Stories

How to Conduct an Interview: Get Out of Your Pajamas

Over the past few months, I’ve embarked on quite a few interviews. The majority were run-of-the-mill but there was one that will forever be imprinted. Today dear readers, we shall review a very basic rule of interviewing (in case you needed to be reminded). It is the rule entitled: Get Out of Your Pajamas.

A Time Not So Very Long Ago

7:58 am: I adjusted my blazer, hoping my morning eyes weren’t too visible on the webcam. My impending 8 am Skype interview was to be the 7th at this particular company. Yes, you read right – SEVEN. All inquisitions had been held via Skype which apparently is the cool kid thing to do these days. Today I would be talking about a potential future with the Global Director, certainly the most esteemed person I’d had to opportunity to interview with yet. The stakes were high.

8:02 am: Sweat. Nothing but a blank screen staring back at me. They are based in California right? Ok… so maybe she’s running a little behind. I count on my fingers… 2 hours behind us…Hey, I never said math was my strong suit.

8:05 am: Sweating increases. My face mirrors impatiently. I double-check the email – right day, right time, right time-zone.

8:07: am Thinking it’s about time for my morning avocado toast when suddenly…movement on the screen! I internally jump and ready myself. It’s show time.

8:08 am: Slowly out of the technical abyss emerges a face. It’s quite dark. I wonder if my screen darkness needs to be adjusted. “Hello?” I ask questioningly.

“HEL-ah-ugh-ahem. Hello,” the voice growls back. Is this a Shakey Graves situation? A click and suddenly the screen is lit with a soft glow. The light is coming from a bedstand lamp. The woman is in bed. The woman is laying down in bed in her pajamas. The woman is taking this video interview from her bed in her pajamas whilst balancing her laptop on her stomach. The screen is awash with triple chins.

She wipes her eyes and greets me again. “So uh…tell me about yourself?  What is your name?? Where are you located?”

I am certain this is either a cruel joke or she must be terribly ill. But I play along and tell her my name and that I am located Minneapolis.

“Oh. I am in Minneapolis right now for work. Probably could have made sense to meet in person.” I bite my tongue as to not mention I don’t make bedroom calls for interviews… no matter how desperate.

8:11 am: The “interview” continues to bumble along as she yawns, drinks water, and never moves out of her comfortable 45-degree position. I’ve deduced that she is in fact not terribly ill or slightly ill or even a touch sniffly. No no, I have decided that this woman gives zero F****s. With a capital “F”.

After 7 interviews and many hours researching and preparing, one would assume a common courtesy might be to get out of bed and perhaps change out of a Peter-Pan-collared pajama set. Alas…

8:26 am: She informs me that our time is up and that “someone” will be in touch. The screen abruptly goes black.

The moral here kids? Give a f****. I don’t care if you are the VP of the Global Goddess Convention and you command all the woodland creatures and some of mankind too. Wherever someone falls in the hierarchy of life or business or relationships, show up for them.

I went on to have 2 more interviews after so-dubbed Pajama Woman, only to hear nothing for 3 weeks. Mind you, this entire process took around 3.5 months before the recruiter called me last week to “touch-base”. She went on to inform me they went with someone else based on their superior writing skills but they had another opening they’d like me to apply for within the company.

25 year old me would not have had the lady balls to do so but I was just irritated enough (and had accepted a job offer earlier that week) so I felt brave and a little wronged by their process and general lack of common courtesy. I informed her of my general misgivings: the lack of decorum, the elongated process, and of course, Pajama Lady.

I don’t truly believe HR forwarded my feedback, nor am I under any illusion that they cared. But at that moment, I felt a small fire of vindication; I had spoken my piece.

So dear job-seeker, take heart. If I can get through a bed-interview, you can get through any other kind. I am curious though… what is the worst interview you’ve ever had?

*All humans have triple chins when lying at that angle. I sometimes do when I am just sitting in a normal position. I have nothing against triple chins nor her sister double chins. 

Downtown Blondie

 

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