The interview I blew while on H4 visa

Well, I had just begun looking for work on while still on H4 visa. Looking formally, that is, beyond the ‘office and friends of my husband’ route. BTW, in my opinion, that is one of the most effective routes, but my line of work was different from my husbands’. Anyway, I began networking, a little bit like I say here. I didnt know what I know now about jobs here, so it was very amateurish networking. But after a couple of visits to a local networking group and some follow up, a guy I had met said ‘lets get together for lunch’. I was delighted. Maybe there was an opportunity here. I dressed as well as I could. I reached 15 minutes before time at the restaurant. I waited and the guy, lets cal him Ralph, came. He was in his mid forties, thin, blond, round glasses.  We were led to our table. My first comment ‘ I have never been to such a restaurant. It looks like a nice place’ . Pretty harmless? Well, I think not, when you are trying to pass off as less of a newbie star struck by American culture.

Then we moved on to talking about life. His kids, what they do. I was understandably blank. I tried to make the correct responses. I knew nothing about kids soccer games, so I launched into a description of soccer in India, informal, on the street. Interesting, to be sure, but again the newbie touch…

Then we talked work. I explained why I had left my job to come to the US to be with my husband. I talked of what kind of jobs I could do – and I mentioned ‘I can do this also, that also, and the third thing’. Again, I think a mistake – I needed to be more sure of what I can do, and not do . This helped me in later interviews.

Then my chicken salad croissant, a huge affair, dripping mayo arrived. It was very difficult to eat! I was distracted. Should I eat or talk? Is there something stuck in my teeth? It was very tasty. Maybe I should just eat and listen. Now, I scan the menu to see what would be the easiest to eat and not a distraction. Then, I ate everything I paid for 🙂 I had also not learnt that it was acceptable to leave a lot back on my plate.

Anyway, we kept talking about work and I started describing what I would like from a job. Another mistake – its not just about what you would like, but what you can do about the company! Now, the reason I spent time on what I would like is to show that I understood the culture in the US. But again, not the right thing.

At the end of our lunch, he mentioned that ‘It was nice meeting me. and he had a delightful lunch’.

I believed him. And it was probably true. But no job came of it. Later I met the guy he had ultimately hired. Apparently, he wanted someone he could be comfortable with

Last 5 posts by Amrita Bakshi


  1. Aparna

    My first interview here in U.S was with a technical recruiter..I was so nervous that I was babbling the whole time..No job came after that one either..

  2. T

    Hi Amrita!
    It’s heartening to read that you did start working again. Congratulations! I come from an unconventional field and worry about finding a job in my field. I am a tad bit curious to know if you found a job in IT or something else, if it’s not too much to ask.
    Luck with everything 

  3. Deepti

    hey amrita superb blog for sure a good writeup…must have taken you enormous effort but its all so very useful..cngratualtions on being back to workforce could u suggest how u went about job search any nice tips on nonprofits organizations…………im disheartened but yr writeup shows a streak of light thanks 

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