The Dream Job - Kiersten Modglin Page 0,1

tall, even sitting down, and wore a navy tie with green anchors on it. How was I ever going to remember their names?

“Evie,” the next woman said. With her light brown hair and simple features, she was the plainest of the group, which made me feel better for being so ordinary myself. Still, by most standards, she was breathtaking. They wore high-dollar suits and dresses. Clothes that cost more than I’d make at my old job in a year. I was positive they’d taken one look at my Target blazer and slacks and written me off. The rest of the interview was a formality.

“I’m James,” said the next man, his thick, dark hair sticking up as if he’d walked through a windstorm. Somehow, the wild hair only complemented his classically handsome face.

“I’m Starla,” the last girl said. She was another thin blonde, with hair a shade lighter than mine. They all smiled at me, and as Tanya took her seat, so did I.

“So,” Tanya said, looking over the paper she was holding, “Autumn, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself.”

I tucked my shaking fists into my lap. I’d never been good at interviews. I didn’t do well with pressure, and I tended to overthink everything, a deadly combination in most social situations.

“I, um, well,” I grinned before clearing my throat, “I have an MBA in finance—” With a mountain of student loan debt. “I graduated from Northwestern University.” Barely. “And, well, I recently moved to New York, I love the city, and I’m excited about all that I can offer your company.”

Their warm expressions were reassuring as they jotted down a few notes in unison. When they looked back up, it was Navy Tie Guy who spoke next. I’d already forgotten his name. “An MBA is impressive. Tell us about your experience since graduating. Where have you worked? What brought you to New York?”

I’d dreaded these questions, though I expected they were coming. How was I supposed to tell them that, since graduating, I’d only worked as a waitress and part-time in my county’s library? That I’d made no use of my degree whatsoever? That we only left Chicago because my mom’s doctors were in New York, and she needed the very best. That my dad left us years ago and her aggressive cancer treatments had fallen squarely on my shoulders, financially and emotionally. Those weren’t the kinds of things you brought up in an interview, no matter how true they were.

I sucked in a breath and tried to keep my expression calm and composed, hoping I could work my way around the line of questioning with grace. “New York has always been a place I was interested in living. There’s something magical about this city, isn’t there? When I graduated, I continued working at the restaurant where I’d worked to put myself through college. I wanted to make sure that wherever I started my career was the place I’d want to end it. So, I guess I’ve been picky.” I smiled shyly, hoping they wouldn’t see through the lie. No one has called me. I thought I’d be choosing from multiple job offers by now, raking in over six figures, but I can’t even get a job as an assistant at a wealth management firm because I bomb all my interviews. “I always knew New York was an option, so I took a leap when nothing in Chicago stuck out to me. When I signed up with a staffing agency and they told me about this position, I was intrigued.” I was bluffing. It was a