Mutant in a Seat: The Woes and Humiliation of Interviewing For a Job

Woe unto me, as I sank in my seat conjuring grace and dignity, sensing the seconds tick, all the while feeling like a mutant—like the “Creature from the Black Lagoon”. I sat before my interviewers—all four of them!—trying my best to look confident, making an all-out effort to appear as eye-candy with brains. But I more likely emerged an eye-sore—wide-eyed and all smiles and teeth. But I did manage to hold my composure steady long-enough to answer every question, timely and smartly, even if inside I felt like a wind-up toy talking—a chatty-Cathy doll!

I felt miserably on display, and openly helpless; but practiced at looking composed, I sat for one solid hour, answering question after question. I answered honestly and to the best of my recollection and ability, but the whole time knowing that I am now [mostly] seen as a “has-been”. Because though it was barely audible, I know I heard gasps escape their mouths when I summoned the courage to remind them that I haven’t worked in over three years.

I felt I needed to update them because of some of the question they didn’t weigh before asking. “So what is it you like most about your present position?”

“Oh…um…but I am not working at the present. I haven’t worked in over three years,” I answered, “at least not in an office. Though I have been keeping busy at home, the last two years, with Examiner.com; I have been creating recipes and publishing them.”

They all looked down and put eyes on their paperwork, and quickly scanned my resume for what was really on print.

Did they really not know? It was on my resume, right there, in plain sight!

Blessedly the ice was broken when we began to discuss my passion for cooking. They all smiled and laughed, and we all relaxed to a certain degree. They even wanted to know if I have ever brought my creations to share at work. Of course I did; every chance I got!

Soon we moved on with the “interrogation”. They told me point blank that these questions did not have a right or wrong answers.

Says who? It is giving them the right answers that will get me the job and maybe some compatibility too.

They took turns asking what was obviously prompted from sheets of pages for a while hidden within their clipboards. I sat hoping I answered everything correctly, while I watched them scribble and write every time I opened my mouth. Sheesh! And at some points they actually seemed rather impressed with my answers. That is until I derailed them with one I was compelled to give with raw honesty.

“Why do you think that you are the best candidate for this job?” they asked.

“Well,” I answered, “I cannot say that I am the best candidate here, but I believe I am a very good and strong candidate, simply because I do not know who I am up against. I would not wish to mislead anyone with my abilities. But I can certainly deliver what you need here.”

They didn’t know how to respond. My answer was sincere and to the point, but that may have cost me this position. Only time will tell. Sigh!

We dream a life to be; we live to dream that life! (vka)

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