The Interview From Hell

I don’t usually blog about my professional career because of confidentiality. Well, confidentiality and the fact that when I leave my office I like to think about rainbows and butterflies instead of spreadsheets and organizational charts. But I feel that I need to break this rule in order to purge my mind of the horrific mistakes I made today at work.

I had a job interview for an internal position at my university. The position is quite honestly my current dream job. I say current because I don’t believe in that crap about having life-long dreams. Dreams should be something you work to obtain and so they shouldn’t stay dreams for too long. They should eventually become realities. So, I have short-term dreams in my life and this job is one of them. The thing about this position is that it is several steps above where I am currently in my profession, so I wasn’t expecting to even be within spittin’ distance (sorry, there’s them Southern roots showing through again…) of the dream any time soon.

I threw a resume out there several months ago and thought, “If it happens, it happens.” And then I prayed like the dickens, thought about it every day, and generally obsessed about it for three months. Miraculously, the education gods had a sense of humor and I received a call to interview last week. My interview was by phone today.

I was thrown off by two different things. First, the interview was by phone. As if first impressions aren’t hard enough. And secondly, there is a search committee of people for this position. That’s right. Not only do I need to make a stellar first impression OVER THE PHONE, but I have to impress a group of 7 people – including 4 deans and a representative from the University President’s office. Because of the whole phone thing, I couldn’t read anyone’s reactions to anything. It was like Russian Roulette. I could have been saying the most brilliant, mindblowing things ever to come across the Yale University campus, and I would never had known. Or, and more likely, I could have been saying the most ignorant load of crap ever uttered and I still would have had no idea. So I just closed my eyes and forged ahead – talking a mile a minute. Add to this my incredible anxiety about interviewing with a search committee for my dream job, and you have the recipe for a genuine train wreck.

To put it as mildly as possible, it was horrific. In a 15-minute period, I managed to call myself a racists (which I am completely not even anywhere close to being) and I bashed the technology usage of Yale University.

This is precisely how you want your first interview to go.

I like to usually have a moral, lesson, or snidbit of information for you readers to take away when you read my blog. So, here’s today’s lesson. When interviewing for a position that you are not qualified for, but for which you dream of acquiring, try taking a few shots of Jim Beam before you meet your search committee. This might make you sleepy and everyone knows that falling asleep in the middle of an interview is much preferable to calling oneself a racist and bashing the position you are interviewing for. Alternatively, scratch the Jim Beam and just abandon all your dreams completely. Learn to be content with someone else’s name on the letterhead as you work towards someone else’s strategic plan.

And if neither of these solutions works for you, and you find that you stubbornly hold on to your dreams and refuse to compromise your moral integrity by drinking before noon on a business day, then climb aboard my bandwagon and we’ll just sabotage our careers together. Sounds like fun…

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2 thoughts on “The Interview From Hell

  1. Jess

    Hey Lady,

    Sorry to hear things didn’t go as well as planned. You keep your head held high…because your short term dream job is bound to show itself soon! Don’t let defeat come your way!

    I miss ya like candy, Jess! XOXO ~ Katie

  2. I had a phone interview with a large pharmaceutical company last year and it was the worst interview EVER. You’d think a phone interview wouldn’t be as nervewracking because they can’t actually SEE if you’re fidgeting, taking your shoes off or whatever, but I swear, it was AWFUL!

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