Interview Stories

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.

Healthy is Happy

It’s so simple. How healthy you directly affects how happy you tend to be and vice versa. This was something I had to learn and am in fact still learning. While this is not true for every single person out there, there is a reason why exercise always seems to find itself on those “How to Boost Your Happiness” articles.

I notice as I’m on this health journey that when I eat healthier and exercise regularly and take those extra steps in treating my body with love I tend to be happier throughout the day. When I eat good, whole, foods instead of zipping through the to-go lane at a fast food restaurant, I enjoy myself more. Sure I crave junk food every once in a while. But I notice when I take the time to give myself what I need, instead of just what I want, my energy levels are higher, I have less (if any) headaches, my moods are more stable. Also the less I eat junk, the less I crave it.

It’s still hard on a daily basis to change my focus from all the things that are “wrong” to the parts of my life that are truly wonderful. It’s true that I’m not where I had hoped I’d be at this time. I let myself relapse into old habits that are detrimental to my wellbeing. But with the Spring I am starting anew. I’m turning my focus to creating a life that is healthy and happy, not just a body that fits into my “skinny” jeans.

While that sounds all fine and dandy on paper, it’s a lot harder to accomplish in actuality. Now that I pay attention more to the thoughts I think about myself I notice just how damaging I am to myself. Working on changing that self-dialogue has proved to be much harder than sticking to a workout schedule (something I haven’t been so great at either).

One saying I came across recently that I have taken to heart is

If you wouldn’t say to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.

This has become my mantra as of late. When I realize that I am in the midst of tearing myself down I try to remember to meditate on this for a moment. If I wouldn’t tell my friend that she is super dumb I shouldn’t tell myself that. I’m not dumb it was a mistake. If I wouldn’t tell my friend that she is just fat and gross I shouldn’t tell myself that. I have extra fat, I am not fat. The list goes on.

Since I’ve learned to start looking at my health as more than the number on the scale I have learned so much about myself, including the areas where I need the most self love. By working on improving those areas of my life I have seen amazing things happen. Doors have opened up to me in ways I couldn’t have imagined simply because I stopped filling my universe with self-hate. It’s been wonderful.

Be kind to yourself today. It goes a lot farther than you think.

Shot of Joy

These are little love notes to the universe. Our energy has a way of shaping our experiences. If we give our positive energy then our experiences tend to be more positive. The same for negative energy. Every convinced yourself that a situation was going to have a negative outcome before it happened and when the situation happened it did? By encouraging happiness and love the universe, the Earth, will send that back to you. You get what you put out there.

Stairway to Bliss

~ Waking up the birds singing in the morning ~ Having warmer days ~ Glimpsing the sun between the showers ~ The pink blossoms on the trees ~ Portland in the Spring, even if it’s muddy ~ Farmer’s Market bounty ~ Tulips are in season ~ Having tea most mornings

~ My weekend brunch tradition with Vahid ~ Finding the best hot chocolate in town ~ Frequenting Powell’s Books ~ Reading so many good books ~ Learning, I’ve really missed it

~ Trying to focus my day on being happier ~ Knowing that it’s okay to fail because tomorrow is always a new start ~ Letting the frustrations about my current employment go ~ Knowing that new things are coming

What is bringing you joy lately?

Life is Happiness

My life is pretty great all around. I graduated college. I’m employed. I have a wonderful fiancé who spoils me on a regular basis. I live in a beautiful city and enjoy it regularly. I have great friends close and far that I see when I can. The point is my life is pretty great and even envious to some people.

I don’t feel ungrateful for my life but I have been unhappy for a while. The problem wasn’t external. Sure my job isn’t wonderful and I don’t live in my dream house, but that’s not really a reason to be unhappy. My unhappiness stemmed from within. At the core I was unhappy with myself and honestly no amount of change would make me happy.

Part of my issue was this blog. I found myself coming here to only rehash the same old unhappiness. I stepped back from this place and even considered getting rid of it altogether but at the end of the day I just left it. I figured if I didn’t know what to do with it in six months I’d cancel the whole thing and be done with it.

Somehow I’m still here. You’ll notice that my old entries are gone. I’ve saved them but if I’m really going to change myself I need to move on from all the negativity and ugliness that is in those entries. I need to electronically get rid of the clutter.

Maybe it’s the Spring weather finally showing it’s lovely face or maybe it’s all the wonderful new things I’m starting to learn but I am ready to start a new, with a whole new focus in my life.

I’m focusing on self-love, gratitude, and realizing the happiness in my life. I’m also finally taking my health seriously for the first time.

I only have one of these lives as far as I know I need to start enjoying it now before it’s mostly gone.