Interviewing Abroad: The Ups and Downs of Tackling Hiring Season from Amsterdam

Mallory Brander
May 6, 2022

“So, tell me a little bit about yourself,” says the interviewer on the Eastern Standard Time side of the zoom-iverse. I fidget with the draw string on my sweatpants that are just out of the frame and accompanied by a freshly-ironed button-up as I rattle off my academic and past internship experiences and my experience studying abroad. “Oh wow! Amsterdam! What has that been like! What time is it there?”

I know, I know, interviews are just about the last thing anyone wants to be thinking about while they’re abroad, but for some, it’s a necessary evil. Zoom interviews are strange, stressful, and supremely awkward enough as it is, but add the extra caveat of trying to schedule them with an 8 hour time difference in a whole new city, and you’ve got a recipe for complete panic. But before you absolutely flip your sh*t, I have a few tips that saved me from complete and utter panic attacks in the wake of hiring season. 

Firstly, prepare, prepare, prepare. This is true of any interview, but as I was taking the calls from precarious nooks in my student housing, I knew I would at least be able to control my prep.  Having the foundation of knowledge about the industry, company, and position I would be interviewing for was a mammoth part of putting me at ease. Second, and possibly equally as important, make a routine. After the first four or five interviews that I took from my lovely student housing conference rooms, I got into somewhat of a rhythm with it. My routine consisted of making myself a cup of tea, setting up in my specific spot in the private conference rooms, and putting on my one and only “business casual” shirt that I packed. And I do mean…one and only…

You might be thinking: why not just buy another collared shirt? Well, first of all, we are not about supporting that fast-fashion mindset in this blog. Second, I’ll admit it, I’m a deeply superstitious person and probably thought that this shirt brought me some sort of luck. Thirdly, it truly did become a part of my ever-valuable pre-interview routine. Once I threw that shirt on, I was in the interview mindset.

This is what worked for me, but it is all about finding the routine that works for you; whether that be making a cup of tea, doing a little dance before you press the “join” button, pounding a Redbull, or setting up your perfect zoom background. The interview process can be hugely intimidating, but it’s also a hugely important and exciting learning process. Once you find the right company, it’s cheesy I know, but it can even be fun.

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Mallory Brander

<p>Hey everyone! I'm Mallory, a 20 year old originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I'm currently a junior at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in Business and minoring in Social and Economic Justice as well as studio art. I'm a people person who loves all things travel so I'm beyond ecstatic to be studying abroad in Amsterdam this spring!</p>

Home University:
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Tulsa, OK
Business Administration
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