The Awfulness of Job Interviews

I cannot think of anything worse than being interviewed for a job.

The odds are COMPLETELY against you.

The worst part is behavioral interview questions. They drive me INSANE, not least because they are impossible to answer, but also because I never understand how they are relevant to the job at hand in any way. Sorry, but how is my ability to fabricate a compelling story about “a time I overcame a major challenge” indicative of my capacity to fill out a spreadsheet or set up a meeting? The only thing my answer to that proves is that I am able to extract an example from my life and re-craft it to fit into a generic, meaningless, and over-used narrative about how, as a human, I am capable of learning from my mistakes. (What if I went meta on someone and said, “My greatest professional weakness is my reluctance–nay, objection–to answering behavioral interview questions.” Ha!) I guess what I could do, if people are going to insist on asking me this nonsense, is write out formulaic but effective answers, memorize them, and rattle them off every time I’m asked. But how disappointing is that? When you give the same exact answers to every HR manager, even though the jobs you’re applying for may be completely different? I feel like they signify laziness on behalf of the interviewer. Either the person doesn’t know how to conduct an interview, or read an article somewhere entitled “Questions You Should Ask in Every Interview,” or isn’t capable of generating relevant interview questions on their own. STOP USING THEM.

Actually, come to think of it, the best interview I ever had was when I walked into the room, proceeded to talk for 20 minutes straight about my goals and ideas for re-invigorating a student publication, and then finally at the end asked THEM if they had any questions. They all just smiled and shook their heads.

And please, don’t ever say: “Tell me about yourself.” THAT IS WHAT I AM TRYING TO DO.


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