Hello from the other side



I bought a felt pad for my cup to save my desk from water-rings. So grown-up.

A little more than two years ago, I still wrote applications for internships. A little more than a year ago, I wrote applications for jobs. In total, I applied to 166 positions, so the whole CV writing and sprinkling potential buzz words is very familiar. I can deliver an elevator pitch about my own background in my sleep and I always have a question up my sleeve when the interviewer asks, “Well, do you have any further questions?” I’ve been there so long, the applicant’s side is my domain. (Which doesn’t neccessarily mean I love it so much or am so unbeatably excellent at it.)

Suddenly, I find myself on the other side these days. No, I don’t get to make all the staffing decisions at work but we are looking for an intern for the summer and I am in charge of finding her/him. What a funny feeling! Reading through applications, marvelling at excellent work experience, spotting obvious copy-paste letters, frowning at academic underachievement, favoring intuitively history graduates or people from Uppsala university.

For the first time ever, I am googling “What to ask applicants in an interview?” (instead of “Which questions to prepare for?”). I am researching if we have to pay travel expenses and struggling with formulating rejections that don’t sound unkind. Did you know there is a German award for “Best Rejection Letter of the Year”?

I have not found an intern yet, but what I already learned is: Being on the other side is easier but not as easy as I thought.

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