Career Peers Tell All: Interviewing with City Year

I think everyone can unanimously agree that interviewing for jobs is the worst. I would rank interviewing for jobs right above getting my wisdom teeth taken out. It’s really nerve-wracking having to try to convince a group of people that they should hire you out of the 100 other people that they’re interviewing. The worst is when they open with “Tell me about yourself.” I don’t know about anyone else but whenever someone asks me that, everything I’ve ever done or been interested in completely flies out of my mind. I’m lucky if I can remember my full name. It’s hard to be confident and charming when all you can think about is how nervous you are having five potential employers intensely staring at you with no hint of emotion on their faces. Needless to say, interviewing is not my favorite after-school activity. This is how I’ve been for every past interview (you can ask my current boss Maya, I was a mess during my interview. Bless her soul for hiring me), but my experience interviewing with City Year was much different.

When I found out I was chosen for an interview I was ecstatic. This was my dream job and I was one step closer to getting. It then hit me very quickly that if I messed up this interview, my dream job would be gone forever and I would live with regret for the rest of my life. I couldn’t eat for 24 hours before the interview because I had put so much pressure on myself about it. I set up my computer in the interview room at Career Services and waited for 15 minutes trying to mentally prepare myself to not screw this up. When Aaron from City Year finally Skype called, I thought I was going to pass out from nerves. (Of course to add to my anxiety my Skype did not work at first). The first thing he said to me was to not be nervous, this interview was just a process of getting to know me. I externally thanked him but internally all I could think was “that’s easy for you to say, you’ve already got the job.” But as the interview went on, the more and more I enjoyed it. It was much less forced than any other interview I had been a part of because it felt like a real conversation. He of course asked me questions about my experiences, philosophies on education, and what I would do in certain situations (it was still an interview after all), but he would after he listened to my answer, he would tell his own stories from his experiences. We would play off of each other’s stories rather than it just being a one-sided interrogation. The hour flew by and before I knew it, the interview was over. For those of you on the edge of your seat wondering if I got the job, I did. I’m moving up to San Jose in July to begin my year of service as a City Year Corp Member. And I think the reason I got this job was because the interview went so smoothly and I was able to actually be myself during the interview with City Year rather than a feeling like a suspect being interrogated.


Blog written by Rachel Barnes. Rachel Barnes graduated from UCSB in June 2016 and will be joining City Year as a Corps Member this summer!