I had a job interview this past week – I know what you’re thinking….girl, you LOVE your job! What the hell are you doing interviewing for something else???! I absolutely agree – I do love my job, and I had no intention of leaving. However, when I got a call from a neighboring district inviting me in for an interview for a position that I would cut a bitch to have, well, this girl was not going to say no. So I went. With mighty low expectations and absolutely not an ounce of belief that I would get it. But I went. And let me tell you…my shit-tastic streak of being the world’s worst interviewee is not only still in tact, but I think I may have set some records for hideous interview performance. Sit back, grab yourself a snack and something cool to drink….my story of humiliation may take a while.
Before I went, I assumed that I had been invited to fill a quota: districts are generally required to interview a minimum number of candidates (4 or 5 usually), even if they already know who they wish to appoint. I was pretty sure that I was there simply for that reason – however, I arrived at the interview determined to do my best. I even had to go and purchase a new suit blazer for the interview, since I had dropped all of mine off at the cleaners on Wednesday morning – I was taking it seriously and was planning to do my best! I arrived early (but not too early), checked in for the meeting, and took a seat in the waiting area. There was another woman sitting beside me chatting to the secretary – she was clearly an existing district employee, which was a bit unsettling, but I decided to forge ahead nonetheless. The door from the interview area opened, and a woman walked out – and I knew her. I had previously worked in this district a few years ago, and the woman who came walking out had been my boss at the time. I smiled at her as she approached, but she blew right past me without making eye contact – and hightailed it straight to the woman sitting beside me.
“Hiiiiii!!!!! I’m so happy to see you! Thanks so much for coming in! You are super early, so if you don’t mind giving us about 40 minutes to get done with this” (she gestured to me at this point) “and we will be right with you! Sound good? Thanks so much!” All of this was said in the highest, chirpiest, most cheerful voice known to mankind – and parts of it were almost inaudible as I’m certain that they were only meant to be heard by dogs.
Huh. As I sat there trying to figure out how to surreptitiously haul my arse out of the place without drawing too much attention to my retreating figure, she turned and finally addressed me. “Hey Leanna,” she said, all traces of enthusiasm a distant memory. “Come on back. Nice to see you.”
After this auspicious start, I knew that I was in way over my head and that my snowball’s chance in hell had become even more remote. However, never one to back down from a humiliating experience, I pushed on…ever the brave little toaster. I took my seat in the conference room, and began the worst interview of my life. There was a panel of four asking me questions, I answered them to the best of my ability, but I knew the whole time that I was talking that I was sorely underselling myself. I started to mention a couple of my professional accomplishments, but ended up cutting myself off after I saw my former boss (now one of the biggest dogs in the district) checking her nails and examining them with intensity. She wrote down two things that I said in the interview. Two. That was all.
The rest of the panel was warmer and nowhere near as transparent in their extraordinary disdain for me and the time I was taking. I spoke quickly, and answered with straight-to-the-point responses; I didn’t offer anything more than they asked for, and they had no clarifying questions for me. As the interview concluded a paltry 25 minutes later (how thoughtful of me not to keep the real candidate waiting the full 45 minutes, eh??), the lead interviewer (and my former boss) concluded that I didn’t have a lot to say and that I spoke quickly. The smartass in me couldn’t help myself as I retorted with a slightly cheeky off-hand remark about my mouth running quicker than my mind…it was such an epic disaster friends, I still can’t believe it.
As this shit-show concluded, I asked which school in the district this position was for (seemed a pretty reasonable question), and the response was some BS about how they weren’t at liberty to discuss that at this point. Ugh. It just kept getting worse. They informed me that their panel would select their top two candidates, call them to meet the top dog on Monday, and appoint a new person during Tuesday night’s board meeting. Needless to say I have made other plans for Monday and won’t be keeping a block of time available to take that meeting – unless the other candidates shit their pants, admitted to kiddie fiddling their former students, or spoke in tongues during their interviews, I can’t imagine how anyone could have possibly done worse than I. It was that bad. And man alive am I mortified.
This would have been an AMAZING opportunity for me – and, while I rationally know that I didn’t have a chance at all, I still wish I had put together some sort of a solid performance. No dice. I don’t know why it is that I am so appallingly bad at interviews, but my God I am. It’s disgusting. It’s like I am an idiot with no ability to put together a sentence, and I become a puddle of uselessness. Grr. The thing is that if I had a position like this one, I would be AWESOME at it – and I know it. There is not one ounce of self-doubt in my body that I would be not only capable but extremely competent in this position. I’d be great – however, my own stupidity and lack of interview skills are going to forever hold me back. Until the day comes that I can get a friggin’ clue and work this out, I will be doomed to never advance in my career…and that’s sad, because I think I could do a lot of great things if I was just given the chance.
Anyone have any great interview tips for me? What’s the secret to selling yourself in this kind of situation? I’m so inept that I would probably have more success trying to peddle my arse on a street corner…and as you will know if you’ve seen my arse, that too would be a hard sell. I think I need someone to sit with me, talk me through these questions and help me learn to sing the right notes in an interview – because left to my own devices, I am falling way flat. 😦
PS: I totally should have tried a tactic like this – damn. 😉