Friday, February 6, 2009
Who likes job interviews? No one, I’m sure. We all have our own little ways of dealing with the pressure to perform. Some imagine the interviewer naked. Others pretend that they already have a job and don’t give a shit if they get this one or not. I, however, am trained in the journalistic arts. I like to pretend that I’m interviewing the interviewer about their job. Try it some time, it’s fun!
One of the interviews I had this week was truly awful. Well, a few of them were awful, but this one was especially wretched. He was employing the “make the job sound as gruesome as possible to see if they’re still interested” technique.
Only, he couldn’t go all the way with it. He’d talk about the excessive hours or the measly pay, but none of it was really coming through. You see, it’s hard to believe a guy’s spiel when he keeps rolling his eyes at you.
The interview took up an entire hour and the guy looked exhausted ten minutes in. But not like he’d just run a marathon or participated in, ahem, “adult” activities in the storeroom before meeting me. No, it was the exhaustion that comes with dealing with people in a cordial manner when you’d rather just punch them in the face and be done with it.
So, I entered “shock journalism” mode. We had our own little Frost/Nixon moment. I asked him why people fail at this particular job. He rolled his eyes, sighed, and answered the question devoid of any soul. I asked him about any peculiar road stories he might have in his years in the business. He rolled his eyes, sighed, and answered the question whilst daydreaming about David Soul.
It’s important to keep in mind when going on a job interview that as much as you hate doing interviews, the person on the other end of the table probably hates giving them just as much, if not more.
I can say this from personal experience. I’ve had to interview prospective employees in the past. And every single time, I felt like rolling my eyes and sighing. Just once, I would have liked to have said, “Hey man, just uh, say something for awhile, okay? I’m gonna keep my brain occupied while you do that by daydreaming about Starsky & Hutch.”