February 18, 2010


Last week I went for a job interview for a job, and even though it doesn't appear I've obtained the position, I still felt pretty okay about my performance. Though in hindsight it couldn't have gone that well, because if it had I'd be smoking a cigar in sauna right now with a box of Teddy Grams, as per my new job acquisition ritual.

I thought I was ready for this one, armed with a bunch good answers that I ran through my head a million times the week leading up, at times ignoring my female commitment, staring blankly into her eyes while she talked about stuff I should've been listening to. I don't think I'm a big game player though. Even when I was asked questions I was anticipating my mind went fuzzy and I began stuttering and muttering, trying hard not to lick my dry lips too much in case they were against that kind of thing. Again, not the worst performance of my career, but certainly not Teen-Choice Awards Best Action Actor worthy.

Maybe I was terrible, I don't really know, especially because I have a horrible history of job interviews where I can pinpoint the exact moment where my potential employer said to him/herself, "holy shit, definitely not this guy." Here's what I'm talking about:

The summer between 1st and 2nd year university I went for an interview for this good summer job working for Peel Region, driving around and maintaining parks and stuff. A couple guys I know ended up getting the job and it was basically just driving around painting benches or something, so it would have been great for a friendly neighbourhood man like myself. I had to go to Brampton for the interview and was early, so I stopped by a nearby Value Village to kill some time. I got lucky and found this very sick Calgary Flames satin jacket and was very excited, setting a nice tone for the upcoming interview. The only problem was that during the interview all I could think about was the jacket, so I got a bit too loose. The one question I remember was "Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team" and I answered something to the effect of "Oh, most definitely alone, I don't trust people." At least I had the jacket.

In university I tried to get a part time job in the bookstore. I got called in for a group interview, which I thought might be kind of fun and easy because everyone's in the same boat so the pressure is off a bit. But it was ghastly. I remember I wore this gigantic, red Lacoste sweater I used to love, which in retrospect was a strange choice considering it was a job interview. I pretty much went in looking like this, except because of my stature (stick man) the thing hung off me like Shaq's underpants on a baby:

Anyway, even if I had been wearing a tuxedo, I doubt I would've got the job because I gave some bad answers. They had a list of questions and they went around the table asking us each a different one. The only question they asked me that I clearly remember was "Tell us about a time you broke the rules". This is one of those bullshit interview questions where you're supposed to say something like "at this one job they didn't like us taking overtime, but I broke the rules and always worked late". Unfortunately, I wasn't armed with such an answer so I babbled my way through something about taking a penalty in a hockey game I had recently played in, which was completely irrelevant, albeit true. The other candidates got way easier questions and I was left feeling real shit and saying to myself "whatever, this place sucks anyway".

Two years ago I had an interview with the Toronto International Film Festival Group and because I had volunteered there before, I thought I had a reasonable shot at it. The interview went pretty smooth even though I was in front of three dudes who starred and nodded more than any three dudes I've ever met. It went well enough that I got called in again to do a simple Microsoft Excel test. I'm no Excel expert but I know a few things so I wasn't that worried, but worried enough to fiddle around a bit at work to make sure everything was cool. I get the test at the TIFF office and they said I had 10 minutes and if I had any questions to just ask. All I had to do was move some columns around a bit and put everything in order, but for some reason I over-thought the whole thing and started messing around with this formula I know from dealing with media lists at work, the only problem being I forgot the crucial last step. I was sweating big time and with a couple minutes left the guy was like "are you done?" and embarrassingly I was like "no just give me a bit more". Anyway, I never ended up figuring it out and left the place highly embarrassed that I told these guys I knew how to use Excel and then showing them I didn't. I think I've been blacklisted from that place because I haven't been called back for an interview after applying for more jobs there.

I've had other bad interviews, but they mostly involved me being unqualified and not being ready to bullshit my way through them because I'm an honest ed.


Rachael said...


highwaisted said...

omg exciting! good luck dude!

omg we need to talk about survivor!

Duke of Spook said...

oh shit, we sure do. this season is going to be a rollercoaster ride

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