But sitting there, I more likely emerged an eye-sore, wide-eyed, all smiles and teeth.
Sitting straight and proper—though feeling more like a mutant, like the “Creature from the Black Lagoon”—silently conjuring grace and dignity, and sensing the seconds tick, I managed to hold my composure steady. At least long-enough to answer every question, timely and smartly (or so I hoped), even if inside I felt like a wind-up toy talking—a chatty-Cathy doll!
I felt miserably on display and completely helpless; but practiced hard at looking composed, I sat for one solid hour answering every one of their questions. I answered honestly and to the best of my recollection and ability, but the whole time knowing they now see me as a “has-been.”
You see, when they asked, “So what is it you like most about your present position?” I felt I needed to update them on my status, because I know I heard gasps escape their mouths when they realized that I haven’t worked in over three years.
I assumed they knew! Shouldn’t they have already known my status?
“I’m sorry! I am not working at the present, and it says so right there on my resume,” I replied, though without any disrespect.
I wondered if they’d even bothered to review my resume before calling me in. So I proceeded to explain the present.
“I am in-between office jobs. But I have been keeping busy at home: writing recipes and home-fitness articles for Examiner.com.”
Their eyes, in unison, quickly dropped to their paperwork on a clipboard, obviously scanning my resume for what was on print about me. Did they really not know? I actually felt embarrassed for them. Indeed they were not prepared to receive me. I was just part of their “cattle-call.”
We continued and moved on with questions about my work history, work habits, and computer knowledge. They told me, point blank, that these questions did not have a right or wrong answers.
Says who? The right answers will get me the job, the wrong answers won’t!
They took turns asking questions, questions that were obviously prompted from sheets on their clipboards, and every time I answered they scribbled on their clipboard. And nervously I sat hoping I answered everything correctly. With some of my answers they actually seemed impressed. That is until I derailed them with an answer I was compelled to give with raw honesty.
“Why do you think that you are the best candidate for this job?” they asked.
“Well,” I began, “I cannot say that I am the best candidate, I would not think to presume, but I believe I am a very strong candidate for this position. I would not wish to mislead anyone with my abilities. But I am certain that I can deliver what you need.”
They nodded heads but no one responded. My answer was sincere and to the point, but that may have cost me this position.
What happened to the good ol’ days, when a person was chosen on character and gut feeling that this was an ideal match? Back-in-the-day people stayed at a job till they retired. People now move around, going from job to job to job, and no-one stays long.
We dream a life to be; we live to dream that life! (vka)