Few people set out to fail at job interviews, but sometimes everything goes wrong so it seems like you are intentionally trying to fail. This morning I was prepared to go for an interview what happened was something else altogether.
1. Stay up late
I expected to be in bed by nine-thirty, so I would be fresh and clear minded. I crawled into bed and turned on an extra alarm clock, so I would wake up with plenty of time to shower, dress, and have breakfast. I closed my eyes, and my mind started playing scenarios of what could happen during the interview tomorrow. I rolled to my side and hugged my pillow tighter and hummed a lullaby. Sleep was simply harder to catch than a greased pig. I tossed and turned until midnight and then sleep caught me.
2. Drink some tea
I was startled from my slumber by two shrill alarms, and I stumbled my way into the shower. I calculated how many cups of tea I could drink before the meeting and not feel the urge to use the restroom. I settled on two and hurried through rest of my morning routine. The time arrived for me to leave, so I grabbed all my necessary documents and walked out the door.
3. Know where you are going
Over the phone, the interviewer had instructed me to go to the hospital lobby where he would meet me and take me to the pharmacy where our interview would be conducted. I looked online and found out where the pharmacy was located and thought I would save the guy a walk and meet him there. I called his cell phone to let him know of the new arrangement, and he agreed, but mentioned he was in the middle of a project and would be with me soon. I turned off my phone so it would not ring during the interview process and waited.
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4. Put your phone mute
Waiting is a game I am used to, so I entertained myself by reading anything that was posted on the wall. To my surprise, I read on the incoming doors that the pharmacy is a safe place to leave unwanted babies. I wondered how many babies had been left to warrant a sign welcoming them. My interview was scheduled at nine, so I pulled out my phone to check the time. I had two missed calls from the interviewer. I called him and explained that I was in front of the pharmacy. He replied, “The hospital has TWO pharmacies.” I apologized for the confusion while he continued to berate me for changing the plan for the meeting place.
5. Ignore the elephant in the room
I waited until I saw a man walking angrily in my direction and cut him off with a handshake and apology. He was not to be deterred from being upset, and I let him ramble without further apology. I feel apologies are like sneezes, I will say sorry twice, but after that you are on your own. We sat in the lobby, and he explained he was not sure how many hours were being offered for the position, and he was not confident I would be a good candidate for the position because I had never worked in a hospital before. I sat and probably looked bewildered at his attempt to inspire me to want the job. He looked at my resume with distaste and waved off my combined nine years in the field.
6. Take a tour
After the sit down chat my interviewer wanted me to see the inpatient pharmacy. He had to scan a card to let himself through a series of doors, and I remembered our phone conversation when I said I was outside the pharmacy, if he had been listening, then he would have understood that I was at the wrong one. I let out an irritated sigh and looked with disinterest at the lab which had no windows, no music, and no signs of happiness. The workers I encountered either completely ignored me or scattered like mice. With the tour finished he led me back to where we began. I knew by his flippant attitude that I was not being seriously considered for the job, so I asked one question, “Do you like working here?” The question startled him so much he almost tripped on his own feet. He recovered and said, “Yes I like it, I’ve been here twenty-one years.” I felt bad for him because I could hear the hollowness in his words. We paused at a side door, and he said, “I’ll let you know by the end of this week.” We shook hands and parted ways.
7. Drive home
I sat in my car for a moment and wondered if I was part of an elaborate hidden camera show. I tried to see where I went wrong and how I could have prevented the poor footing I started off with. I concluded I should have met where we had specified, but I learned quickly how my potential boss handles challenges, how he presents himself in what is supposed to be a professional interview, and how he expects his employees to respond to his complaints. If I had not challenged the status quo, I may have missed all the red flags and simply accepted a position I would have to vacate. So in all honesty, thanks Mr. Interviewer we saved each other a lot of pain and time.
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I am not sure if there is a lesson to be learned, but I clearly do not want to work for a boss who wants me to feel bad, thinks I am not qualified, and is just working towards retirement. I will keep searching for the job which suits me and my skills. And I promise to keep the same meeting place.