by Maria Mize
This piece was prompted by a contest...
|THE JOB INTERVIEW EXPOSED
Who really likes to be interviewed anyway? I have had very few good ones and have suffered too many bad ones. In a good interview, the interviewer will engage the interviewee, making him/her feel welcome, at ease. You are either the host/hostess or the welcomed guest, conversing with someone new and non-threatening whom you both would like to know better.
As host/hostess, you must be pleasant, kind and respectful even if tempted to make an abrupt decision --- be it positive or negative, fair or unfair, based upon physicality, style or lack thereof. After all, this person is your guest with a resume showing he/she is well-qualified for the position; otherwise, there would be no interview, no invitation extended.
A letter and appropriate resume opened a door, and you made the decision to walk through. As the guest, keep that in mind, standing tall and remembering this encounter is with someone who has also walked in your shoes. If the tone set becomes threatening at any time, discreetly excuse yourself and leave. No one is forcing, compelling or pressuring you to stay in an uncomfortable situation --- except maybe yourself.
Interviews have caused me to quake because of a creeping vulnerability, expected intimidation, accompanied by an unwavering sick feeling in the pit of my stomach..., though one of my most pleasant experiences was for my present position. As an interview became imminent, I whispered to the Lord that it would be really nice if my interview was over lunch. Without a word to anyone else, I was most graciously invited to lunch! I then asked if my co-worker could join us. She knew both of us well, which might ease any tension. With all requests granted, I felt a welcoming kindness from my "would-be" boss. During lunch, I spoke directly,
“I’d love to work for you, but if not chosen, I’ll know this is not the job for me; and something else will open up.”
Both pleased and surprised, he offered me the job; I accepted and we have been working together for thirteen years. Though my responsibilities and challenges have increased over time, so have my paycheck, our relationship, and the level of trust between us. We are not only employer and employee, but friends. Though not always perfect, it's a good fit.
My most horrid interview was arranged by a friend and former co-worker. She told me about the position, its pay scale, and encouraged me to submit a resume, promising to put in a good word. The lady hiring, telephoned me. After speaking briefly, we agreed to meet at an appointed time and date. While walking through the parking lot, I felt a sense of foreboding evil, accompanied by uneasiness. Walking through the door of her office, I was met abruptly by a stranger who quickly ushered me into a messy conference room.
"Ms. So-and-So had to go out and asked me to interview you."
Our meeting was unpleasant from its inception. A seemingly jealous, confrontational enemy was interrogating me. My mistake was staying, enduring her condescending remarks and attitude. After our brief encounter and a few defensive responses, I knew I would not be hired. She was the ferocious guard dog at the gate, and my entry was barred. Besides having stringy bleach-blond hair with dark roots, she was sloppily dressed, and her clothes were much too tight, revealing every unseemly aspect of an overweight body --- not very professional for someone so impetuous.
After some thought, I convinced myself that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and this was certainly not the job for me. If Ms. So-and-So didn’t have the guts to keep our appointment, she should have politely called and cancelled or rescheduled, never subjecting me to such an outrageous onslaught. By deciding to simply shun her responsibility, she demonstrated a marked lack of integrity. Regardless of whether or not the position had been offered, I would not have stayed long in an unwelcome environment lacking mutual respect and common courtesy.
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