Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Bane of My Existence: The Job Interview

Greetings, all!  I hope you all had a lovely weekend!  Mine consisted of the following:

Friday: I watched the Canucks beat the Bruins by one pathetic goal, followed by extreme anger (and beer) for the duration of the evening.

Saturday: Got stood up by my friend when I was actually AT the restaurant waiting for her!  (Needless to say, this incident will most likely end up on my Charm Class blog post series... Ahem.)  And OF COURSE the waiter had to be the most gorgeous specimen I have ever laid eyes upon, because when you're sitting at a restaurant by yourself claiming that you have a companion that mysteriously never shows, the waiter HAS to be hawt.  Thankfully, my dear friend Kayla bailed me out and met me for dinner, so I didn't have to admit to the Greek God that I was actually stood up.  Phew!  Thanks, KT!

Sunday: Severe anxiety over the horrible event that took place yesterday: a job interview.

Ah, the job interview.  The most self-esteem-shattering, vomit-inducing, gut-wrenching, makes-me-want-to-punch-someone event I can think of.  Job interviews are not only one of the most demeaning things you can do to a person, they are also absolutely useless.  Other than making sure the person you want to hire isn't a total weirdo (and even then, you can never really tell), job interviews tell you nothing.

Why?  Because they are bullshit.  No one ever tells the truth in job interviews.  If they did, no one would get hired!  So basically what employers are looking for is the person who can bullshit the fastest, and make it sound the most believable.

Allow me to demonstrate.  Here is a list of questions commonly asked in interviews, followed by the actual answer, as well as the word vomit that inevitably spills out of any smart interviewee's lips.

Note: I always yell at my mom when she says the word "lips", because it just sounds dirty.  Doesn't it? EEEW!  I also yell at her when she says "fingers", because she has this way of saying it that also sounds dirty.  Soon the whole English language will be off limits in our household, and we will have to communicate with grunts and hand gestures.

The Interview

Question: Tell me about yourself.

Answer: Well, I'm 28, I've been unemployed for over a year and have loved every minute of it, and I live at home with my mother and my cat.  I enjoy sitting on my ass watching Netflix Instant Queue, blogging about useless things, and staring off into space in my free time.  I've wasted 5 1/2 years of my life on post-secondary education, only to be lobbying for an entry-level position at a shitty company with no upward mobility and only a marginal salary.  As a result, I am humorless, bitter, and angry.  Also, I hate people.

Word Vomit: I graduated with a really high GPA from such-and-such a college, and have worked at such-and-such a company for several years.  Blah, blah, blah, I am so great and have loved every shitty job I've ever had and I learned so much, blah, blah, blah.

Question: Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a co-worker.

Answer: I secretly rolled my eyes but didn't say anything to her.  Then I talked shit about her behind her back on Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media outlets, as well as to all my other co-workers.  Now I just think she's a bitch and I don't talk to her unless I absolutely have to.

Word Vomit: One time, I had a disagreement with a co-worker about the "right course of action", and we sat down together over coffee and came up with a compromise!  Then we ran through fields of flowers together holding hands, and we are the best of friends!

Question:  What do you think is your greatest weakness?

Answer: I'm irritable, lazy, and I have a poor attitude.  I hate dealing with stupid people.  I'm judgmental and sarcastic, and chances are if I get this job, I will spend my time blogging about my pathetic life and watching YouTube videos when you're not looking.

Word Vomit: I just LOVE to work!!!  My last manager had to practically peel my fingers off the keyboard to get me to go home at night!!!!

Question: Tell me about a time when you had to think "outside the box" to solve a problem.

Answer:  One time, I desperately wanted to open a bottle of wine so I could drink the whole thing in one night, but I didn't have a bottle opener!  Then I remembered this episode of Modern Family where Claire hit the bottom of the bottle against a wooden post and it opened, and I tried that on the side of our house.  The bottle shattered to pieces, but I was able to lap up the wine like a dog as it dripped off the side of the house.  Then I passed out in the flower bed with shards of glass digging into my face.

Word Vomit: When I was working on some really useless important project at my last job, I discovered that the computer program was a piece of shit, and no one could fix it until Monday!  So I did some really technical thing to get around the problem and was able to hand the project in on time, because I'm a genius.

Question: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Answer: If I don't get this job, I see myself living in a cardboard box at the side of the road, holding a sign that says, "I AM OVEREDUCATED AND UNEMPLOYED.  PLEASE HELP ME BUY SOME BOOZE." Eventually, a manager at McDonald's will take pity on me and give me a job sweeping floors, and I will spend my paycheck at the karaoke bar down the street where I can sing "Nothing Compares 2 U" and break down in tears before I stumble home.

Word Vomit:  I'm going to be the CEO of THE WORLD!!!!

Interviews represent an unrealistic view of the potential employee.  Most of the answers that are given are at least partially fiction, because most people suck at dealing with conflict, fixing problems, or working to their maximum potential all of the time.  I'm not sure what would be a better approach to hiring quality people, but I do know that asking these same mundane questions over and over again does nothing but shows you how skillful we are at making shit up and how creatively we can turn "weaknesses" into strengths.

How did the interview go, you ask?  Well, I think I pulled some pretty clever stories out of my ass, to the point where I was reminded of that "Razzle Dazzle" song in Chicago (the play, or the movie, whatevs..), and I only made an ass out of myself a handful of times, so things could have been worse.  I won't be holding my breath for the job offer, though, as I'm quite certain someone else could have sold themselves a little better than I did.

Also, my interviewers were younger than me.  Depressing, much??!?

Good luck to all the job searchers out there, I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!



theTsaritsa said...

I saw someone try to open a wine bottle like that at the park the other day. It was making a lot of noise and I looked at them like they were crazy. I guess it works better on TV.

My mom gave me interview advice after I had been too honest on previous interviews (telling companies "I don't really want to be a personal assistant, but it's familiar to me and I will do a good job). She said: Don't tell them the truth, tell them what they want to hear.

Jess said...

OMG I was laughing through this whole post. I am sad to tell you that the part that made me laugh the hardest was you passing out next to the house with the glass shards in your face hahaha. Job interviews blow, but I hope you get the job!

Johnny Madrid aka Tim E. said...

Hilarious, painful and i can totally relate to it. According to statistics i still had to be without job but i just lucked out. I sincerely hope some strange, lucky anomalous thing will happen to you to. You'll get there sister. I know you will.

Nikki said...

There are so many parts of the job-getting process that are absolute bullshit, and most of those interview questions fit the bills. Honestly, if I were hiring anyone, I'd be more likely to give the job to someone who... I don't know, actually makes me laugh by telling the truth to inane questions (so all of your real answers would be awesome and right, but I'm not a HR person/hiring person -- clearly I'm a Bad Choice for that).

I also hate job assessments. Those five option Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree questions make me want to strangle the people who think they're Good Questions. "I do not mind it when my co-workers as me lots of questions, even if it is the same question over and over again." Goddamnit, yes, I do; I just can't say so because you want to pretend we're all Happy Floaty Rainbow Fairies who don't care if people are going "So which one is the two again?" fifty times a day. UGH.

Sorry for the rant. :x

Melbourne on my mind said...

I hate job interviews SO FUCKING MUCH. I've never gotten a job based on a formal interview. NEVER. I had a job interview at a library a couple of years ago and they asked me how I'd reshelve things. I went on a five minute spiel about health and safety protocols, and then like an hour after it ended went "FUCK. I'd file them by the call number..."

The "where do you see yourself in five years" question is my least favourite. I always just want to say "Um...not dead?" and see what they say!

Bi said...

@Tsarita: People actually open wine bottles that way?! Hahaha, I thought that was just a TV thing! Did it work?!

@Jess: Haha, thanks!! That part of the post was a slight embellishment, but pretty soon it might actually get to that point. ;)

@Johnny: Thanks, I hope so!! I appreciate your well wishes!!

@Nikki: OMG I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN!!! Those things are so stupid, you always know what they want to hear, which most of the time is not what you would actually do. USELESS!!!

@Melbourne: Hahaha, that totally sounds like something I would do!! Also, the five years question is by far my least favorite. SO STUPID.

Sara said...

UGH job interviews. Before I found my current job, I went to two interviews and was like, "You have got to be kidding me. This fucking sucks. Unemployment check, here I come!"

I really don't know how people do so many interviews without stabbing themselves or the person interviewing them.

I especially hate it when the interviewer is one of those overly fake sweet women. THE. WORST.

Apfel said...

The one and only Job interview I have been to, I was so nervous that I only answered everything in my mind, and was sweating like a pig saying nothing for about 20 minutes in front of a whole panel of interviewers. Then, I passed out.

ShellyTalks said...

I'm convinced I got my current job because I told the truth. When they asked the "How do you handle criticism?" -- I explained that high school prepared me because I had a hard time, I had to work hard for my grades...blah blah blah. When I thought about it later, I realized I was basically calling myself an idiot. #winning

Cassie said...

This post cracked me the fuck up, yo, and WOOO doggy, can I relate. I went on so many interviews before I got the one I landed. I think the others didn't work out because I wasn't genuinely interested (other than the fact that I needed to get the hell out of the house), and I could feel my eyes glazing over at various points.

Also, I hate people, too.

Meri said...

Good luck with the job dearie! I can't even remember my last interview I've been at this place so long... but I do fear the day I need to return to the job search...

Stephanie said...

Oh, God, I HATE interviews! They're just aweful forms of torture.

Do you think they'll google you and read this post??

If they do, then you're a shoe-in for the job, haha. No, really. They'll love your personality.

Good luck on the job, Bi!

Linda said...