Thursday, May 16, 2013

Interview Experience and First Impressions

Over the last three days I have been to five interviews: Euro TASC, ATA, SecEUR, AEFJN, MEP Peter Stastny. Of the five companies, I am only particularly excited about two (ATA/SecEUR). I had two group interviews with other AU students (Euro TASC and MEP Peter Stastny) and in both the interviewers did not seem too interested in learning much about us. In the case of Euro TASC I felt that I got a good idea of what would be expected of the intern; however it was not particularly clear from our meeting with Peter Stastny’s office.

My interviews with ATA, SecEUR and AEFJN all offered me the opportunity to both sell myself and ask questions about the internship and the organization. These three offices showed genuine interest in my academic/professional background and my expectations of an internship with their company.  The interviewers all clearly explained how I might shape my work with them into something relevant to my interests and skills, and how their office would help me to grow both academically and professionally.  

I've found Brussels to be lovely. I love that I can go around on my own without feeling anxious about a language barrier. The cobblestones are doing a number on my heels but they really add to the charm of the city. And although the weather is expectedly horrible, the rain does fall straight down rather than sideways as in DC, so that’s something. I’m looking forward to exploring the city more soon with my lovely fellow AU students.  


  1. I'm glad to hear that things seem to be going well so far, Cassandra. It sounds like you've already had the full range of interview experiences. Do you think that the group interview format might have somehow adversely impacted or shaped the dynamic of the interview? Have you gone through a group interview before?

    As an aside, those Brussels cobblestones are indeed tough on shoes. Last time I was there I also lost a sole to one of my dress shoes!

    1. I have had one previous group interview experience. It was at the California State Capitol for a paid fellowship position. It was significantly different than what I've experienced so far here in Brussels. The group interview in CA was extremely formal and structured, whereas I feel like the group situation here in Europe led to an almost clumsy interview in which the interviewer did not focus on the individuals. I do feel that if those interviews had been conducted individually, the interviewer would have a much better idea of how I could be of value to their company.

  2. I have to agree with you about the weather. Also, I had really wanted to go on that group interview with an MEP, but after speaking with you all about the format and what it seemed to entail, I don't think the position would really align with my professional interests after all. Also, good call with the new heels purchase in Antwerp.