I’ve heard the horror stories. I’ve heard tell of how terrifying, overwhelming, anxiety inducing, and terrible job interviews are. To be honest, I’ve never really had a real one. I guess I’ve lucked out. My first job was offered to me by a family friend. My second job I got because my sister used to work there and still knew people. My internship at the nursing home and my filing job came from a family member. My internship at a camp, my job at the frozen yogurt store, and my job at the movie theater were all already decided before I even walked in for the interview. In all of these cases, the interview was just a formality. I already had these positions in the bag. I did go on one accidental interview for a job I didn’t want but we’ll just chalk that one up as a fluke.
Today I had my first real interview and it was almost worse than a show audition in some ways. At a musical audition, you get to prepare beforehand. It’s actually kind of fun and you get to meet lots of people at the audition. No, you might not get in. But at least the audition process makes for an enjoyable night. Interviews are not fun at all. There’s no showing off your talents or performing and doing what you love. No, it’s just sitting and trying to make yourself seem impressive. While your interviewer takes notes and judges your every movement like you’re some specimen in the zoo. The questions are all just traps and formalities and you have to know how to navigate them. Body language, facial expressions, and word choice are crucial. How well you can bullshit and how well you can read a situation determines if you get the job. It’s all hogwash.
My first interview was bad on all accounts. But it’s no surprise. I wasn’t eager about the job to begin with. My first mistake was assuming that the interview would take place in the office closest to my home. Evidently, it was the other office that had contacted me. But I had no way of knowing that. I arrived ten minutes late to the interview after speeding through highway driving to get to the correct office. I was applying to be a Registered Behavioral Technician where I can work one-on-one with children with behavioral and educational issues. I walked into a room of frazzled workers and screaming children. Did I mention I’m not a huge fan of kids on a good day? One of the questions during the interview was whether or not could handle kids screaming, throwing tantrums, and getting violent. My response was a hesitant yes and the interviewer called me out on my pause. Then again, I guess having no poker face isn’t a bad thing. At least I’m honest.
I know I am going to have to go through this process many more times before I can finally get a job. It’s not like having a BA in Psychology is the best for jobs. Every interesting job in the field requires a masters degree. Did I mention I don’t like kids? This is going to be a rough year of job hunting and today was only the start. Hey, it makes for a good story. “My first real job interview I ended up in the wrong building”. I can only hope that, like auditions, job interviews only get easier with time and as you pick up on the little tricks and rules. We all gotta go through it at some point. It’s all just part of the process.