Today was a FANTASTIC day. I had my NSLI-Y interview, half of the food I was craving, finished my homework in a timely manner, and now I’m about to paint my nails to finish off the perfect day.
This post is mainly about my interview, so let’s get started.
WHAT I WORE
I have been stressing for about a week before the interview about my outfit. A blazer? A dress? Sweater with collared shirt underneath? Skirt? Flats? Booties? Yea. I was stressed.
My sister was kind enough on Saturday to go shopping with me. We stopped by about 4 or 5 different stores until my sister stopped and asked me what look I was exactly going for. I told her that I had asked my teacher for advice on what to wear, and she told me to go for neutral colors, a blazer, a blouse, some dress pants, and flats. While I still wanted a blazer, I didn’t want to seem very overdressed and still wanted a teenager-y feel.
My sister then proceeded to give me some very nice advice. If I were to go in some clothes that I did not feel comfortable in, it would definitely show while I’m being interviewed. I should throw on some of the clothes in my closet and go from there (she mentioned that of all the cute things in my closet, couldn’t I find something decent to wear?).
I realized she was right. Why would I go in there looking like the person I’m not? I’m not a blazer-pants suit person; I’m a cute blouse and some skinny pants and flats person. So, that’s what I did.
I put on my favorite purple-ish blouse, some black pants, and brown/tan flats. This was the outfit I felt most like myself and CONFIDENT.
[NOTE TO FUTURE SEMIFINALISTS: Go in there wearing something you’re confident in! Do not try to impress them with a fancy suit. Nobody in the waiting room came dressed in full-out suits. Girls were wearing simple dresses or a blouse and skirt/pants. Guys had a polo shirt and some khakis. Overdress if you feel confident in it, but go with what YOU want to wear!]
I was able to sit up straight and not have to worry about if I had too much cleavage showing or if my bra straps were very obvious; I already wore this outfit before, so I knew how I looked.
I put my hair in a half-up, half-down style to keep hair out of my face with my locks still flowy. Accessories were minimal: one diamond earring per ear and a black watch. Keep accessories minimal!
ARRIVING AT THE INTERVIEW
My interview time was set to be at 11, but my sister and I arrived with 30 minutes to spare. It was a Sunday School house directly behind a church in Nashville, and there was a AFS sign beside the doorway. When we walked in, the lady who had been emailing me (along with the other semifinalists in my area) greeted us and told us to sign in. We sat down, and about 8~10 minutes later, she called me in.
I read other blogs about how they were required to fill out a questionnaire, but we were only offered some drinks and cookies! Don’t fret about a questionnaire like I did!
THE ACTUAL INTERVIEW
My interviewer and her Thai host daughter led me to a room in the back side of the house. We sat down in little kiddy chairs (it was very informal, which I am very thankful for), and she dove right in.
She did not know a single thing about me since she was not allowed to look at my application. We started off with the basics like where I lived, what school I went to, what extracurricular activities I do, what I do after school, my family, and stuff like that. Not too hard.
Then she started asking some more personal and hypothetical questions. I’ll be honest with you; I was very, very nervous when she asked me. I couldn’t stop saying “um” or “like,” but it didn’t seem to bother her very much. It was pretty much a conversation I would have with an adult who was simply trying to get to know me.
I loved her, and it seemed to me she really liked me as well. She complimented me on my maturity and outer appearance (she called me very attractive :)))))))))))))). When I told her about the various hardships I had to overcome, she seemed to become very attached to me and proud of me.
In all, I think it went very, verrrrrrrrrry well. The atmosphere was very informal which helped me settle in much easier, and I was welcomed with nothing but smiles and cookies.
[To semifinalists reading this, CONGRATULATIONSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! I, along with your family and friends, am very proud of you – my interviewer told me that it is very difficult just to get to the semifinalist stage, so go YOU! Do not fret about your interview; it will go smoothly. Good luck!]