*Update: I originally posted this in 2011 after I lost my job. With so many folks out of work because of the Apocalypse, I thought it was timely. That is, if we ever get back to whatever normal is.
I love Interviewing. It is like speed-dating, but with no hope of sex. Which I mean, thank God, because would you want to have intimates with the majority of the people you’ve met who work in HR? That’s what I thought.
Why do I love to interview? Because I’ve had a lot of them. It’s good for my children to see me prepare for interviews, even if I don’t get the job. I added up the interviews I’ve had recently to put rejection into perspective. Eighteen. Eighteen interviews. One might be a little dejected after so many unconsummated interviews, but I remain standing. What else can I do?
Interviewing = speed-dating minus sex
We will find a love connection, an employer and me. And there will be rainbows and fireworks! I’ll spin around in a beautiful flowing skirt, gazing dreamily into my employer’s eyes and we will be united. Star-crossed lovers with a fairytale Hollywood ending. I just haven’t figured out the right “lucky underwear/necklace imbued with magical powers/inspirational song in the car before the interview starts” winning combo. Still, I maintain that “Back in Black” is the ideal song to hear before girding your loins for an interview. Someone suggest a better song and I’ll try it.
Do I need to start eating black eyed peas before interviews to change the tide? Add spiting in my hand before shaking the interviewer’s hand into my pre-interview ritual? I’m taking suggestions here, people!
I concede rejection following interviews is a lot better than not having interviews. Interviewing, however, is the opposite of sex or pizza. Even when it’s good, it sucks. It’s maddening trying to figure out what the “appropriate” amount of cleavage is advisable. Second-guessing your shoe choice and whether you should refrain from admitting you have children. You are constantly trying to be all things to all people. “What? Of course I like eggplant and skydiving!” or “I’m most energized juggling fourteen high-profile projects simultaneously.” “I prefer end-of-the-day deadlines and no resources!”
interviewS: it’s better than the alternative
Annoying trick questions like, “How many servants is ‘too many’?” or “Would you tell the CEO if she had spinach stuck in her teeth during an afternoon meeting?” For the record, I would tell anyone if they had greens in their choppers. Trying to look beauty contestant comfortable and news anchor interested during awkward lurches in conversation. Trying to figure out if they like you and if you like them. Deciding whether to pass them a note at recess.
I recently had the best rejection experience I’ve ever gotten at an interview for a job I didn’t get. I wanted to be friends with the folks interviewing me. They smelled good and wore cool clothes. My interrogators were interesting people. If they got picked first for dodge ball in 4th grade, they were humble enough to keep it to themselves. I loved their thoughtful questions. They were refreshingly straight-forward and did what they said they would do when they said they would do it. The people were, I don’t know what the word is, … human?
I’m walking into my next interview and flipping everyone the bird and see if it feels any different or yields better results than attentively and enthusiastically answering questions. I’ll keep you posted.