Sunday, September 26, 2010

EBONY AND IRONY


Is it natural to shit your pants when interviewing for a job?  Not literally of course, that would just be awkward, but is it normal to feel like you might very well vomit on your own feet just as they call your name?

 

I only ask because of late, my husband has been applying for jobs due to a little downturn in the old plumbing game.  And it appears he may well have to suit up and go in for an actual, sit down, have a conversation without saying the fuck word, interview.  What kind of madness is this?  What happened to the good old days when tradies just heard about some work, rocked up and, unless completely useless,  kept turning up each day?

It’s got him a little flustered, actually, as I mentioned in my introduction, shitting his pants anxious to be exact.  He’s most perplexed by the inclusion of the following in his CV:
 

His objectives in life – Um, get a job, get paid and repeat until around 65 years of age.
 

His listed activities/hobbies outside of work - fuck all if he doesn’t get a job.
 

And a summation of himself in one sentence – How about  “I turn up on time, I do a speedy yet neat job and I don’t smoke crack”  What more could a potential employer want?

I myself haven’t had an interview in over 11 years.  I really don’t know what goes on out there in the recruitment world today.

My very first interview was the week after I finished year 12.  Having had a very successful schoolies week in Byron Bay – successful in the way that I was continuously pissed, acted like a right little knob head and managed to spend every single cent that I had, reality set in.  Shit.  I need a proper job, and as much as I loved my Junior Burgers, flipping them for a living was only going to get me so far.

After scrounging through the wheelie bin and finding the Weekend paper, I handwrote a few applications, photocopied my very fresh Year 12 report and dropped them in the mailbox on my way to a hardcore day of tanning and trolling the shops.

One of those applications was for an Accounting Practice looking for a junior.  Surprisingly enough, even though I didn’t study accounting and only completed quite a mediocre Maths level, I got an interview.  Borza I thought.  Sure, I’ll turn up, Mum would go mental otherwise, but I wouldn’t be foregoing my day at the beach entirely.

So I rocked up with my beach bag, wearing my togs under my amateur attempt at a corporate uniform and gave my best impression of being mature.    The interview was forgettable.  I can’t tell you what happened.  All I remember thinking was “this is totally eating up my baking time”  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  Two days later, I got a call to say I had the job.  Apparently, Nik, the boss’s assistant told me my beach bag totally sealed the deal. 

Of course, my beach days were immediately over once I started workin 9-5 (Cue Dolly Parton).  It also coincided with the last time I wore a size 8 skirt.  

 
I’ve only had two more interviews since that day. 

About 3 years after starting at the Accounting Firm, a position for junior newsreader/general shitkicker came up at the local ABC radio station.   I was so excited.  I applied and made it to the top 3 through application and audio. DREAM. COME. TRUE.  


Then came the face to face interview.    I was doing so well too.  Right up until one of the funky looking panel members asked me to give them the definition of irony.  I just had no idea.  I mean I did, but I didn’t know how to articulate it.  If only it had been a couple of years later, I would have known it was like finding ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife or like meeting the man of your dreams, and then meeting his beautiful wife.  I joke, but I was gutted.  I responded with some useless answer that made me look like a halfwit and was properly rejected in kind.  I tell you what though; I can rattle off the definition of irony in my sleep now.  Perhaps I should give Alanis a heads up.

The only other interview I attended was all kinds of wrong.   An old boss of mine had been called for a reference for a bookkeeping job I had applied for.  She rang to warn me to “Be careful, I worked for this guy fresh out of Uni and his idea of doing journals was to put his hand down my blouse”.  That old guy?  Really?  Alarm bells should have rung when he was more interested in my boyfriend and plans for starting a family in the interview than my bookkeeping skillz.  He didn’t try anything on me, no; I have the unique ability to make myself very unappealing to the opposite sex, so that was never an issue.  Let’s just say it was the worst. Job. Ever.  Best thing about those ones though, they make you truly appreciate the good ones.

I was lucky enough to be offered my next job.    In fact, that worked out quite well.  Been there nearly ten years.   See Mum, look where that day at the beach got me after all.      


Love to hear your Interview stories and or tips. 







24 comments:

Lori @ RRSAHM said...

Last time I had a job interview, I actually nailed it. Kick arse.

The time before that, I put my jacket on in the waiting room. When I finished the interview, I realised it was on inside out.

Still got the job.

Kerri Sackville said...

I have an uncanny ability to make myself seem far better in job interviews than I actually am. I have got pretty much every job I have ever been interviewed for. Problem is, I have been completely incapable of doing any of them.
THAT, my friend, is the definition of irony.

Smudgeblurr said...

Hey Bern,
Loved the post - sorry to hear things are slow for hubby - that part sucks! My second last interview was for Pizza Capers so that didn't really count and the latest one was conducted entirely over the phone and I got the job and have been at the school for the whole term and the next..
Wx

A Daft Scots Lass said...

My interview tips:

Don't show up reeking of vodka, don't tell the Receiptionist to Fuck Off, don't call your ex-boss a Wanker and wear knickers.

Lucy said...

Bloody interviews, getting in the way of tanning time.....

I did swear at an interview once. And made him laugh. And got the job. Worked for him for 6 years. Shagged him then skipped the country. Fark, as I type that, I realise how badly I wing through life at times.

Lucy said...

PS I hope Phil finds some lucrative work very soon...

Carly Findlay said...

I love this post! The way it has been written is brilliantly funny.
And not many interview tips from me sorry.

x0xJ said...

Ugh, after leaving my job in childcare when my son was 6 months old, i went for dozens of interviews and i was turned down for a good 4 months before i gave up and put on the SAHM hat which has promptly stayed on my head.
For those very 4 months i actually break out in a cold sweat when i think about applying for jobs and having to go to interviews :\

Goodluck to your husband! I really don't know why they need to know all of that stuff though? What happened to the 1 week trial and if you screwed around they showed you the door? After all, actions speak louder than words.

life in a pink fibro said...

Last time I went to an interview I asked more questions than I answered. Not sure this is the best technique. I would struggle to put an 'office outfit' together these days. Tell hubs to dress smart, smile a lot and be himself. How can he lose?

Mrs Woog said...

I was once asked what my weakness was - I answered shoes and chocolate.

Got the job

PS Good luck Mr So What Now

Seraphim said...

Wishing Mr So Now What all the best, though I still wish you'd up sticks and move to Perth. Like Kerri I've always done well in job interviews but in my case, rather less well in the jobs themselves.
My report card would say: "still room for improvement."

Maxabella said...

Borza?

I'm the interview queen. The key (and this may or may not help your husband) is to act like you've already got the job when you front up. You're just there to have a chat about how great they are. x

ashley said...

Haha! Love this post ;)

Glen said...

I tried wearing a tight top and jeans at an interview but somehow I completely cocked it up :-)

Paula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paula said...

Whoops, lets try that again...the first time I've commented on a post - what a hilarious and witty blogger! Fresh out of uni,I applied for the first job I could get - in a very remote country town (the interview process was clearly a mere formality - no-one else was going for the job). The ratio of men to women was about 500:1..and let's just say the fellas weren't exactly charming. To this day, my one night out at the local pub remains one of the most alarming experiences I've ever had. I lasted two months.

Bronnie and family said...

Best job interview ever? An editor who was already familiar with my work and was head-hunting me, had to do interview on the phone because she was on a day off, and I was going away the next day. She was in the nude, just out of the shower, as I answered her questions and we talked money and conditions. I got the job, she got me, we were all happy. All without leaving home. I only wish I had been in the nude too, may have made for a more interesting story.
Good luck to Phil - I know it's still tough out there, and can only imagine how it must suck arse to have to pick up work.

Marilyn said...

Loved this post Bern! My worst job interview? I went to an interview held in a hotel, had no idea what the job was for, it just said the usual "jump start a new career, outgoing, ambitious, people person" When I was sat down and 30 minutes of Q's & A's I finally asked, what is this job for? To be an insurance salesperson to FUNERAL DIRECTORS and I would have an area consisting county wide of about 200 funeral homes that I would need to visit and make myself present to on a daily basis...if you knew me at all, I am deathly afraid of zombies, ghosts, vampires, goblins, witches and basically dead people in caskets!!! LOL I couldn't get outta there fast enough....I'll keep an eye out for your hubby Bern, I hope this little dryspell passes fast for you!!! Cheers lovely!

Kymmie said...

This is so funny! I sure hope hubby gets a job soon. Thanks for sharing. I think I'm going to stalk you a little more! xx

Tenille said...

You are so lucky to have only had to suffer through three interviews in your career; I feel a though I've been through millions. My 'career' began as a graduate in the public service (two interviews to get that). Six months after starting, they do a bulk round of interviews that you participate in to go up one level. Two interviews for that. Six months later you apply for the next bulk round. Two interviews for that. And on and on it goes.

My worst interview was for a very well known sporting organisation. I was asked how I would deal with inappropriate office behaviour (sexual harassment in a round about way). I did go back for the second interview, but grilled them about working conditions, and in the end withdrew my application.

Kymmie said...

Oh, I forgot to share my favourite irony quote (fron movie Con Air): "Define irony. Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash." And I never thought that Alanis Morisette ever knew what irony was when she wrote that song. Her song should have been called "Murphy's Law". Yes, that describes her predicament much better.

Kamarine said...

The best advice I ever got in regards to interviews. Keep hands in sight (on the table or whatever.) And keep them still. Fidgeting is a baaaaaad thing.

suburp said...

good luck to your husband! and i totally agree that people go overboard for all kinds of jobs nowadays.i've had good and bad interviews and 2 times i took the liberty to tell the people that i'd rather be unemployed than work for them, after the rubbish procedure they put me through.
no regrets.i got headhunted (ha!best interview)and then i threw it all away, changed my life and now am a sahm. next year he goes to school, so i will see if i have to pen down a CV and pass 3 interview quizzes to get a part time job in a phone center. or something.

Faybian said...

Definition of nightmare job interview; going for a government job. I went for the same job 4 times and still didn't get it, it was just in another area of the same department, just a higher level. The kicker, I had been doing the job anyway for a year. While I was on long service leave I quit. Someone rang up and asked if I'd change my mind. Ha! Oh, then they offered me casual work the following week. Oh, I finally got a spot in a different district. The interview was (& still is) based on key selection criteria. Awful. You'd think you were applying for a senior portfolio in parliament instead of a lowly nurses position.
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