1. anticipation. finally, we get to go lasso that steer that is our future. twenty-plus years of preparation for this-- those firms won't know what hit them when the meet... me.
2. shock. ...holy shit. i thought i was on my game, but that first interview was awful. the coffee hadn't kicked in, and i was a blathering idiot (ok, so more so than normal). fortunately, i had about fifteen more interviews that first day, and was able to recover some of my shattered composure.
3. burnout (#1). by the end of the first day (assuming you had more than 3 interviews--otherwise, this happened a bit later, i guess), i've collapsed under the combined weight of class, firm research, journal committments, psychological drain from interviewing, and the vague, creeping dread that is the pro bono requirement. this quadruple-whammy is enough to lay even the best of us low. (especially the best of us, being on law review which has, minimum, double the work of the other three esteemed publications at upls.)
4. reprioritization. specifically, forget reading for class to allow time for binge drinking. this happens around day 2 of the interview process--roughly the first friday. (here at penn, for those outside our dear law school, interviewing started on a thursday)
5. anxiety. it's tuesday, and he hasn't called. it's like fifth grade again, and i'm all aquiver with worry that i'm really worth nothing, nothing at all, and in no time at all i'll be alone, destitute, selling my body on the street for smack.
6. reassurance. a bit into the week, i realize i didn't really need to read anyway, as none of my classmates have read either. (this presents problems for socratic professors, but nobody seems too bothered about that.) also, i've gotten a callback or two, and now feel redeemed in the eyes of my soon-to-be slavedrivers.
7. zone. by the middle of the 2d week, i'd developed an inability to conduct normal speech, instead substituting life lessons, semi-witty truisms and positive spin and forced bubbly enthusiasm for anything anyone else says.
8. burnout (#5) (yeah, i know, this is only the 2d one i've listed, but there were a bunch more of them in there somewhere). i've drowned in the bubbly--all that's left is a hollow shell of a human being, with no soul or true emotion, just a kaleidescopic billboard that projects all manner of focused professionalism tempered by hints of emotional sensitivity and artfully feigned humor, expertly designed to perfectly reflect exactly what those around me want to hear.
9. restoration. after a weekend of hard drinking, i emerge, bleary-eyed, for the next go-round of mindless blather and transcript-passing. do they really give a hot damn about what a nice person i am?
10. resignation. allow me to introduce myself. i'm pork n beans, professional interviewer. i've begun looking forward to those nice light days when i've only one or two interviews scheduled. why did i sign up for those 40 gd interviews again? ah, well. soon, it will all be over, and i can actually start attending class again.
more whining to come...