[I know I have already shared some of my thoughts on the weird quirks involved in interviewing for American jobs, but a really big portion of my life is dedicated to that right now so you’ll just have to bear with me!]
Interviewing is hard, but I would hazard that my version of interviewing is a little more dramatic than most. However, for the sake of sparing my dignity, I will only relate one fantastical tale from the archives of my adventures.
I do not live a fairy tale life. Like everyone I need a job. Unfortunately, I do not currently have what is deemed as a “proper” job so I am on the hunt for one. As everyone knows, searching for that perfect job where slaving away 9 hours a day suddenly becomes 9 hours of engaging activities is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It is really, really hard. So it is unsurprising that on my quest to find the Holy Grail of employment I have sent out many, many applications and spoken to many, many recruiters. Sometimes I don’t like them, sometimes they don’t like me.
But this time was different.
Last week, I landed an interview with a company that is so cool that I drool at the thought of working there. So to remind myself to actually attend this interview, I set myself three alarms for good measure. I was totally prepared.
Expect that I got the day wrong.
Yesterday, as I was shopping in the middle of our local Mexican market, the phone rang with an unidentified number. As I would normally do, I picked up and casually said, “Hello?” I was greeted by, “Hi, I’m [super awesome person] from [company that I would sell my kidney to work for], is this a good time for you?”
No, it absolutely was NOT. But like anyone who needs a job, any time is a good time.
I had no plan except to babble nice nothings at the recruiter while I fled from the mariachi music. Even though I tried to be quick about it, I know she heard it. Clearly, I was prepared.
When I finally made it outside I was already barely keeping track of the conversation. Then my overheated mind met the superheated outdoors. 95 degrees and sunny is not my ideal climate to live in; it is absolutely not ideal to interview in. Yet, I was trapped. I realized that to complete this interview and sound even reasonably professional, I was going to have to stand in the parking in the beating sun. Awesome.
For 45 minutes I strove to sound clever and answer logic problems, while my intelligence dripped away leaving my lips dry with nerves and thirst. I know sweating is supposed to be cleansing for your body, but at some point I began wondering about the adverse health effects of so much water loss. I mean, I already can’t tolerate hot yoga and this interview was quickly becoming a master’s level advanced logic-hot yoga course.
Finally it was over. I did it. It didn’t even matter whether or not I got another interview. I had survived a physical trial suitable for a Marine.
As I was busy mentally congratulating myself I heard [super awesome person] ask the magical question, “Would you like to come in for another interview?” I nearly fainted on the spot. I was so relieved.
They tell you interviewing is stressful, but they don’t tell you that it is going to be a health hazard. In what other country is interviewing for a job such a physically trying experience? I can understand mentally exhausting, but seriously, I should not have to worry about my body’s condition while I’m looking for a job!
Well, we all do what we must. Clearly I am not prepared to venture into the American working world, but maybe, just maybe, I will be lucky enough that someone believes I’m ready. Wish me luck.