From Interviewee to Interviewer
Two years ago I was in the same position many of the applicants were in last week. I desperately wanted to be in QUEST, but I knew how competitive it was. I spent so much time perfecting my application and thinking about what kind of questions they may ask. How would I exude confidence and leadership while simultaneously being a team player? Where was the line between taking initiative by answering questions first and seeming too overpowering? ….I might have overthought the interview a bit…
Honestly, the actual interview didn’t help my nerves. I thought I did well but I also thought the people in my group were so extremely impressive. How was I to compete?! I was right about that first part, everyone in my group was accepted into QUEST and I still find them to be incredibly impressive. But, turns out I was impressive enough too and made it into QUEST. I didn’t fully know what was ahead but I knew I was excited. I couldn’t wait to begin my journey with QUEST.
Fast forward two years and now I am on the other side of the interview. I knew a few people applying and could see the same thoughts in my head two years ago running through theirs. I was so excited for them. Being an interviewer, I got to understand how QUEST evaluates the applicants and all the behind the scenes work. As I conducted the interview I remembered to be impartial and accurate but also fair and compassionate. I was incredibly worried going into the interview, so I imagine many of them were too. Maybe they were worried about seeming too aggressive so they toned it down for the interview to the point where their ideas weren’t heard as much. Maybe they were just plain nervous.
I really enjoy that QUEST allows current students to take part in the interview. I think it is really important that the whole community gets to provide input of the future of the program. This year’s pool of candidates were impressive (maybe even more so than years past). With each new cohort, I keep seeing the program grow and grow. Not just in obvious size, but in talent, drive, and creativity. It is really rewarding to be a part of this always improving program. I highly recommend that students get involved in this process next year.
I can’t wait to welcome all the new members of cohort 23 and 24. The QUEST program is already amazing and the new students will only add to it.