Valuable Lessons: Always Be Prepared and Read!

I was scheduled for two podcast interviews. The first was regarding my book, I Did It . . . You Can, Too! and the second was about my success as an immigrant coming to the United States with limited education, going back to school at age 44 and with God’s help, landed a prestigious federal job.

After making arrangements with the hosts, I received confirmation emails. The first host collected my information and said he would call me at the arranged time. The second host sent me an email with a link to join the call. At my job, one of my tasks is setting up meetings and sending links to participants, so you may think I would be accustomed and utilize the link I was sent, appropriately. Well, that didn’t happen. I forgot everything about receiving the link and on the day prior to the interviews, thinking that the second interview would also be done via telephone, I emailed the second host, confirming that he would be calling me. Media personnel are extremely busy, so I received no answer to my email.

On the day of the interviews, arriving home from work, expecting both interviews to be conducted via telephone, I changed into my comfortable pajamas, undid my hair and threw myself across the bed, browsing through content for the interview.

The first call came and the interview went well. It went so well that a few days later, after thanking the host via email for having me on his show, I asked him what I could have done better. He responded, “You did very well. You are an inspiration to more people than you know.”

Well, on that same day at 5:15 p.m. it was time for the second interview. I was waiting for my telephone to ring but it didn’t. After waiting for ten minutes, I became concerned and began scrolling through my email, looking for the confirmation email I had received. I found the email and there was the Zoom link I was sent to join the meeting. I panicked. Clicking on the link, I saw a telephone number and a prompt that said start your camera. I was alarmed, but I took some deep breaths and dialed the number. Immediately, the host answered the telephone:

“Hi Fiona, I just sent you another link as a reminder, I thought you forgot the interview.”

I never felt more stupid, trying to apologize. “Can you turn on your camera?” he asked.

Oops! “Not right now, I am not prepared for camera. I thought it would be a telephone interview . . .”

“How long do you need to be ready for camera?” He asked.

“Five minutes.”

“That’s fine.”

I was off the telephone.

“De-Ann, you have to help me, “ I called to my younger daughter who was home for Mother’s Day. “My interview is via video and I have to get myself together in five minutes.”

Whew! For the first time I was thankful I hardly do make-up and jewelry. I quickly pulled on a dress and jacket, dusted my face with some powder, couldn’t find the eye liner for my scanty eyebrows, pulled my hair back, added my pony tail and I was almost ready.

“Where do I sit for the video?” I asked my daughter, looking around. Thanks to my husband, there is hardly any vacant wall in our home. Anyway, thanks to him too, we have a small portable, sit-stand desk. Dragging it along with the office chair out of the middle bedroom, I positioned it at the top of the stairs in the hallway, sat down and was ready for the interview, nothing short of frazzled.

I cannot report that this second interview went well, but I survived it. I am still to see the video.

So, you got my message, right? This lesson learned is not just for an interview, but also for your education and whatever you may set out to accomplish in life. Be always prepared. Read information that comes to you, be proactive and don’t wait until the last minute to get things together.

This semester is soon over. Are you thinking about going back to school or to start something new? Be sure to have all your paper work in place. Schedule that interview, make that telephone call, read correspondence sent to you and do what needs to be done. Don’t be caught off-guard like I was.


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