Friday, November 19, 2010

Interviews & the City

Phew! I'm back, I'm back! I'm sad to be away from Chicago but glad that I don't have to be nervous anymore. If you're wondering about the job, I don't know the answer yet. I interviewed and will know the outcome when they make a decision.

I landed in Chicago Wednesday morning to prepare for my Thursday interviews downtown. Up until Monday afternoon, the remainder of that day was to be utilized for sight seeing and downtime. However, the HR rep determined that it would be the most beneficial for me to interview at the Suburban office all day instead. So it was goodbye tourist and hello fresh-off-the-plane candidate.

Thus, Wednesday became a day full of suits, resumes, credentials and hand shakes. Though I was elated to interview as many times as I could, I can't lie that flying 2,000 miles on a plane, landing and using an automobile and train to get to an office made me a bit tired. But when it was done, I felt accomplished and ready to tackle the big interview downtown on Thursday.

But not without a little Wednesday treat for myself. After a long train ride downtown and checking into my hotel, I put on my best cold air attire and headed off into the night for a date with myself. The restaurant I picked was adorned with Christmas decorations and I gleefully enjoyed dinner surrounded by happy parties conversing and sipping wine.

As I walked around the city after dinner, I couldn't help but envision myself living there. The vitality and beauty of Chicago absolutely astounds me. I had the best time in the frigid air admiring the architecture and the lights but before I knew it, it was time for bed as the entire reason for my trip rested on Thursday, where I had the mack daddy of interviews downtown.

Thursday morning had me beyond nervous. I woke up knowing that today was the day I have relentlessly thought about over and over and over. Usually my daily itinerary includes work, gym, internet, tea... today it was wake-up in downtown Chicago and head to huge skyscraper for day of interviews- say what!

I arrived at the office 20 minutes early and instead of heading to the top to the suite to check-in, I spent about 10 minutes in the ground level lobby. It was hard not to soak up the atmosphere, it was a huge urban lobby adorned with wreaths and poinsettias with coffee shops and dozens of gabbing professionals in exquisite suits passing by discussing the events of their day. I couldn't help but feel like I was in a Meg Ryan Christmas movie, I wanted to be a part of this life.

Well, to make a long story short. The interviews went well, really well. I connected with the interviewers and feel confident and happy with my performance. The only drawback? They are interviewing all day today and I know my competition is fierce. So that leaves me with knowing that I did all I could do and made a great impression, I just hope it was enough to separate myself from the other candidates.

Though I obviously want this job immensely, today, I can't help but feel happy to just have the experience I had. I guess these feelings came to fruition as I left the interview on Thursday. I walked out of the lobby of a huge, downtown, Chicago skyscraper wondering if I really did just have a job interview in a corner office overlooking the city or if I just dreamt that?

So, I hope, hope, hope I get this job... I know I have what it takes and I hope my strong interviews were enough to leverage myself to that point because Chicago is an amazing city full of sports, kind people and contemporary culture. Though there wasn't time for formal sight seeing, here are some pictures I took during my short visit (and you can easily tell what I wore on my own time and what I was wearing for the work related aspects):

{Off to get food the morning of my big interview. One of the few times I was in Chicago where I wasn't forced to be in a business suit!}

{Post interview walking}

I can summarize the Chicago culture with this story. As I boarded the train Wednesday to head to my hotel, I struggled to lift my huge bag onto the platform steps. One of the rail employees came rushing over and said "I got that Miss" and lifted it with ease onto the train for me. As I turned to hand him a tip he said: "Oh c'mon now, that just insults me as a Gentleman. I can't help a lady with her bag anymore?"

I smiled with surprise and headed back to my seat, hoping it's not the last time I experience the generous spirit of the Midwest.

(PS Yes, I've decided to keep the pink thing. Eeps)

PS - real life friends and blog friends... and especially The Boy, thank you for your support! It has meant a lot.

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Unknown said...

Still got my fingers crossed for you - but by the sounds of things you did an amazing job and wont be needing too much of my luck ;)

Claire Kiefer said...

What an exciting time; I'm crossing my fingers that you get the job and find your way to the city you're dreaming about! And I just read your post about the rabbit fur . . . so here's the thing. I'm a vegetarian and I love animals and abhor animal cruelty. So my theory is: if it's thrifted, it's okay, because the fur industry is not benefiting from your purchase. I would never purchase leather or fur new, because that would directly "encourage" the industry and practice, but when you buy it thrifted, it already exists, you know what I mean?

In any case, you look adorable and it seems that you had a blast! xo

Kara said...

I've been thinking about you for sure!! Definitely sending good luck vibes your way. I'm not a huge fan of Chicago but we've discussed this - I've only been at the beginning of January when it was UNREALISTICALLY COLD. I definitely need to go back for more than 2 days and certainly not in the winter ;)

Keep us updated AS SOON AS YOU KNOW about the job!!!

Slamdunk said...

Glad to hear that you performed so well under the pressure-filled circumstances. Welcome back and I hope you get some time to recover.

Anonymous said...

I hope you get good news!

o said...

Welcome back, Caitlin! I'm glad to hear that ur interviews went well:) Got my fingers crossed for ya;) I love the train story above, btw! Have a great weekend!

Leia said...

Oh Caitlin, I am wishing with all my heart that you get to move to Chicago! I'm sure the interviews went well and I'm crossing my fingers that you hear some good news very soon. That story about the man helping you with your bag is kind of unbelievable! In London, no one would think twice to help out a lady - even if she has a baby or small child with her - and in Bangladesh, people are eager to help but only because they're hoping for a tip. It's so nice to hear that genuinely good and helpful people still exist!

You look so stylish and beautiful in all these photos... and even though I know how hard it was for you to decide whether or not to keep the pink thing, and even though I love animals dearly, I have to admit it looks awesome on you! I want a vegetarian version! :P

Have a splendid weekend!


daisychain said...

I have my fingers crossed for you!

Alison Kinsey said...

this post made me tremendously happy for you!! you clearly nailed the interviews and i soooo hope that you get the job!!
it sounds like you're interviewing for a really big position! if you don't mind me asking, would it be a big promotion for you? :)
Chicago really is a vibrant, fun city! i've been before in November and i loved seeing all of the holiday decorations. let us know the BIG news whenever you find out!!! :)

Panty Buns said...

I read this post last night back but wasn't awake enough to coherently comment, being sleepy and too distracted by all the stray thoughts and fantasies I was having reading about your latest odyssey. First came a strong feeling of déjà vu (are you sure Chicago isn't part of "The Matrix"?), a feeling of being exhausted just reading about your trip, and then getting lost in my typically inappropriate fantasies and thoughts, i.e.: CFNM and wondering whether that spot (on the roof?) across from the Chicago SunTimes would be a good place to get photographed doing lingerie modeling.. probably a bit cold. I wonder if there is much public lingerie modeling done in the "Windy City".
The photos of Chicago are fascinating. I've never been there. It looks like there's so much to do.
I'm sure you interviewed well. How many interviews did you have?
All the photos of Chicago are beautiful.
Best of luck. That was quite a trip.

Grumpy old man said...

Hmmm Cailin, I can almost feel your anxiety, I hear your heartbeat, and the fact that you know you have done your best, I think will pull if through for you. I have no doubt in my mind that you are the perfect candidate for the position. Not sure what you need to qualify, but I know you have loads of potential, you have unequaled style, and you look amazingly presentable. You certainly have excellent skills of conveying facts, so I am confident that you will make it.

You have to keep in mind, everything happens for a reason, and if for what ever reason you do not get it, there will be a reason why not, and maybe only because you are better qualified for something better.

The pics you took are amazingly beautiful, I always thought of Chicago as a dirty, crime infested city, maybe because of the song about 'the night Chicago died...' Was it called Ma Baker by Bony M? I think so...

Thanks for the kind comment you left on my last post, really appreciate your open and honest thoughts.

Best wishes, and hopefully you will post an answer to the outcome as soon as you know.

Have a lovely day.

Arantxa Chavarria said...

Caitlin I really, really hope you get the job! You totaly deserve it... I bet it was a crazy time and now that you think about it it feels like it was yesterday. You look amazing in a suit, you can pull it off girl! and love the other outfits =D


cute blog! I’ll follow you!
I have a fashion blog too, I hope u'll be one of my followers on bloglovin:-)

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

Caitlin, this post made me feel happy and for that I am thankful! Happy for you and for how you treated this experience - so cool to read about someone who's able to enjoy what is there at the moment instead of nervously waitign for the answer. Great pictures and a great ending story too - you totally make me want to visit Chicago!!!

Unknown said...

Hey, Glad that things went find and I'm sure it will soon when you will be moving to Chicago :)
I don't know but I feel like its a sure thing that you will move to Chicago...Good Luck.

Amanda @ Life with A.Co said...

WOW!! Look at you, all grown up - I'm soo happy for you, C! :)

My fingers are crossed super tight in hopes you get the job. I can't imagine how nerve-wracking it must have been. However, sounds like you aced it, and either way, it's excellent experience under your belt.

The 'pink thing' is uber cute. And ow-ow! those OTK boots are fab, they look so pulled together, chic AND comf. Where from?

Keep us posted!!!!

A.Co @ A.Co est. 1984

Kobrah Black said...

I never knew Chicago was sooooo beautiful! What pictures! My eyes were like: Can we go there? We wanna see upclose! lol.Going on a trip is always an adventure.
Here is mine: I almost died that day, thank god I had a video camera with me.

Finder said...

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Nathalie said...

Oh wow, such an exciting week for you! I am really so curious how it will turn out for you. Still, you really already made a move that you can be proud of. And I am sure you made a lasting impression. Chicago seems to be so fantastic and I really "want to go to there" :)
I wish you all the best for the job!

Marian said...

Keeping my fingers crossed for you!! Sounds like such an amazing opportunity!! Lots of positive vibes for you girlie girl!!

Mari said...

You belong in chicago- one way or another it will happen for you love. I am so excited for you and praying that if this is it for you that it happens!

this free bird said...

Wishing you so, so, SO MUCH LUCK!! Chicago looks good on does the pink "thing" YAY!!!


Ashleigh said...

You latest post led me here and I couldn't help relating to this in every way! As someone who took a similiar path I wish you the best of luck and know that the right thing will work out for you here. People with determination cannot fail!!

This sentence totally got me - I remember feeling the same thing! I walked out of the lobby of a huge, downtown 'Chicago skyscraper wondering if I really did just have a job interview in a corner office overlooking the city or if I just dreamt that?'

Chicago has an amazing energy and I've adored living here. I'm new to your blog so I'm just getting caught up, not sure what type of job you are looking for but please let me know if I can help out!