What I Didn't Say in My Job Interview | Reflex.cz
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What I Didn't Say in My Job Interview

Steve Fisher14. září 2012 • 06:00

I had a job interview recently, but unfortunately I didn't get the job that I was applying for.

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That's not unusual in today's tough job market, of course. These days, trying to get a job is like trying to win the lottery. The main difference is that, when you buy a lottery ticket, you don't have to get all dressed up and then sit there while someone asks you a bunch of questions like: "What are your lottery-playing qualifications?" and "Why do you think you're the best person to win the lottery?"

 

Job interviews are weird. And the weirdest thing about them is that they're almost always the same. Some person from the company's personnel department, who always looks as if he'd rather be doing something else, sits behind his desk and asks you a bunch of questions that he has in front of him on a piece of paper.

 

And those questions are also always the same. If you've ever gone to a job interview, you know what they are. "What's your greatest strength? What's your biggest weakness? Where do you see yourself five years from now?"

 

It's creepy. It's like going on a first date with someone who's really, really picky and who keeps looking at you as if they suspect you might be a serial killer. They ask you all those probing questions, just waiting for you to accidentally slip up and say, "What's my biggest weakness? Well, I'm not very good at using PowerPoint. Oh, and I'm also a serial killer. Is that going to be a problem?"

 

So, naturally, this job interview I had was exactly like that. I tried my best to answer those same old questions, but by the time the interview was over I already had a feeling that it hadn't gone well. And that was when I started thinking how I would have answered those questions if I'd already known beforehand that I wasn't going to get the job.

 

In that case, my interview would have gone something like this.

 

So, tell me a little something about yourself, Steve. Is it alright if I call you Steve?

Sure. No problem. Hey, if you want, you can even call me Drill Bit, which is what all the other inmates in prison called me because of that time I stabbed one of my cellmates in his sleep with a drill bit that I smuggled out of the prison workshop. What would you like to know about me?


What are your qualifications for this position?

Well, first, let me just say that's a great question. I'm so glad you asked me that instead of the first question that people usually ask me in these interviews, which is, "What's that bulge under your jacket?" Heh, heh. Don't worry. It's just a phone.

 

Or is it?

 

See? That's what I'd have to say is probably my greatest qualification for this job. I'm an excellent liar.  I think that's so important in today's business world, don't you?

 

Like, for example, suppose I was working for this company and you decided to introduce a new employee motivation campaign with the slogan: "We believe in quality." I would say, "Wow! That's brilliant! That's the greatest slogan I've ever heard! I'll bet nobody ever thought of that before! I love it! I'm going to have that tattooed on my forehead…or, better yet, let's tattoo it on your forehead so I can see it all the time! Here, hold still."

 

What would you say is your greatest strength?

Oh, my goodness. There are so many. Let me see. Well, I guess my greatest strength is just my amazing ability to lift my body out of bed in the morning and somehow manage to drag myself to a meaningless job like this one, day after day after day.  I'm pretty proud of that.


And your biggest weakness?

Hmm. That's kind of relative. It sort of depends on your definition of "weakness," doesn't it? I mean, is it a weakness that I have a tendency to steal office supplies on a regular basis? Or does it just show that I have a lot of initiative? If a supervisor criticizes me and I respond by stapling his tie to his nose, would you call that a weakness? To me, that's just "honest feedback."

 

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

 

Wow. That's a really interesting question. Funny enough, the first thing that came into my mind when you said that was seeing myself five years from now halfway through a 10-year prison sentence for stabbing you with this drill bit I have in my pocket.

 

No, heh, heh. Just kidding. Honestly, though, I never thought about that question before.  So,  give me a minute. Let me close my eyes and try to imagine where I'll be five years from now.

 

Okay. I'm starting to see something. I'm in a car. It's a beautiful day, and I'm driving really fast along a winding country road. I feel so free. Wait! What did that sign that I just passed say? Oh, my god! The bridge is out ahead! There's no time to stop! AIEEEEEEEEE!

 

Jeez, I'm sorry. Are you okay? I didn't mean to knock over your desk. That was so real! Thank you so much for asking me that question. I'll make sure not to take that road five years from now.

 

Well, thanks so much for the interview. I really hope I get the job. My psychiatrist says that some steady employment would be good for me. No, that's okay. There's no need for you to call security. I'll see myself out.


 



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