If you’re tucked comfortably within a job right now you probably haven’t been job interviewing in a while. But for those who are job hunting the job interview, as auspicious as it can feel, can also be nerve wracking.
I’ve been on interviews where I went in all gung-ho, dressed to the nines, hair perfect, strategically placed brooch on the chest area, two crisp copies of resume in hand and a Cheshire the Cat smile etched into my lips and cheeks only to flub. Big-time.
Like a few months ago. I had a job interview with a local company–the commute would’ve been easy. The H.R. guy was cool as can be. I did my best to appear interested in every.single.thing they said…Yeah, all that. By the SECOND part (meaning, I had to interview with three different people) of the interview I was being asked a bunch of questions by who would be my direct boss should I be hired.
Suddenly my brain went blank. As in nothing was swirling around up there. It was as if all thoughts had been vacuumed OUT.
I blinked back at her. My lips simply would not move.
She stared at me as her eyebrows raised higher than the sky.
I considered crawling beneath the conference room table and hiding.
I kept smiling even though my cheekbones by then were sore.
She clicked her ink pen and wrote something down. Since she was facing me whatever she wrote was upside down to me.
I squinted (while still smiling) to see what she wrote.
I could’ve sworn it read:
DO NOT HIRE JENNIFER.
Paranoia set in.
I tried to recall if I had even combed my hair that morning.
It was just plain ugly.
Fast forward to the end of the week (when the cool H.R. guy said they would call if I GOT the job.) I didn’t.
Even though empty brain freezes are common in interviews I felt awful, dumb, sidelined, inadequate, goofy, incompetent. But after reading the following job interview flubs, I no longer feel so bad about my own shortcomings.
From CareerBuilder.com reported by hiring managers:
Candidate brought a “how to interview book” with him to the interview.
Candidate asked, “What company is this again?”
Candidate put the interviewer on hold during a telephone interview. When she came back on the line, she told the interviewer that she had a (romantic) date set up for Friday.
Candidate wore a Boy Scout uniform and never told interviewers why.
Candidate talked about promptness as one of her strengths after showing up 10 minutes late.
On the way to the interview, candidate passed, cut off and flipped the middle finger to a driver who happened to be the interviewer. I’ve actually worried about this on the way to interviews, as I got closer to the job site.
Candidate took off his shoes during interview.
Candidate asked for a sip of the interviewer’s coffee.
A mature candidate told the interviewer she wasn’t sure if the job offered was worth “starting the car for.”
I trudge on with a newfound confidence. A high salary is mine, including benefits and a quiet cubicle.