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Thursday, May 16, 2013

How useful are interview tips

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. 

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