bracelets, and no rings other than the wedding type and the class ring type. Earrings must be studs. Pantyhose are of vital importance, and if you're a girl - you better pull your hair back. Thank goodness I have a career advisor to tell me this stuff. Basically, if you're Elle Woods, you're gonna look really dumb in your pink suit. 

They suggested white shirts, but I clearly didn't quite follow that rule. I just felt entirely too much like a hostess at a fancy restaurant or a penguin or something. Plus, I only have one white button-down shirt, and I didn't want to wash it over and over again. Ha. 

After every interview, you have to send a hand-written thank-you note to your interviewer. And if you interviewed with more than one person at the same office, you better make sure they're personalized and different because they just might compare thank-you notes and catch you if you wrote the same thing twice (apparently). Oh, and here's the weird etiquette thing about internships with courts -- if they offer you a position, you HAVE to take it. Then you promptly have to call any other courts you've applied to and withdraw your application. You don't turn down a judicial internship. Period. So you have to be careful where you apply and try to interview in order of preference. Weird.

But, there is a plus side to the whole interviewing thing -- it's a great excuse to buy new shoes! I fell absolutely in love with this Adrienne Vittadini pair, and I've been wearing them to every interview I have! Love, love, love the patent toe!

Is anybody else doing the interview thing currently? What's your biggest strength and weakness? (Just kidding! I HATE that question by the way!) Am I the only one that feels like I should leave 90 minutes before an interview to make sure I make it on time? 

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