The Phone Interview: You sit at your desk scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed on your computer in complete silence. The door is shut and locked and you have made sure everyone in your house knows to STFU for the next hour or so until you give them the ‘okay’ to speak again. You check the last email you received about the interview maybe twenty times to confirm the interviewers name and also bring up the company’s website (the about us page – duh). You check the time on your iPhone every two seconds waiting for the screen to light up and for the ringtone to sound off. Two minutes after the alleged ‘interview time’ you start freaking out because you haven’t received a call yet… but suddenly a random number pops up on your cell and you pick it up in your most professional sounding tone. The voice inside your iPhone sounds friendly but boy is it weird to speak to your computer screen. You answer his questions with a smile on your face, hoping your positive attitude shows through your voice. You go on about yourself and all that you know about the company. You tell him your strengths, weaknesses (aka interviewing), and why you think you are qualified for the position. He says it was great talking to you and they’ll be in touch for the second round of interviews soon. You hit ‘end call’ and see that the talk only took place for 13 minutes and 42 seconds. Shit. That isn’t even thirty minutes. You panic, think you failed, and kick yourself in the face for not going on longer about the project you did senior year of college that changed your life (even though no such project ever existed).
The ‘Test’ Interview: This one can also be referred to as ‘The Kill ‘Em With Kindness.’ You take a four hour train ride into NYC for an interview you are super excited about. You walk into the office, take a seat next to the reception desk, and wait for your interviewer to greet you. Fifteen minutes later, she comes to you with a huge smile and open arms. She starts showing you around like it’s your first day on the job and talking to you like you’re her long lost granddaughter. She introduces you to anyone and everyone before stepping foot in her office and shutting the door. She starts asking you questions about your life, like how many siblings you have, what sports you played in high school, and what your favorite place to shop is. Somehow it even comes up that you’re both Jewish, so you bond over that even though you’ve only stepped foot inside a temple twice in your life. She then starts asking you how your parents would feel when you move to NYC and if it would be hard for them to let go. She also asks if you would be okay working late nights and weekends… and basically living in the office. During your talk, her phone rings off the hook and she casually answers it every time, talking to each person for a few minutes. Soon she brings in the girl who is currently in the position you would be taking. She starts talking about her ex boyfriend and how they broke up because she was just SO involved in this job. You keep smiling, nodding, and saying you would have no problem working seven days a week for the next year or two… although you think a look a fear may have been apparent while doing so. They talk about your start date for a while and they try and help plan your big move to the city. An hour and a half later, you leave the interview thinking you were basically offered the job. However, you never hear from the again. They must have sensed the fear of working 24/7 – literally. What a test.
The ‘Grilling’ Interview: You head in to a room where you get to sit on a big, comfy black leather couch. You think this interview is going to go pretty smoothly, until a man and woman step inside and sit at the desk in front of you. Each fire off questions right from the start. What do we do? Who do we own? Why do you want to work here? Why should we hire you? What is your biggest accomplishment? What is 12 times 13? (I was seriously asked that once) What would you bring to the company? Why are you better than everyone else we are interviewing? You answer each question trying not to give the same answer each time. You leave knowing more about yourself than you ever did before… profusely sweating… and wanting to cry.
The Group Interview: You walk into a room filled with 5 other people sitting down at a long table and take one of the empty seats. While waiting for the interviewer to come in, you try not to stare at the resume sitting next to you and try to focus on your empty padfolio. You have no idea what to expect, but are thankful you are wearing a suit, unlike the girl in the dress exposing her cleavage and the guy in black pants with a navy shirt and black sneakers on (ugh this non-matching idiot). Once the interviewer comes in, she takes a seat at the head of the table and starts asking questions in which you have to go around the table and answer (like one of those ice breaker games you used to play at camp). You pray you won’t have to go first so you can get an idea of what to say from others, but hope you don’t have to go last or else the others will take your ideas. Through all the rambling of everyone trying to one up each other, you find out you are competing against 2 past interns who seem to already have an in with the company, a guy with a master’s degree in a completely different field, a girl who has been a manager at a book store the past 3 years, and a guy who thought the position (that he saw on Craigslist) looked like ‘fun.’ The bookstore girl keeps answering after you and each time repeats and expands on what you just said. The male past-intern keeps stressing that he already knows how the company works and wouldn’t need any training (conceited much?). By the end, you’ve talked yourself up so much that you completely forgot to be yourself. You think ‘maybe it worked,’ but then remember it probably didn’t because you’re dealing with 2 past interns. At least you know who you were up against…
The Rushed Interview: You wait in a very comfy chair for one of the most important people in the office to come and greet you. After maybe thirty minutes of watching the fashion show that is the office elevators, she comes over, shakes your hand, and leads you to her office. She apologizes for being late and claims that she has had a million things to do today. You start talking about your experience and how great you would be for the position, but she seems too busy going through her email to care. She asks you a few questions, rushes you through your answers, and then tells you she’ll be in touch soon while leading you out the door. Confused and flustered, thoughts of everything you didn’t get to say goes through your head. You hope her bad day didn’t effect your interview… but you know it did. Maybe your rushed interview will show how well you do under pressure? Doubt it.
Have you ever experienced one of these types of interviews? …Or have you dealt with something even worse? Let us know in the comments!