“Yo, [her] palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy; there’s [a sweat stain] in her [armpit] already; […she’s] nervous, but on the surface [she] looks calm and ready…” This verse of Eminem’s famous song speaks to me, as it perfectly describes how I felt at my job interview a week ago.

It’s true when people compare interviews to first dates, or even a blind date for that matter. As the date progresses, you think “wow, I really like this guy”, but you can’t just scream “pick me, pick me” when this guy is still meeting other I-want-you-just-as-badly ladies. You are forced to play the “who’s-going-to-call-first” game.

6:18 am. It was a gloomy morning. Phoenix looked like Seattle as the sun hid, and the rain washed my dirty Toyota Camry. I only straighten my naturally curly hair once every three months, so of course the clouds decided we all needed a shower. I worried the moisture would lead the interviewer to confuse me with Mia Thermopolis. (Now that I think about it though, I am sure they wouldn’t mind the free publicity of having a princess work there).

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Ollie the GPS spoke up in his sexy Australian accent, waking me from my pre-interview reverie. Much to my surprise, he instructed me to exit at McDonald Rd. My stomach instantly started rumbling at the mention of McDonald’s. I could have easily devoured a McBurrito then, but my stomach was… Well, you know how stomachs get before an interview or anything potentially life-changing.

Should I stay or should I go now. I knew for a fact that if I followed the highway all the way to Raintree I would reach my destination, but I decided to listen to Ollie and take the road less traveled. My gut instinct was right because apparently a DPS truck was involved in a crash, and the entire police department swarmed the highway like a bunch of bees. A couple people ended up being late to the interview, but I wouldn’t have been able to show my face if I was late. It reminds me of the one time in college where I drove around the entire campus looking for a parking spot for chapel. Yes, at the spry age of 21, I was too lazy to walk. I ended up finding a parking spot in the next town over (a.k.a. the football field). By the time I arrived at the auditorium, I was late and went to the student center instead. I couldn’t bear the thought of all 2,000 faces staring at me as I did the walk-of-shame to my seat at 501AA. This is a classic sign of allegrophobia, but I guess there could be worse fears.

Needless to say, I made it to the interview 45 minutes early which is the Hendricks/Humphrey way – better safe than sorry. I passed through security twice as if I was entering a prison that housed the worst drug lords and mafia bosses of the world (Please let me run into Sonny, or even better Jason, from General Hospital). I spoke to the guard on the intercom and preceded to enter through the revolving door which wouldn’t move. Maybe it was motion sensitive. Maybe there was a button I needed to press. Maybe I was just an idiot and was supposed to go through the automatic door on the left.  

As I waited anxiously in the lobby trying to find the ideal spot to hang the unwanted accessory (name badge) that wouldn’t ruin the outfit that took me 3 stores to find! I noticed one of the ladies that was interviewing was wearing leggings. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a group of men strutted in like James Bond, straight from a BN-2 Islander. Hmm, maybe they were about to embark on a mission to hunt down the mafia men in the building.

Usually in large groups of people, I feel like one of the tiny people in Honey We Shrunk Ourselves. However, I realized I would need to put my big-girl heels on and speak up if I wanted to be noticed for other than my poofy-hair. I spoke up not once, but twice, and mentally gave myself a pat-on-the-back.

The tour director commanded us to line up against the neutral-colored wall, as if we were about to take mug shots. A group of about 10 associates lined up in front of us. Were they silently chanting “eenie-meenie-minie-mo”, or did they just want to make us squirm a little bit? Luckily, I was not the last picked (one of the biggest fears playing kickball in elementary school) and was led upstairs to the unknown (really just a conference room).

Out of all of the challenging interview questions circulating in the corporate world, the toughest one never fails to be “Tell me a little bit about yourself”. In that moment, I suddenly morphed into a social recluse with no hobbies, likes, or personality. I wish I could proudly proclaim, “I find joy in reading the Wall Street Journal each morning while I gaze upon 10 acres overlooking the lake and mountains. Currently, my days consist of finding charities in which I can donate money as well as training for my 20th triathlon.” Realistically, my brain freezes and all that comes to mind is, “I wish I could take more naps, and my current T.V. show obsession is Gilmore Girls”.

Even though that aspect of the interview was a blur, my interviewer was apparently pleased with my responses, as I was offered the job the following business day!

Has anyone else had any similar interview experiences or horror stories they want to share?

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