Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Interview taxonomy
Some interviews go swimmingly. Others, well, not so much. Sometimes you walk out of one and think, What the hell was that? And it's not always necessarily by fault of your own. MojoGrad has provided a very thorough illustration of common "hideous" interviews. Below is the list, with comments on my own experiences with each kind, but I also recommend visiting MojoGrad for some funny tales and decent advice (it's a longish but good read).

The Interview Where I Was Completely Out Of My League. I've done this more than once. At the end of university, I applied to be EIC of a small, local arts publication. My only experience was running the school's student magazine, but I thought I could totally do the job. It wasn't until I was facing the interview committee that I started to wonder why the hell they had even called me in the first place.

The Interview I Was Late For. My first publishing gig. My sister was supposed to pick me up and drive me, and she was late. (Can you tell it's still a sore spot?) I had to call the interviewer and say I wasn't going to make it on time. I got the job, however.

The Interview In Which I Tried Desperately Not To Laugh At The People Who May Employ Me. Luckily, haven't had this experience.

The Interview That Was Frankly So Much Trouble I Shouldn’t Have Bloody Bothered. One of those times I was desperate for a job. A temp agency sent me out to a place in the middle of nowhere Mississauga – you know, where public transit doesn't seem to exist. My mom drove me (slightly embarrassing) and we got a speeding ticket on the way. Then in the interview, the company was super-sketch. The owner's cars sat in the back of the warehouse under tarps, and "my office" was an empty, badly lit room with one desk set up in the corner and miscellaneous equipment piled in another. I never really got a sense f what the job actually was – I'm convinced it had something to do with the mafia. The guy offered me the job on the spot, and then called a few days later and the position magically didn't exist anymore. For the better.

The Interview Where The Questions Are So Clichéd You Wonder If They Actually Found Anything Out About You. Nearly every interview with an HR representative. (Sorry HR peeps.)

The Interview Where You Already Know The People Interviewing You. Done it. A little odd, but not so bad.

How about you? Any stories to share?

Thanks to Briony Smith.
- Corinna vanGerwen
About Me
Corinna vanGerwen


Corinna vanGerwen is a freelance editor and writer. She has worked as senior editor at Style at Home, senior design editor at Cottage Life and is the former Canadian Director of Ed2010. She has also held the position of operations manager at a boutique PR agency, where she handled strategic planning and daily operations.

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