Recently I had the pleasure of attending an interview at a large company. Everything seemed promising but somehow turned into an awkward mess.
Selling myself usually comes naturally; yeah I know- it’s all me, but on this particular occasion it was like the gods had decided to hand me a shit day.
Some Foreplay or not.
It also happens to be one of those days where the pants don’t fit so well, it’s been pissing rain outside, my shoes are wet and had walked around the area for over an hour to kill time before hand (my nerves get me there early).
I finally get into reception, my glasses are wet, and I am told to sit and wait to be seen. I go to sit and the couches are not only terribly low (knees in your chest) but the ones you sink into with fake leather (Im soaked…).
At this point I am ready to run and the only thing missing is the awkward fart.
To top it all off (first impressions are everything), when I finally get approached by the interviewer I stand up and knock my head on the low hanging lamp shades, d’oh! Not only did it hurt like hell and was awkwardly loud; I completely knocked it off its stand.
How do you recover?
Im not comfortable in the first place, it’s one of those days where nothing works and this happens?!
Next I am led back out the main door of the office and reception, back down the stairs to another boardroom as the other one was in use.
Picture a basement office, rainy day, air is flat and there is no noise. You hear everything, your voice is pitchy and guess what? The damn space is so narrow that the chair I am sitting in is tightly against the wall and there is no space to fit comfortably between the desk and the chair. FAIL.
Obviously not going anywhere.
By this time I am off my game, I know this is not going anywhere and I’ve wasted a day. Moreover, the interviewer has not prepared well, and obviously never done this before, so you get the old “so, let me look at your resume” or “Ah… so you are the guy with…” or “So… (long silence whilst she keeps going through docs on the table) then- I forgot what I wanted to ask”.
Furthermore, from a practical point of view the location is too far for me so I know even if I get it I cannot take it.
What have I learned from this?
In short, nothing. Interviews suck purple balls. As human beings we are going to get nervous attending interviews and there will be times when everything has gone wrong before even walking through the door. Narcissists need not worry about this obviously.
What it did reinforce are two things.
Firstly, everything happens for a reason. This was not my day and not going to happen. This was reinforced by the fact that half way through the interview I had her asking me about things she should know about.
Secondly, for someone that has not attended many interviews in my life, the ones that mattered, mattered. They felt natural, it worked, and there was some sort of chemistry.