Writing this blog post kind of reminds me of that feeling you get when you see all your favorite cousins for the first time at the family reunion — it’s been a minute, and I got so much to tell y’all.
So basically, May has been a busy month for me (hence why I’ve been slacking on the posts lately). My family and I went to DC a couple of weeks ago to witness my amazing sister, Erin Ashley Winters (full government necessary), receive her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from my beloved alma mater, Howard University. As I stated in a rather sentimental Facebook post, Erin came to HU the same year I graduated back in 2012 and took ish to a whole ‘nother level. From studying abroad in South Africa, to moderating a live webcast with the president of Howard University, to being appointed to cover the White House Canada State Visit, to graduating Magna Cum Laude with a 3.7 cumulative GPA, to earning THE TOP JOURNALISM AWARD FROM THE SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATIONS (YES, I AM BRAGGING), this girl has truly outdone herself and I couldn’t be more proud of her.
Oh yeah, Uncle O and Grandma Cicely came through to show some love, too.
I honestly can’t put into words how amazing Obama’s commencement speech was, so I’ll just sit it right here for y’all to watch in your spare time. You’re welcome.
As if graduation wasn’t already enough on its own, I somehow managed to hop on an early-morning flight from DC to California that Sunday for a job interview with Google the next day. Now, I can guess what you’re probably thinking right now:
Wow, Google?!?! That’s so awesome!! Did she get the job?
Man, that’s too bad. Well, she still has a job, right?
So why is she writing a very public blog post about another job she interviewed for and didn’t get?
Because it’s Google. And landing an interview with Google — whether you got the job or not — is a pretty big frigging deal.
But if it serves as any consolation, I didn’t even apply for the job. A recruiter tracked me down a while back (shoutout to my LinkedIn profile) and said she thought I would be a great fit for this tech support writer position that opened up at their headquarters in Cali. After passing the required writing test and making it through two rounds of interviews, I was invited to come on site to meet the team I’d potentially be working with.
At this point, I’m thinking I’m more than likely going to get the job. But to be real with y’all, I didn’t know how to feel about it. I mean, I never had any thoughts or intentions of living on the West Coast, so the possibility of me having to pick up and move across the country to start a new job and essentially, a new life there, freaked me out a little bit. But I figured maybe this was a sign from God that it was time for me to step out on faith and outside of my comfort zone. I’ve been home since I graduated from Howard, so maybe this was my season to spread my wings and experience something new and different. Plus, I’m still young, single and offspring-free, so I might as well give it a shot, right? Besides, how often do you get a call from Google offering to fly you out to their headquarters in California, all expenses paid? Yeah. Never.
So I went. Once I got settled into my hotel, I met up with a couple of folk I went to school with who work there. They gave me some advice about interviewing and working for Google and showed me around the San Francisco Bay Area. I was having such a good time that I almost forgot about my interview the next day.
Long story short, the whole thing was not at all what I expected. I’m thinking this was gonna be some sort of friendly team meet-and-greet Q&A type of setup. I mean after all, I’d already gone through two rounds of interviews AND passed the writing test required for the position, which I was told doesn’t happen too often. But the actual interview lasted two hours, I met with four different people back to back *Drake voice* with no breaks in between, and each person asked me about 25 minutes worth of
insanrelyridiculouscrazy questions. By the time the interview was over, I had a legit headache. That ish was the most intense thing I’ve ever experienced, and I honestly still don’t remember any of the questions I was asked. I walked out of there feeling like my intellectuality had been violated (which is NOT a good feeling).
After the interview, I sat in the parking lot for about 20 minutes trying to gather my thoughts. I was mentally exhausted. On top of that, I kept getting texts and phone calls from my family and friends trying to find out how the interview went. I simply told them I couldn’t talk about it. I wasn’t trying to be rude, but I literally. Could not. Talk. About it. All I could do was track down the nearest Chick-Fil-A, savagely devour it in the comfort of my hotel room, and go to sleep. Two days after the interview, I received a call saying I didn’t get the job. And y’all wanna hear something funny? That was the exact same day I started talking to people about how the interview went. :/
I didn’t receive
any much feedback about why I didn’t get the job, but I obviously bombed the interview. And I can’t even front — my pride was hurt. I dropped a couple thug tears. But after I got out of my feelings, there were a few things I realized from this whole experience:
- Never tell your entire family about a job interview until you actually get the job. Ever. Even if you’ve already made it to the third round. And even if it’s Google.
- Never underestimate the third round. Even though it’s generally not the craziest, toughest, mind-boggling round of interviews (it’s actually usually the complete opposite). And even if you’ve accurately proven that you have all the necessary skills and qualifications for the position by successfully passing two rounds of interviews and a skills-based writing test. And EVEN IF the current percentage of African Americans working at Google is 2%, the percentage of women is 30%, and you’re a black woman, so the company may actually be looking to improve its diversity. Then again, maybe not.
- Take rejection with class and confidence. Just because you didn’t get the job doesn’t mean you weren’t smart or capable enough to do it. It just means that it wasn’t the job for you. And that’s okay. You were obviously qualified enough to have made it this far. The main thing is, you gave it your best shot. And the best part is, you got a free trip to San Francisco out of it. 🙂 So with all that being said…
Thanks, Google. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity and experience.