I’m moving backwards on this post. Let’s talk about my second interview of the day before I talk about the first one. Number Two was terrific. I was there for over an hour and we just talked in a relaxed way because the manager interviewing me was very close to my age. I like the company (I’ve been a loyal customer for a long time), I understand what is expected of me, I will stay very busy and it might be a good fit.
I should hear something today or tomorrow. We will see how I stand out to the higher-ups. If I’m offered a position, I’ll make a decision then.
Now back to the first, reality-bending interview of the day:
As I sat around a table with other hopefuls in a group interview, I started thinking like Morgan Freeman’s character in The Shawshank Redemption during his last parole hearing:
(In response to interview situational questions)
Well, now, let me see. You know, I don’t have any idea how you want me to answer that … I know how you think it should be answered, sonny. To me, it’s just a bunch of psycho mumbo-jumbo words from a social behaviorist that a company paid big bucks for. A way that young people like yourself can feel superior to older people like me because you have a job and I don’t but I have to smile and nod at you when I really want to send you to the corner for a time-out.
What do you really want to know with all these ridiculous interview questions? Really? What would you do, huh? You really want to know what I would do with a rude customer? Be polite, firm, but not groveling. Or how I would handle a lazy coworker? I’d ignore him or her – it all works out in the end. Or what I can bring to the company? A reliable worker who is available and willing to work any day, any hour.
I look back on the way I was then, a young girl who didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. I want to talk to her. I want to try to talk some sense to her, tell her the way things are, but I can’t. That kid’s long gone and this old woman is all that’s left. I got to live with that. Interview? It’s just a bulls–t word. You made up your mind the moment I walked in the door. So you go on and stamp your forms, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a s–t.
That’s how I (and I assume, the other eight people in the group) felt toward the end of this first interview of the day. It started off okay with introductions first and the interviewer telling us a bit about the company.
Then, Twilight Zone music began playing in my head as the group questions started. We, the knights of the round interview table, looked at each other like, WTH?
The guy sitting next to me got this: “Have you ever had a bad experience with an animal and how did you resolve it?” His answer: “A wild boar charged me in the woods. I shot it.”
My question was a little less gruesome, but still weird. “If you could pick a color to be, which color and, in one word, what does that color represent to you?” My answer: “Green. Growth.” (“Growth” was my second thought. My first was “Green. Money,” but I knew that was not what they wanted to hear)
The poor lady across from me was asked: “If you could be a superhero, who would it be and why?” I felt for her as she stumbled over her answer. I could tell she was almost in tears.
The next lady was funny. Her question: “There are two pieces of pie left and three people, including you. What will you do?” Her answer: “Eat two pieces of pie.” I don’t think she’ll be considered for a job, but her answer relaxed the room a bit.
But, still, what do these questions tell you about a person? Some will give an answer the interviewer wants to hear because they are intuitive. Some will give an honest answer (“I shot it”). And some will stumble over words and never get to the point because the question has nothing to do with their worth, their abilities or their work ethic.
So you go on and stamp your forms, sonny, and stop wasting my time.