Tuesday, September 1, 2009

a word on interviews: the awkward edition

It's been awhile since I've participated in Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesday, and it sounds like she might be putting it on hiatus due to her lack of remaining awkward moments.

But fear not. I have loads of awkwardness left to share.

You're welcome.

Today I thought I would pay a tribute to what would be the Mother Ship if awkwardness were an alien life form.

The Job Interview. (Duhhhh, duh dun dun DUNNNN!)

If you're employed (or even if you're not) you've undoubtedly encountered and survived at least one of these in your lifetime, so you know well how strange and discomforting they can be.

Two people, meeting secretly for the first time, to discuss possibly getting paid on a bi-weekly basis for providing a service.

(If you didn't know better, it would sound like a prostitution ring.)

Interviews in and of themselves are awkward. Generally you don't want your boss knowing you're on the take, so when you get chosen for an interview, you must select a crafty place to meet.

Like a crowded Applebee's.

At lunchtime.

14 miles away where no one can find you.

So now you're meeting a stranger in a crowded chain restaurant, and you have one hour to be damn convincing because your boss will never believe your dental appointment took two and a half hours.


It usually gets worse from there.

You spend three hours the evening prior to your interview revving up for dreaded questions like, "What's your biggest weakness?" only to find out that your interviewer is a complete tool box who gets his jollies asking ridiculous interview questions like, "So, Kim. Tell me a joke. But not a dirty one, I'm married."

In reality, interviews are really a way for employer's to see you in person and decide you aren't a psycho with a history of mental problems.

(And also to confirm that you don't smell like B.O.)

Generally after the first meeting, there are subsequent, more official (and relevant) interviews that weed down to that one person that fits the job best.

And you just have to hope it's you.

(I'm not even going to discuss the joy of waiting for a call back.)

I have loads of lovely awkward interview stories, but rather than spell them all out one by one, I'll just give you the highlights of my most awkward interview moments. Please feel free to share if you've got some, too because, after all, we can all learn from each other.

1. At an interview for a grocery store cashier, the manager asked me if I knew how to count change back. I told him yes. He dug some dollar bills and change out of his desk and asked me to show him. Um...

2. At an interview for a chain store in the mall, the manager stopped the interview to poke me with a screwdriver and say, "Hey, wanna screw? HAHAHAHAHA!" She was 72 years old.

3. During an interview for an administrative assistant temp job, I walked in the door and my interviewer greeted me with, "Oh Jesus, another skinny bitch! JAMIE...come see the skinny bitch the temp agency sent over!" (I got the job and became friends with the woman, who was later put in jail for extorting money from the company.)

4. At an interview for a sales position, the interviewer stopped in the middle of the conversation and said, "I don't feel like this is going well. Am I doing something wrong?"

5. At an interview for a seasonal position (which means walk around asking people if they want to open a credit card) at a large electronic company, the HR manager asked if I had any special skills that would further qualify me for this very important position. I believe I said something to the effect of, "This is just a seasonal job, right?"

6. During a post-college interview for my first real career job, the interviewer shared that she was from a small town in Kansas. I (being super nervous) totally lied and said I knew some people from her town. She asked who. I made up the most ridiculous name known to mankind as the interviewer raised her eyebrows suspiciously and said, "I don't know them." (I eventually got the job.)

7. At an interview in which I was on the take, my interviewer showed up 35 minutes late and said, "Oh, I'm so sorry. You didn't mind waiting, did you? I never write things down and forgot we scheduled this today."

8. At an interview for an interior design job, the hiring manager informed me that I would receive no benefits or vacation for the first year, and for my second year I would receive 5 days of vacation. I must have inadvertently made a face because he then said, "If you can find better, you go right ahead." I didn't get the job, but I did find something better.

9. During an interview for a temp position over a summer, I was being interviewed in a small cubicle. During our discussion, one of the current employees walked by and exclaimed, "SH*T it's hot in here. Can't we turn the damn air on?" The interviewer explained that the employee was recently back from drug rehabilitation and was prone to outbursts.

10. During a two and a half HOUR phone interview for a sales position, the interviewer was so impressed with my qualifications and amazing phone skills, he said he couldn't wait to meet with me in person to confirm that I was as wonderful as I sounded and that I basically had the job. I came to the in-person interview ready to be offered the position, but when I shook his hand he said, "Now...remind me. Have we spoken on the phone? Are you the one that used to live in Colorado with the Westie puppies?" I informed him that, no, I was the amazing one he was ready to offer the job to after our two hour phone convo. He made an awkward face and said, "Oh. Right. Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves." I didn't get the job. Maybe I was too ugly.

Happy Tuesday, Bloggies!


Tracy said...

I will never forget Millie. Wow, that brings back a whole flood of memories! I think you could write an entire blog full of stories from just that place alone!

alissa said...

ahhh those are some crazy stories! i hope future ones go better:)

BJMAR13 said...

You could always be subject to the 6 month long police interview!! That's a living hell too!

Kim said...

After a two and a half hour phone interview, you didn't get the job? That's crazy.

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