Wednesday, March 11, 2009

interview taxonomy

Some interviews go swimmingly. Others, well, not so much. Sometimes you walk out of one and think, What the hell was that? And it's not always necessarily by fault of your own. MojoGrad has provided a very thorough illustration of common "hideous" interviews. Below is the list, with comments on my own experiences with each kind, but I also recommend visiting MojoGrad for some funny tales and decent advice (it's a longish but good read).

The Interview Where I Was Completely Out Of My League. I've done this more than once. At the end of university, I applied to be EIC of a small, local arts publication. My only experience was running the school's student magazine, but I thought I could totally do the job. It wasn't until I was facing the interview committee that I started to wonder why the hell they had even called me in the first place.

The Interview I Was Late For. My first publishing gig. My sister was supposed to pick me up and drive me, and she was late. (Can you tell it's still a sore spot?) I had to call the interviewer and say I wasn't going to make it on time. I got the job, however.

The Interview In Which I Tried Desperately Not To Laugh At The People Who May Employ Me. Luckily, haven't had this experience.

The Interview That Was Frankly So Much Trouble I Shouldn’t Have Bloody Bothered. One of those times I was desperate for a job. A temp agency sent me out to a place in the middle of nowhere Mississauga – you know, where public transit doesn't seem to exist. My mom drove me (slightly embarrassing) and we got a speeding ticket on the way. Then in the interview, the company was super-sketch. The owner's cars sat in the back of the warehouse under tarps, and "my office" was an empty, badly lit room with one desk set up in the corner and miscellaneous equipment piled in another. I never really got a sense f what the job actually was – I'm convinced it had something to do with the mafia. The guy offered me the job on the spot, and then called a few days later and the position magically didn't exist anymore. For the better.

The Interview Where The Questions Are So Clichéd You Wonder If They Actually Found Anything Out About You. Nearly every interview with an HR representative. (Sorry HR peeps.)

The Interview Where You Already Know The People Interviewing You. Done it. A little odd, but not so bad.

How about you? Any stories to share?

Thanks to Briony Smith.


Anonymous said...

How about the interview where you drive all the way downtown from Newmarket in morning rush hour traffic and it quickly becomes clear that the interviewer already knows who he's going to hire and it's not you. He does not ask a single question about you and the interview consists of 10 minutes of him telling you about the magazine you will not be working on because he already gave the job to someone else. Those are my favourite.

Anonymous said...

Interview by Interrogation: Seven of them on one side of a looong table; one of me on a lonely chair in the middle of the room. No eye contact from interviewers, just random questions. All that was missing was a bare lightbulb for mood lighting...sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for the mention. I'll be sure to link you. I totally know where the first comment is coming from, that's also happened to me before!

Anonymous said...

how's about the folks that have you do mock-up samples of layouts, and you spend ahellovalot of time and energy doing research and production... and then after submission they don't have the professional skill to return your calls or emails when you inquire about the status of the hiring process.