I had a job interview this morning in downtown Los Angeles. If I (knock on wood) get chosen to fill the position, I would definitely have to take public transportation (either train or vanpool) since it’s located about 70 miles away. In other words: too far away for me to want to spend that much time behind the wheel every day. Luckily, there are so many people on the roads that it isn’t hard to find various options for commuting.

My friend Jen works very close to where I was interviewing today, so I contacted her last week about us getting together for lunch. (She lived in the area when she was an undergrad at USC, and she’s been working there for a while as well, so she’s very familiar with the surroundings.) We ended up having lunch at a cute place called the Two-Nine.

Jen is a sweetheart: she called me half an hour before my interview to make sure I was finding my way around the area okay (I did have a bit of trouble finding a place to park, so eventually I had to bite the bullet and park in a $7-per-day lot for the few hours I was there), and she called me again on my way out of town to make sure I knew how to get back to the freeway.

Speaking of interviews in general: Although people make comments and come to snap judgments about others on a regular basis, in most everyday situations strangers don’t sit around discussing your merits (or the lack thereof) for the same length of time. I hadn’t thought about it this way before tonight, but the thought of two people sitting in a room, discussing you after you leave, can be somewhat unnerving.

Then your competition comes along—one person or ten people or whatever the case may be—and you’re compared against them as well. Based on a short amount of time spent together in a small room, they’re deciding who they’d prefer to work/interact with every day (especially when it’s a small department); who they think would do the work the best; their impression of who could be trusted to get the job done. It would be interesting to find out what kind of first impression I leave.

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