20 Questions

Posted: December 8, 2011 in deejay, humor, Life, Radio, storytelling
Tags: , , , , ,

I had a job interview this week, my first one in years. I should have been more nervous, I suppose, but interviewing is like second nature to me. In my current full-time job, I get interviewed all the time although it’s about what I know not who I am. And for many years, I’ve been an interviewer – on the air, for a story, doing sales, hiring people.

Questions and answers. That’s all an interview is. What makes it so tricky is which one you’re doing and how much it matters to you. Few interviews are a matter of life and death – unless you’re asked to donate a kidney, you’re trying to adopt, or someone is holding a gun to your head demanding that you give up classified information. The rest of the time, it’s just plain old Q&A.

I’ve had job interviews when I was unemployed and desperate, when I was employed and restless, and a couple of times, when I wasn’t even looking.  A few from the highlight reel…

Most embarrassing interview moment: Breaking my ankle leaving an interview with an advocacy program for the handicapped (ah, the irony). It was already sprained but I’d worn heels anyway because they went with the power suit I had on. (I know, ME in a power suit? It was the 90’s and all chicks in charge were wearing them. I had the required shoulder pads and big hair, too.) I stood up at the end of the interview and SNAP! The ankle went and I hit the floor, powerfully (must have been the suit). I should mention most of the board members interviewing me had wheelchairs or arm crutches. One of them loaned me his crutches so I could hobble to the parking lot. I didn’t get the job.

Most truthful interview response: While interviewing for a job I wasn’t sure I wanted or could even do, I was asked why they should hire me.  I replied, “Some of these things I can do, some of them I can’t. If you’ve got instructions for the things I can’t do, I’ll figure it out. If I have questions, I’ll ask. If I have problems with someone, I’ll tell them. If you have problems with me, tell me. If you yell at me, I won’t listen.  Don’t look over my shoulder while I’m working and don’t feel like you have to pat me on the back if I’m doing a good job. Keep the paycheck coming and I’ll keep showing up.” I got the job…at twice what I had been making.

Dumbest interview question I’ve ever been asked: “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” Here are my suggested answers, in case you’re ever hit with this one. When you want the job: “I’d be an evergreen because they’re hardy, work well in any environment, and always portray a positive image.” When you don’t want the job: “I’d be a stump because they maintain a low profile, don’t do anything but sit there, and can’t be easily removed.” The response I gave: “That is the dumbest question I’ve ever been asked.” Yeah, that response can also fall under the “When you don’t want the job” category.

Best interview advice I’ve ever been given: from a hippie DJ I worked with at a radio station over 20 years ago. He said, “Just be who you are, man. Don’t waste your energy pretending to be something you’re not. They always find out the truth.” Straight-up solid advice.

This week’s interview was O.K. as far as interviews go, and I think my chances at the job are about as good as anybody’s.  I’ve settled in for the Big Wait and after the holidays, it comes down to one more question and answer – will they be asking and what will I say if they do?

Me on the job, late 1980's

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Comments
  1. Loved this post. Reminded me of some of the whacky interviews I have had over the years.

  2. Rita Weatherbee says:

    Good luck to you, that is if you want the job! Great advice for any future interviews I might have. I am the world’s worst interviewee – I’ve been told I get hired because of my smile (and the unspoken is not because of my wonderful answers)…I once ran into a wall right after standing up to leave an inteview. My smile didn’t save me on this one!

    • Still deciding on my answer if asked. You do have a great smile! A wall, huh? Sometimes those things pop up in the weirdest places, don’t they? I got a goose egg on my forehead yesterday from walking into the corner of a door. We must be absent-minded artists… =)

  3. ottabelle says:

    For a girl who has only experienced one job interview, and a few interviews for other things, this was a fun read. It also showed me nice reactions for situations. And let me know things will probably be ok; no matter what happens. 😉

    • Honesty is always the best policy unless the question is “Tell me honestly: do you think I would be a terrible person to work for?” IF YOU WANT THE JOB: “Of course not!” IF YOU DON’T WANT THE JOB: “From what I read on the bathroom wall before I came in here, yes.” Things always work out, one way or the other, ottabelle!

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