Job interviews – Love it or hate it, we’ve all got to go through it at some point in our lives.
Sitting in the interview room, there’s always a moment of silence where we all pray that whoever comes in through that door next would be a pleasant interviewer. The last thing we want adding to our already anxious situation is a nasty interviewer that is out to make your following 20 minutes or more a living nightmare.
Well, sometimes life hands you a punnet of sweet, juicy strawberries only to stomp them into pulp right before your eyes.
Yes, ladies and gents, I sat through the worst job interview of my young adult life to which I felt like an unknowing participant being critiqued by a very catty RuPaul panel. While I can’t say that I had defended myself like I wanted to, I now know that I should have just stood up and quote Katy Perry – ‘Swish Swish, bish.’.
Now, before we begin, here’s a little background. The job interview I went for was for the role of a Digital Marketing Executive. It was with a tourism board for a country that rhymes with a long gong. Though my respect for this tourism board was thrown out of the 34th floor window they’re set up on, I still love the country they represent and it will still remain my ideal vacation destination. There were 2 interviewers who conducted the interview. One was a fairly neutral representative while the other thought she was a real housewife interviewing a lowly person for the position of housekeeper.
Though I can’t re-do what’s already passed, here are the 5 things that had me wishing I had done something instead of being afraid to offend them (since they clearly had no mutual respect).
1. She enters the interview room with such an unhappy expression that I thought someone stole the last donut she wanted.
What I wanted to say: Well, look who woke up the wrong side of the bed. I’m sorry hunny, am I making you waste precious time to interview me? Don’t take it out on me – take it up with your HR executive.
What I should have said: Hi, is this a bad time for the interview? Perhaps I could come back another day that is suitable.
2. Wrongly states my duration at my job to which I politely corrected her. She condescendingly replies: Oh-so you’ve been with your current job just 2 years… well, it’s not like it’s 20 years.”
What I wanted to say: How ’bout that! You CAN count! If anybody stays in their job for 20 years, they won’t be looking around for an executive job. Besides, isn’t it your responsibility to state the facts from the resume correctly?
What I should have said: Though 2 years isn’t 20 years, an enthusiastic attitude is not something that can be defined by time.
3. After I explain the similarities between my current position and the position that they’re hiring. As if I annoyed her a GREAT deal, she replies: “Yeah, yours is just 1 market. Ours is 5 markets in the region.”
What I wanted to say: Yes, I think I heard your colleague loud and clear. Calm yourself lady. I am not saying that your ‘5 markets’ are so small that I can handle it easily. I’m merely saying that I have experience in working with in-house teams. It’s not my fault you’ve already created your own judgement before actually interviewing me with an open mind.
What I should have said: Yes, I understand that. But I am merely stating the similarities in the process.
4. Frowning is the new black, or at least for the entire time she was interviewing me.
What I wanted to do: Stand up from my seat and say, “Bye Felicia.”
What I should have done: Look at her directly and said. “This obviously isn’t a good time to conduct the interview and I feel that whatever transpires here will not be treated seriously. As such, I think it’s best that we continue this at a more preferable time.”
5. Condescending tone whenever she talks to me. Disrespecting me as a human being with her incredibly judgmental descriptions. Wait a minute – am I here for an interview or here to be critiqued by someone who doesn’t know me?
What I wanted to say: Hey miss, I think you better check your attitude at the door. If you think I am SO under-qualified for this job, you could politely inform me. Or, better yet, screen my resume AGAIN before calling me down for the interview! Don’t make it seem like I dragged you out from your cubicle or office and forced you to interview me. It is highly unprofessional on your part as your higher than thou personality is not for your place of work.
What I should have said: I’m sorry but I would like to end this interview. I do not appreciate being talked down and disrespected as a candidate. I will withdraw my interest in this position.
With that said, this is definitely an unpleasant lesson that I learnt which did open my eyes to certain companies and their interview procedure. Though some might argue that this isn’t the worse they’ve heard about, this definitely threw me off my game.
If you talk to me like a haughty rich lady would to a Chanel retail assistant during an interview, you can keep the position and shove it up where the sun don’t shine.