I had an interview today.
Wait, that could be anything. More specifically I had a job interview. Because I applied for a job. Because I applied for a job and they found my resume to be filled with relevant enough skills and experience to warrant a callback. Exciting. Exciting because from the 50+ resumes I’ve sent out since I arrived in this country, I’ve had very little in the way of calls back. I’ve had a heap of negative responses from large corporate entities. Dear Bell and Rogers, there is very little point in letting me know that I’ve failed my application for a position if the notice is sent to me 5 months after I’ve applied for it. I assumed after 3 weeks of no response that I wasn’t the right person for the job. No offence taken. Emailing through a reminder of my failure 5 months down the line is just rubbing my face in it. Not helpful, but rather annoying. It’s like locking you in a room with a bowl of curry while you’re starving, then dropping you off cutlery after you’ve already desperately resorted to eating that slop with your bare hands. No napkin though, that’d be asking too much.
Still, why so melancholy? I at least got an interview. I love those things. It’s true, I do. You mean a narcissist loves getting into a room where they’re the prime topic of conversation? Who’d’a thunk it? I make a point of being pretty transparent, so I feel hard selling myself if I don’t think I’d be a strong candidate. There’s something about setting yourself up to talk a good game when the position is both something you really want and something you’re well suited for. I’m only too happy to talk about the relevance of past experience and eagerness to learn new skills, because they’re true.
So why was it that I was so nervous this morning?
It didn’t start off that way. I’ve been buzzing all week looking forward to it. Last night before bed I was humming with excitement. I dreamt that the interview was a group scenario. Myself and two fellow interviewees were taken by the interviewer out to the streets to take part in a series of pre-constructed tests. He wanted to see how we’d react, respond and co-operate in certain situations. We walked out of the building and saw an old man who’d dropped his suitcase on the ground about to get into a taxi. The interviewer looked at us and said “do you know what to do here?” Immediately I started running towards the old man, calling back to one of the interviewees “mind grabbing that thing? We’ll get it back to him.” I managed to get to the car while the interviewee grabbed the case and brought it over. The interviewer nodded sagely. Other tests involved stacking oranges at a market and entering into an unfamiliar communicative situation. Our interviewer intentionally started an argument with a bunch of hirsute men speaking a foreign language. Our test was to break up the resulting fight. Utilizing my comic timing and complete lack of understanding of the situation to speak some laughably inappropriate English words. They begun laughing and the tension ratcheted down. All was at peace. Dream logic is weird, but if it was to be believed, I had nothing to worry about.
Still, after ages spent trying to iron a shirt without accidentally ironing more creases into it, I got a little worried. My lips seemed dry, I had cotton mouth, my heart was beating locomotive fast.
Fortunately I’d left for the interview 90 minutes early. I addressed the concerns: I bought a chapstick, got a cup of water from Starbucks (“one grande ice-water no ice” called the cashier) and just walked into an H&M to look at things and distract myself from how ridiculous I looked with a tucked in shirt. I got a chai latte and just sat for 10 minutes, before arriving at the reception 15 minutes early. Heart still beating rapidly, I looked around the reception to note the 30+ lights in the one room alone. The absurdity of their potential power bills calmed me down enough for my breathing and heartbeat to return to normal. By the time my interviewer arrived (and thankfully took me upstairs, not out to the street) I was excited and inspired to sell myself.
I did. The interviewer asked me to talk about what I’d been doing previously, then outlined the role duty by duty. Everything he said sounded right up my alley and I let him know of my relevant suitability as required. At one point I let it slip that I was a Breaking Bad fan and we just started talking about great television shows. I got a positive vibe over the 45 minutes and as we left the room he remarked “great interview”. He said he’ll decide by the end of the week.
What was I so worried about?