Job interviews are funny things. Sometimes you interview for a job and walk out confident you got it only to receive a rejection a day later. Sometimes you leave the interview more confused than when you went in. Sometimes you walk out believing there’s no way you are getting the job only to have it offered to you a few days later.
As odd as an interview can be the lack of interviews can be quite disheartening. My average interview success was about 1 interview for every 14 job applications or so. The odds were not great. Perhaps it was my cover letters or my lack of certain things on my resume. Or perhaps it’s simply that so many qualified people are applying that it’s hard to get seen when everyone is so qualified.
To keep my spirits up during this time I decided to write down some of the weird interviews I’ve experienced and how they eventually panned out for me.
Job Interview #1:
This was for a home care aid, I mainly did it as a favor for a friend. She had set it up with her boss and I felt guilty saying no outright as it was during a time I was unemployed and she knew I was looking for work.
After the initial questions the woman interviewing me asked, “would you ever hit an old person?” I was taken aback but then realized the job I was interviewing for. I said I obviously wouldn’t. But she then elaborates, “what if you were very frustrated with the patient, they were being angry and yelling, would you hit them then?” The questions just kept getting more and more intricate as she went on. “What if the patient hit you after you said something they didn’t like and if you did hit them would that be self defense?” “What about if they came charging at you violently, would you hit them then?” The more I said no the more disappointed she became. While this could simply be a way to rule out people would eventually snap at her for the questions it was a little bit unnerving that we spent 20 minutes on this question.
After that she told me her life story but the time she came to America with her parents, to her marriage, to her kids, and her grandkids. She told me her beauty secret, although I can’t remember it now.
She did offer me the job before I left the interview but I turned it down for several reasons.
Job Interview #2:
I got a call from a company asking if I was interested in a specific job with them that they had my resume on file and felt I would be a good match if I was looking for a job. I hadn’t been but was at the time frustrated with my current work. I had a pre-interivew phone screening and was set up with an interview. The woman I interviewed with loved and me and said I would be the perfect fit for the job. The job sounded amazing on paper. I had one more interview with three gentlemen later in the week.
The first two men I talked with sang my praises. I’m not joking about that. They basically said I was the perfect person for this job and based on my work history and education I’d love this job. I was so stoked because I was excited for this job.
The final man walked in and threw my resume across the table at it and uttered, “well I’m not hiring you.” I hadn’t even stood up to introduce myself when he said this. After some back and forth it came out that he thought I’d be better suited as a temporary admin worker than the job I was interviewing for. He also didn’t notice that my resume had a back page.
I left that interview extremely angry and sad. I let myself believe that I would walk out of that interview with this fancy new job. I didn’t and after contemplation I can say that I dodged this bullet. The universe was helping me out with this one. The only woman in that office was the receptionist as the woman who initially interviewed me was with another office out of town and filling in for her (male) counterpart. I believe that it didn’t matter if I was qualified or not that I was not getting that job.
Job Interview #3
This job also had a phone interview component. After chatting for a few moments the lady I was talking with said she loved what she was hearing and wanted me to come and meet the team. I had an interview on a Sunday morning with a group of three women. I didn’t prep for this interview so I know I fumbled a bit. Working in a team environment was important so I answered a questions with, “when I finish my set tasks for the day I always try to help my team members with extra work,” or something to that effect. It did not go over well.; neither did my other statement of, “I try to find the most efficient way to solve the problem and I look for ways to make work more streamlined.” This caused one of the women to say that my looking to streamline things could infringe on others work and make them not feel valued. It was something I hadn’t heard before in an interview.
There was more fumbling and lots of things I said were viewed as combative and once I left I was just left with a feeling of strangeness. My weaknesses weren’t weak enough and my strengths weren’t strong enough. I just left with the attitude of “this is what I’ve got to offer and if that’s not enough then so be it.” I sent a silent prayer to the universe that if this was meant to be it would work out.
The next day I got an offer letter and ended up taking the job.
Interviews are strange and hard and sometimes they lead to new adventures.