Two weeks ago I went on an interview that I had been preparing for since March, so a month and a half of preparation went into this interview. For this interview I was asked to prepare a presentation on anything I wanted. Mind you public speaking is my biggest challenge but I wrote this presentation, had someone look over it, edited it, recorded myself presenting it, and practiced it aloud several times. And since I was convinced that most of my time would be spent giving the presentation I only lightly prepared for those common interview questions.
So its interview day and I get on the train and I’m preparing some more (probably looking crazy because I’m moving my mouth and gesturing but no sound is coming out). So I get down town and I’m almost late to the building but I get in there and go through security and the guard says, “What floor?” I say, 3rd floor… He says, “You gonna get that job?” I laugh nervously and say, Yeah! I hope so! So I get up to the third floor and I have no idea where I’m going and its 12:50 and my interview is at 1. I can’t find the room so I go up to this desk of three people and one is helping someone else, one is on the phone, but one is free. So I stand in front of the woman that is free and she ignores me because she’s listening to the other woman that’s on the phone. At this point I’m kind of freaking out but finally she looks at me and asks, “Can I help you?” … I say, YES can you tell me where room XXX is? She gives me the directions and I practically run there. So I get there and a girl at a table looks at me and says, “Are you here for the interview?” I say, Yes… she says, “Ok you can have a seat.” So I sit down and me and her chat about what she does for the company blah blah blah (this conversation with her was about the smoothest and most enjoyable thing that happened the whole day).
So finally a man comes out to get me and takes me back and he says, “If you’re nervous… just don’t be nervous…” (Which is SO much easier said than done). So we go into this tiny room with a table of three women sitting behind it. I have a seat and he introduces himself and the women do as well, all shaking my hand. So he says, “First I’m gong to tell you a little about what my company does then you can present for us”. So he goes over what they do which I’m very aware of and I’m trying so hard to listen but its freaking me out that these three women are just staring at me. So he asks me if I have questions and I force a smile and say, No not yet… He says, “Ok well you can ask questions at the end too”. So now it’s time for me to present. And maaaaaan I’m so nervous that I’m clenching every part of my body so I don’t loose control. So I get up and give out my handouts and I begin and everybody is staring at me. So I’m presenting and I’m so intimidated that I make no eye contact with the man (the director!). My hands begin to shake and this one woman stares at my hands the ENTIRE time I’m speaking. Then I loose my place and have to pause which makes me more anxious because OMG THEY’RE JUDGING EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING I DO. So I keep my eyes on the third woman who is smiling and making eye contact and I continue.
Finally I’m done and the silence is so serious that you could hear a pin drop. So the director says, “Ok… now we’re all going to ask you a few questions”. So they begin their interrogation and I’m doing everything you shouldn’t do in an interview. I’m stumbling over my words and giving very short, choppy answers even though it’s clear that I should elaborate. But I’m so nervous that I can’t think and if I tried to elaborate I’d talk in more circles than I already was. The director asks me, “So if money wasn’t a factor what job would you do?” I laugh because the first thing that pops into my head would obviously seem like a huge joke given the performance I just gave. So I say, Umm… And he says, “Just the first thing that pops into your head…” So I tell him I would want to be a motivational speaker. SILENCE. He says, “Ok… why?” I say, Because I love helping people and inspiration is huge for me so I just want to inspire and help others. He says, “Okay so what would you talk about?” At this point I’m lost for words because there’s so many things I could talk about to motivate people but I can’t single out even ONE thing. I couldn’t even make anything up. So I tell him that there’s so many things I could talk about and that I guess I’d just talk about anything that people needed help with. God it was all so bad. Then at the end he asks if I have any questions and I still don’t have any but I ask one question just to try and save myself from this sh*t storm of an interview. And the question I ask is something he already went over and it’s clear that he thinks I wasn’t listening so he answers it and says, “Why? Is that going to be a problem for you?…” I say no… (I was just asking…). So he escorts me out and I put on a happy face even though I want to go cry somewhere. I say goodbye to the girl at the table like everything went flawlessly and walk away.
Since this is already a long post I’ll save my moral of the story for my next post.