Nothing is more nerve wracking than an interview. Like put me outside in nothing but a pair of granny panties, and I’ll march out smiling. Stick me in a chair in front of a woman in a suit with a Judge Judy haircut? No thanks, I’ll pass.
I’ve had two interviews this week. Both for the same position but with different companies. Let me preface by saying- I haven’t had an interview in years. At least 3? But I lost count. And the last interview I remember, I had my foot in the door with a friend who recommended me and it was one of those jobs they’ve got a quick turn-around in, they just wanted someone who wouldn’t tell the hateful customer to take a hike and hang up in rage- and clearly I fit that bill. This is not the article you want to read for advice before an interview. This is the article I read if you want to feel better but how your interview just went. Because I can guarantee- I’ve got ya topped.
The Bad Outfit: Confidence radiates y’all. I’m talking- full empowerment, dressed to kill and you know you look like you own a Fortune 500 company. Rewind to my first interview last week, where I was way under dressed and awkward as usual. I went out to buy a shirt because I’ve lost about 20 pounds and none of my tops fit properly. I hit the mall- the night before may I add. Not my fault- they left me a voicemail saying I had an interview the following day at 11:00 AM. I panicked. I shopped quickly. And I ended up with a baby blue ruffled shirt. The shirt was short and didn’t flatter my hips, and my shoes were a little “grandma-ish” for someone my age. Moral of the story here: I didn’t feel confident and that showed. I was nervous which caused me to be scatter brained. I walked into the interview feeling like Elle Woods at the Halloween party in the bunny costume.
I Applied for the WRONG Company: Don’t be me. I repeat, don’t be ME. Years ago I went in for an interview for an office assistant position. I was interviewing and applying at Company XYZ- but for the sub-company ABC. You follow me? So my resume stated in bold letters at the top- “to obtain a position with company XYZ as an office assistant.” So I go on and on about Company XYZ and how I would be a great fit working for them, yada yada. And the first thing my interviewer said to me was, “Well, you would be working for my company ABC, not XYZ. They’re not the same thing.” —-Insert long awkward pause. I didn’t even know that company ABC was a thing. Don’t ask how that happened. but I was beyond embarrassed. Know what your applying for, and try to know general info about the company too. It will make you seem like a candidate who’s actually interested in the position.
“Jesus Christ.”: This is by far my most favorite interview horror story. I was interviewing for a receptionist position at a retirement home. I had the experience, as I had just spent a year prior with another facility. It should have been a piece of cake. I walk in, sit down. My palms are sweaty. She asks to describe myself and I’m pretty sure I said I was an alien from Nevada and only had experience in crafting UFO’s. I can’t remember what I said, but she just nodded and went to the next question. “Describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision at work.” Great. Here comes the on-the-fly questions I bomb EVERY SINGLE TIME. For whatever reason, anytime I get in a room to interview, all intelligence leaves me. I blank. My brain just shuts off. And you might as well stick me in a padded white room, because i’m fried and useless. It’s bonkers. And when I couldn’t say a damn word, I teared up. And then out it came, “Jesus Christ.” The interviewer gasped. And I said, “Oh my God, I’m so sorry. I’m just a nervous wreck.” And she kept reassuring me it was okay, to keep going. And I made up some insane story that came out ridiculous and I’m pretty sure she could see that I was getting no where and she politely ended the interview. It was terribly. I walked down the hall crying and I believe that was the last interview I did for a couple of years. I was traumatized.
“The Interview I Couldn’t Get”: This one isn’t so much my fault I suppose, but I still find it kind of funny. There was a warehouse position open, and I was desperate for a job at the time. They were doing open interviews and so I got dressed up, and fixed my hair and makeup and walked in to this warehouse where they were hosting the walk-ins. The person took one look at me and said “I think you’re in the wrong place. This is for a warehouse position.” and I’m like…yes? Long story short- they told me that I was over qualified and that I did not belong in a warehouse. Sexist- yes. Because I totally could do the work. However, they did offer me the job if I really wanted it, but more or less discouraged me from working there. So I walked out- feeling very embarrassed and went home.
I have more- but I will end here. Maybe one day i’ll post the rest. I can quite honestly say, that any interview that involved more than telling someone my name and handing them a resume and saying “I’m available immediately”, I’ve bombed it. But regardless of how many times I fail, I try again and again. I had a phone interview yesterday, and I rocked it. I said nothing out of hand. I had done my research. I knew information about the company and the interviewer ate it up. She loved that I had an example of every skill I had and how it applied to the position. I was nervous, and shaky but my voice didn’t crack. I hung up, and I felt good. And then today, my phone rings. And just like that- I have the second interview on Tuesday.
“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4
Wish me luck!