Interviewing Bloopers

So, I’ve been meeting with recruiters and HR people and managers galore in the wonderful world of job hunting lately. One of the things that I have found frustrating is the number of rules that one is supposed to follow, and the number of rules that recruiters and HR people and managers change on a regular basis. So I’ve decided to offer you some of my job hunting highlights.

One of my first interviews was at a small firm in The Loop on Good Friday. Located inside the building connected to Ogilvie Train Station by an overpass, I planned to take the train down early, have some lunch, and wait patiently for my interview time. The morning started with a wardrobe malfunction due to my brand new suit skirt slit ripping up the back. Luckily, I had planned to stop over at Toyota to visit my mom and get her opinion of my ensemble. She quickly sewed the skirt for me, and I proceeded downtown in a different skirt, so that I didn’t wrinkle the suit.

I opted to take the earlier train, as the next one would give me approximately 15 minutes to get to my interview. I figured early is better. So I got downtown in one piece, and made my way over to The Corner Bakery for lunch. I had some tasty treats and then went in the bathroom to change into my suit. Of course, problem number one was going to the bathroom. Wearing scary stomach holding in body suit dealie over pantyhose meant that I had to basically strip down to my skivvies, and readjust everything, which I did. THEN, I got myself in one piece.

So the recruiter who set up the interview had informed me of some pointers when I made my way down for the interview. “Don’t wear your sun glasses on your head. Make sure that you send thank you notes. Arrive early. Allow extra time to get through security.”

I had brought a very small purse, my portfolio, a book, and my sunglasses. I also had that backup skirt in tow. So when I was ready to head toward to location of the interview, I had the pressing question, “What do I do with the book, the sunglasses, and the skirt?”

I thought about my options, and where I was. I decided to go with the most trustworthy person that I could think of: The bartender. Knowing that the Newsroom was conveniently located inside of Ogilvie, I figured that the man running the bar would be my best bet. When I asked him to hold onto my stuff, he laughed but agreed. I thanked him profusely, and made my way to the interview. When I got through security and officially arrived, it had only taken about 3 minutes. I was 35 minutes early.

Crap.


And I had left my book with the bartender. So I waited. And waited. It was Good Friday, and people were rushing to get out of the office. I thought maybe they’d get me in a few minutes early and I could jump on a train home. Nope. 10 minutes after my scheduled interview time, the interviewer finally arrived. We briefly chatted in a stiffened conversation, that at the time, I should have known meant it was like a bad first date that was never going anywhere. But I remained hopeful. Upon leaving, the bartender had kept my goodies safe and I left him a tip as I jetted to the train.

I didn’t get that job…

A few weeks later, I met with the owner of a very small firm. She was fun. She said “fuck” like 15 times in the interview. And called one of her big name clients assholes. Twice. But she lectured me for being 20 minutes early. I wasn’t very good at this interviewing game… I always thought that you were supposed to arrive early. And that they counted on you being early. Apparently it has to be 5-10 minutes only.

I didn’t get that job either…

Then at another interview, I arrived with 10 minutes to spare, STILL had to wait for 25 minutes, and managed to stash my sunglasses on top of a toilet paper holder in the handicap bathroom stall. I thought that one stood a chance too…but alas, no dice for me.

But just like when several first dates don’t go so well, I remain optimistic that it’s all going to work out the way it’s supposed to. Besides, I got to go back to working with the kiddos for another summer.

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Interview and Questions 101 An Inspirational Teacher

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