Well, it was time to cross that bridge! I had gone through my second interview at the financial institution, this time with the head of the department, and I was still utterly distraught over whether or not I was interested in the position.
I could tell they liked me, and who wouldn’t, with my captivating personality and impeccable manners? But would I be a good fit for this position? If that question wasn’t weighing on my mind before the interview, it sure was after, since I was asked approximately six times if I felt I would be happy doing something so different from interior design. Of course, I am a master interviewee… and so, somehow I convinced THEM that yes, I would like writing financial proposals. I compared writing about mutual funds to specifying systems furniture; both professions require attention to detail, have a very specific technical terminology and require an eye for finding mistakes. Little interview tip here: when in doubt, pull from your work experiences to demonstrate your mad skills.
There I was again, leaving the building on a sunny afternoon, confused, with potentially two more interviews to go—confident that I could be a final candidate for this position but not confident that I wanted it to go that far.
Most people were telling me to just do it, at least it would be a job and I was lucky to have an interview at all. This, though true, was frustrating. I was out of work not even two months and this was the best I could hope for? Was I not allowed to want something more just because we were in a recession?
Others, though few and far between, told me to hold out. Why compromise so early in the game? If there were other positions out there I wanted to pursue, then I should do so. I should fight for my dreams because things were starting to turn around. One comrade even said that most companies were waiting for fourth quarter to hire… which sounded legit enough for me to believe.
I decided, after an agonizing four days of deep introspection, that there was enough doubt in my head (and heart) to warrant bowing out of the interview process. If anyone needs some tips on how to do this (which any sane person will not), my letter went something like this:
I’ve spent the weekend seriously considering this position, and it is with mixed feelings that I’m writing to tell you I’ve decided not to continue with the interview process. I want to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity you gave me, despite my lack of proposal writing experience. I really feel like you and I connected right away, and I think that’s why I have been having such a hard time figuring out whether or not this position is right for me, or if I would be right for your department. I could see us working well together, and the team was welcoming, honest and made up of good-natured people.
Overall, though, I’m not convinced that it’s the right fit. Ideally I’d like a career that builds on my creative background while providing compensation that’s comparable to my previous position. With these factors in mind, I feel it’s necessary to step back and let the other candidates move forward.
In any case, I would love to stay in contact, and perhaps get a drink or coffee sometime so I can learn more about your experiences as a writer. Again, thank you so much for the opportunity to interview with your team.