(Picture above taken with cellphone; Central Florida 2015 )
Today I went in for testing and interviewed for a job I want more than any job I’ve wanted in a long time. Typing from home has had some perks but they don’t outweigh my need to work around people. After passing the test I drove over to a different office for the interview. When I walked into the room expecting 1 person I saw 6 women staring back at me, all sitting side by side behind an extra long table, looking professional and serious and I was to sit in a small school type desk facing them.
My first response in my head was panic which was only there for a split second and the next thing I know I’m smiling and saying, “Oh, I didn’t know there was going to be a party!” They all laughed. Then I sat down and started answering questions.
I have read many articles and books about “The Interview” and I’ve tried really hard to go by the rules. Every time I have gone by the rules, I didn’t get the job. I end up being all tied up with my shoulders up to my ears, second guessing every answer and thinking about telling them what they want to hear. These days when I walk into a room to be interviewed I can sense within a few minutes if it is a company I actually want to work for and if not, I do the stiff, nervous, right answer thing that will insure that I won’t be hired.
Some examples of my interviewing experiences when I was my true self;
The time I had an interview with an imaging center at 2 p.m. and forgot that I had to pick my son up from Vacation Bible School at 1 p.m. and drive him across town to his grandparent’s house, etc. I left the house to go pick him up and was wearing my jean shorts, tank top and flip-flops.
Traffic held us up and I ended up getting to the interview on time but did not have time to go home and change into interview clothes. I apologized and did a quick explanation for the way I was dressed. He said that was fine and since I figured I had completely blown my chances I was myself and told him I needed 2 more dollars an hour than he was offering and I could not work across town, I needed to work closer to home. He hired me on the spot. What?!
Another time was when I lived in Maine and was working nights and weekends at the local pharmacy while looking for full-time work. A job became available through a temp agency; for an administrative assistant at a business publication in downtown Portland.
I arrived to the interview which consisted of two young girls, I’m talking 22-24 years old. They are asking me all these serious scenario questions and I don’t do well with those types of questions because I am not the typical person in any scenario. One girl asked, “What would you do if someone at work did something to upset you? how would you handle it?” My answer was, “I would keep my cool until I got home and then I would cuss and beat up my pillow but I wouldn’t slash their tires or anything.” They cracked up laughing and said, “I think we have all the answers we need, thank you for coming in.”
I got in my car and immediately called the temp agency and apologized because I wasn’t textbook in my answers and I knew I blew it. She reassured me that it was okay and if they didn’t offer me the job she would find something else for me. By the time I drove up to the house, before I got out of the car, the temp agency lady called and said, “They love you, can you start Monday?” What?!
Of course, there are times that I really did mess up by sharing too much information and totally learned from that but I am still true to my personality. I want them to see what they are getting themselves into because if they don’t like me in the interview they won’t like working with me.
Today I did my best by being the true version of me. One of the ladies asked me why they should hire me. My answer was, “Because I really need to get out of the house!” 🙂