There's nothing worse than circumstances you can't control ruining your dream interview, and that's exactly what happened when Jena Viviano, who is now a career coach, interviewed for a business analyst position at the New York Stock Exchange.
"The interview was at 8 a.m., and the night prior I had been working in my investment banking job until 2 a.m. on a project. That wasn't the first night that week I had been at work past midnight, either. I went into the NYSE absolutely exhausted with my Blackberry blowing up from all the people emailing me at my current job."
Needless to say, she went into the room unprepared and off her game. "When one of the managing directors asked me a question, I started tearing up because I couldn't think straight. Then when she asked me a technical question that I usually would've been able to answer, I just turned to her and said, 'I just really have no idea.' Not my proudest moment."
"Between the crying, the exhaustion, the inability to answer simple questions, and my heel breaking right before I stepped foot into the building, it's amazing to me that I got the job," she says. Still, the interviewers saw something in Viviano that convinced them she was a good fit.
"Though they didn't specifically tell me, I think it was a combination of my authenticity, coachability, potential and strong enough background that they wanted to bring me in one more time to see if I would be a good fit. Plus, many of the people I interviewed with understood what I was going through because they too had been investment bankers. I always joked with my boss that he 'rescued' me from investment banking and that I was eternally grateful."