Job interviews can be quite awkward, testy, downright uncomfortable. Especially when you’re asked surprise questions like:
What do you want to improve about yourself?
Well, there are TONS of things I’d like to improve about myself, of course. I have to remember to stick with the setting of a job interview and give an answer I think will not only impress the interviewer but not make me sound weak or pathetic.
Hmm, let’s see. What would I like to improve about myself?
Grueling seconds pass.
The interviewer is staring at my hands, my fingernails, my blazer, my forehead, my scalp. Then he decides to click his ink pen and write something down.
Suddenly I feel judged and set up and helpless.
Various words, phrases and thoughts fly through my head like starchy foods, messy hair, I drink too much ginger ale, acid reflux, fluctuating organization skills.
I feel like I’m on a witness stand and what I say may be the difference between paying rent and not paying rent. Then I have another thought, a defensive pondering:
I wonder what YOU would like to improve about YOURself, Mr. Interviewer.
But I can’t let on that I’m stuck on what seems to be an easy enough question.
More seconds pass.
More awkward silence.
I find myself wondering if I should start coughing to distract the interviewer while I purchase more time to form a solid response, one that will rock the socks off of him.
The interviewer offers an awkward smile, looks down at my resume and then back up right into my eyes. Our four eyes meeting in the awkward silence are like four beams of piercing light. It’s merely six notches beneath a supernatural occurrence.
I feel my eyes burning.
Now they’re itching.
Now I have to sneeze and the center of my foot–which is tucked into my pantyhose and pump shoes–is itching.
The simplest of sensible words escape me.
I’ve now forgotten my very name and birth year.
Fast forward to six minutes and three seconds later. The interview is over. I can’t remember what my answer was to the awkward question and I’m in my car driving away from yet another Establishment feeling small and pathetic and withered.
I never heard from the company again.
I blame hormonal fluctuations.
I wonder if next time I should just be honest and disclose that estrogen imbalances cause my brain to shut down while being judged harshly.
Occassionally Interview Challenged in D.C.