August 31, 2009

Better Luck Next Time

Last week I had an interview for a position with a pharmaceutical company in my area.  The job was in line with my past experience and the tasks involved were very similar to another position I had held with the same company several years ago.  The interview, in my estimation, went fine.  This means that I believe I strung words into comprehensible sentences, plus I didn't drool or fart even once.  Today, I received word that the manager I interviewed with had chosen someone else for the position.  I took the news politely, thanked the interviewer for their time, and placed the phone back in its cradle.

Then I spent the next two hours wondering what the fuck I did wrong.

This, of course, is a useless exercise.  One self-designed to raise your blood pressure, fuel your feelings of inadequacy and keep you from your sleep.  Useless because the only person who knows exactly what you did wrong ain't telling.  So you're left to speculate, and unless you think it might be that moment that you took the switchblade out of your pocket, flicked it open and started cleaning your nails, you're never going to know.

Ten years ago, I thought I'd never have to be on the receiving end of an interview ever again.  But then, shit happens and there you are.  Of all the interviews I've been on in the last decade, I'd say I'm successful in getting the position 40 percent of the time.  I really don't know if that's good or not.

When I first started interviewing, I read all of the "how to's" on presenting yourself and what to say.  Now I can report that most of the garbage that I read was horse shit written by people who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.  If you have any common sense at all, you know not to dress like a pimp or whore, don't spend more than 5 minutes describing your criminal background, know the name of the company you're interviewing with and don't light up a cigarette during the interview.

Believe it or not, I did smoke during my first interview after college.  And I got the job!  Ah, those were the days.  In the last ten years I've had interviews that lasted two days, interviews that I knew were over before they even started, interviews where I wasn't hired, but was told later that I had good ideas that the company had since put into practice (Thanks Guys!), interviews where the manager wanted ideas on how to handle her personal problems and one interview where I questioned the interviewer why he was wasting my time and walked out.

And life goes on.  I'll sit here and smart a bit for a while longer, but as I write this, I have a headhunter maneuvering to set me up with another interview ... perhaps in a couple of days.

And as Eliot Ness (played by that fine actor Kevin Costner) said to Al "Scarfacio" Capone (played by that other fine actor Robert DeNiro) in the epic motion picture "The Untouchables" ... "Never give up the fight until the fight is done".

Whatever that means.


  1. I always try to look at it like it wasn't meant to be. Maybe you wouldn't have liked it or someone you had to deal with.

    Two years ago I interviewed with an attorney's office. I thought I wanted the job but didn't get it. I look back now and am thankful. I can't imagine having to conduct myself in the manner that would be appropriate for that kind of setting.

    Interviews are so nerve wracking and I guess that's why I'm putting it off.

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