Some time ago I Google'd “How to handle a successful job interview” and received 537,000,000 results. Next I Google'd “Tips for a successful job interview” and the system came up with 42,000,000 results.
They all said more or less the same thing: research the company, dress the part, arrive on time, not too much makeup, a minimum on jewelry, no perfume.
Armed with all this knowledge I made my way over to an insurance company where I had an interview at 3:00.
The journey downtown would take me approximately an hour, but to be on the safe side I decided to leave an hour and a half ahead of time.
I had researched the company back to front, I was wearing a white shirt, a black business suit and black shoes. I wasn’t wearing too much makeup, other than a Tiffany bracelet I was wearing no jewelry and no scent.
The trouble started on the subway. The train came to an unexpected stop and the driver announced that there was a passenger alarm on the train ahead of us.
Great, this had to happen today of all days. How long would this take? Five minutes, ten minutes, half an hour … you never know with these things.
To cut a long story short … I arrived on site at 3:15. A car splashed water up my pants and while I tried to jump away I broke the heel off my shoe. Can you picture it … I was 15 minutes late, in a disheveled state and limping.
The worst was yet to come though. Ten minutes into the interview the woman (who needed an assistant) asked me if I smoked or had cats. I confirmed both. The woman excused herself with a severe allergy attack.
For a while I waited in the interview room. After five minutes I stepped outside and paced the floor. Should I leave? After ten minutes had passed, I didn’t think the interviewer was coming back.
Outside I phoned my agency and told the consultant everything that had happened. I concluded with “There’s no way I’m getting this job”.
“That’s funny,” the consultant said, “because I just got a call that you got the job and they’re expecting you on Monday.”
Conclusion … don’t pay too much attention to all those successful interview tips. If the company wants you, they’ll take you just the way you are. If they don’t … you can stand on your head and whistle the national anthem through your ears and they’ll still say no.