The Path to My Dream Job – Chapter 7

As I mentioned before, I had been in the process of firing off numerous applications throughout my dream job hunt. Around the time of my Hunger Academy rejection, I had a chance to interview with two companies for UX-type positions. Thankfully, the glimmer of hope that something else might work out kicked out the rejection pretty quickly.

The first company, Alpha-Inc., was a start-up located in San Francisco. The second company, Beta-Inc., was located here in the DC-Metro Area, but was for a more web assistant type position that would allow me to eventually work my way up the ladder. Needless to say, I was secretly hoping for a chance to move to the West Coast and work at a start-up.

The interview process for Alpha-Inc. was quite tough. In addition to multiple interviews (one being with the CEO), there was also a request for a skill demonstration. They asked me to propose a redesign of a feature on their product. I had no deadline since their concern was finding the right people for the company; but at the same time, I knew that Beta-Inc. wanted to make a quick hiring decision. The LAST thing I wanted to do was accept a position with Beta-Inc. and then have to turn around and change my mind in the event that Alpha-Inc. offered me a position.

As a result, I worked my ass off to finish a proposal within that weekend. I do not have much of a design or tech background, but I pulled all the tricks I had in order to send something I could be proud of. (In fact, I even learned how to use a brand new software just for the purposes of hopefully impressing them.) As one usually feels after spending so much effort on something, I couldn’t help but be terribly anxious as I waited for their response. A couple days later, I received the following email:


Can you let Ben know that we will be passing on him. His UX ideas were good, but his design skills are just too junior which isn’t what we are looking for. Thank you though. He had a great attitude!


Jane Doe

All that effort. Poof. To hear that my skills were what stopped me from getting a crazy awesome opportunity was crushing. There were no possible excuses in regards to why I didn’t get it. I knew it was all because I wasn’t good enough. (Yes, I realize I don’t have a graphic design background, but it still sucked.)

So you’re probably thinking, well at least you still have Beta right? Well, you’re absolutely right. I tried to remind myself that I got great feedback on my interview with Beta Inc. and was only up against one other person.

A couple days later, I receive a call from the recruiter,

“Hey Ben. I’m just calling to let you know that the hiring manager decided to go with the other candidate…”


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4 responses to “The Path to My Dream Job – Chapter 7”

  1. butterflyxwings says :

    Oh I hear you on this one! For me, job interviews scare me to no end. I get so nervous I actually feel sick with worry. I can’t sleep well the days before and even though I give myself plenty of time to prepare, I can’t concentrate! On the off-chance that I have all the right skills and write an awesome cover letter, when it comes to interviews, I get so nervous that I can potentially ruin any chances I might have had if I could just learn to calm down and speak clearly. 😦

    • BreakingNorms says :

      Yeah. The interview is probably one of the most nerve racking parts of the whole job hunting process. It definitely ends up being more of a psychological game then anything else. I’m still trying to figure out how to help people optimize their chances in interviews. What are some of your fears of interviewing? Or what aspects of interviewing give you anxiety?

      • butterflyxwings says :

        I focus too much on the end result. I keep thinking, ‘what if they reject me?’ It’s like being on a sports team and being so close to winning you just want to win so badly that it breaks your actual playing skills and you wind up losing. I’m also afraid of being asked a question I have no idea how to answer and knowing me, I start stuttering or pause a little too long. I hope this helps!

    • BreakingNorms says :

      That is definitely a tough situation. I will have to ponder over that one on how one can overcome that obstacle. Thank you sharing!

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