Let me tell you about the interview that DID NOT go so well…

I was fortunate to find a post on Facebook about a job opening near me.  I asked about it and got the contact information for the clinic director.  I set up an interview for Monday (yesterday).  I was not all that excited about the interview.  I was so happy with my interview from Thursday and was pretty much 100% convinced that if I got an offer there I would take it.  Only problem was that I didn’t know if I would hear back and get the job.  I had to continue interviewing just in case.

I got to the clinic and arrived 10 minutes early.  I had been arriving 15 minutes early to other clinics but was finding that I ended up waiting almost the full 15 minutes because the person was out at lunch.  There was also the possibility that the PT would be with a patient so I felt like 10 minutes early was the most appropriate without making anyone feel rushed.

I met my interviewer and could tell very quickly that this was going to be another legitimate interview.  She seemed very serious and straight to the point.  I am not going to lie, I was very much caught off guard by just how serious she was.  So for the first time I started feeling very nervous.  I bumbled a bit following some questions.  The interviewer was not incredibly talkative so I felt a little awkward and would fill the silence with things like, “that’s awesome”.  I was thrown by some questions I had not been asked before which gave me a better idea of how to prepare for next time.   I did not think I did that great at all, but I didn’t think it was horrible.  Still, though, I walked away knowing I was not going to get the job.  And I was okay with that.  I want to be in a very positive, fun environment for patients and PTs and I did not get that feeling from this clinic.

Fast forward to this morning.  I am about to head into the clinic that I’m doing per diem at.  It’s 7:50 am and I decide to check my email.  The clinic opens at 8 am but nobody shows up to let me in until right at 8 (which is frustrating because I’d be there 30 min early if I could!). I notice I have gotten a message from the place I had interviewed at yesterday.  I was told at the end of my interview that she still had a few more people to interview and that she would contact me by the end of the week.  The fact that I was receiving an email the very next morning pretty much indicated to me that I would not be getting the job.  Okay, let’s just open the email and cross it off my list and move on…easy enough…

Nope.  I got a pretty long email that started off completely okay.  Basically, she had found another candidate and wanted to go with that person.  Okay, makes sense.  But following that very small paragraph was a rather long paragraph about how I was not dressed professionally (I was wearing a pair of nice slacks, appropriate flats, and a nice blouse…basically what I’ve been wearing to every interview) and I did not speak professionally.  She did not like my goals….actually, she really didn’t seem to like much about what I said or did.  I started crying.  I knew it wasn’t a great interview.  I didn’t expect to get the job.  I understood she was trying to give constructive feedback.  But unprofessional?! I was so mortified by the fact that I could ever come off as unprofessional.  Nervous, yes.  But unprofessional!  I felt horrible and embarrassed that I came off that way.  I also felt like I was going to be one of those people that employers end up telling everyone about…”Yea, and this girl came in wearing a blouse instead of suit….and she said ‘awesome’…and had dumb goals.”  Ugh.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m taking all of the advice to heart.  I just wish she had at least thrown in ONE positive thing about me rather than a whole list of negative things.  I do tend to be very hard on myself as it is, so I knew that this was going to be rough on me.

I had to pull myself together.  I had a patient scheduled in 5 minutes.  So I got out of my car and tried to shrug it off.  Still, though, I was bothered with thoughts of “well…am I good enough to be a PT?!” and “do I come off as unprofessional with my patients?  Has my approach been all wrong.  Everyone seems to have a good time in therapy.  What if I’m this unprofessional person and I don’t even know it?!”  And all of a sudden, I felt like the girl on the Bachelor (yes, I watch the Bachelor).  The girl that left the mansion because being surrounded by all these other women with bright personalities made her question her own.  Is my personality okay?  Do I overdo it sometimes?

I got into the clinic and started seeing patients.  After seeing a few of them, I was able to shake off the bad thoughts and just focus on myself and my patients.  And there were little blips of encouragement in the day that let me know that I am on the right track.  For instance, my patient with spondylolisthesis (who has been in pain for 6 months and had seen 2 other PTs at 2 different clinics…for 14 visits and who was told that he is a candidate for surgery) is feeling the best he has felt these last 6 months.  He told me I’ve done more for him than any other PT had and thanked me for it.  I did that.  And it’s the greatest feeling in the world.

And then I got the call….