Published Mar 2, 2004

I had my phone interview with Kenan-Flagler today. There were ups, and there were downs, and the person who interviewed me was skilled at her job. It went ok — not great, but ok. All in all, I’d never recommend that anybody else choose a phone interview over any other alternative.

It’s not just that the interview is over the phone. Certainly, the phone adds many obstacles; simply being so far from the interviewer makes it much harder to make a personal connection. With all nonverbal cues gone, who knows when you’re making your point and when you’re talking at a poor, sad, bored interviewer? Worst of all, we spoke over each other from time to time as, unable to see the other about to speak, one of us began to talk before the other was done.

And, beyond that, the phone environment is bad. I took my interview at work, and that was a horrible error. I worried about talking too loudly and bothering my neighbors (or, worse, letting them in on some classified item). My interviewer heard ringing phones and the PA and various and sundry office noises. It was hard to concentrate for both of us.

Like I said, I think the interview went reasonably well. I was moderately coherent and answered the questions asked. I had a few moderately interesting questions to ask. I think I sounded unique. I was reasonably well-prepped and conversant with both my overall key points and, in specific, my essays. Certainly a good first step. I’ll perform better at my next interview, although this was an expensive way to practice. I don’t think I got myself in, but I don’t think I eliminated myself either. Hopefully the rest of my application is strong enough that, in a few months, I’ll be weighing a move to North Carolina along with my other options.