There is always a lot of stress and worry that goes into preparing for a job interview. Every interviewer has their own set of priorities when it comes to finding the ideal person for a job. Here are some things I learned from my worst job interview and some words of advice to those individuals preparing for an interview.
The Wrong Job
Everything was going great, I was applying for the position of the Marketing Director with a small company offering home fire alarm and carbon monoxide monitoring systems. I absolutely love working with small businesses, so I was naturally excited for a small staff and a big challenge. The position said I would be over a small team of individuals, and the main goal was to push for education and awareness. The initial questions were the basics, “why did you apply” and “what makes you a good candidate?” After the first part of the interview was over, the owner of the company came in and starting asking me random and silly questions. She proceeded to grill me with a list of questions about sales, and she started telling me that my job would be to answer phone and make sales. Being highly confused, I asked for clarification as to what they thought a Marketing Director did. Needless to say, she thought I was being arrogant, and told me marketing is all about sales and the term marketing is simply a cover word for sales. I chose that moment to withdraw my name from the position as I didn’t want to sit in an office all day making cold-calls.
What I Learned
After going home, feeling quite confused I realized a number of things that went wrong with the job interview. The first thing that was wrong, the company completely mislead me in the advertisement for the job. Even the initial person I was interviewing with told me I was being considered for a completely different job than the owner had in mind. The second thing I learned was to speak up. Instead of sitting there dumbfounded when the owner attacked my degree and career goals, I should have taken a moment to engage in a conversation. Perhaps next time I go on a job interview for a Marketing Director, I will be a little more vocal about what I think marketing is, and what the company thinks it is.
Despite the bad job interviews where you are sometimes forced to wait 45 minutes, they all help to grow your skills. For each terrible job interview I have had, I learn something new every time. I remind myself to be prepare for anything. Some people ask questions right from a script, others like to hold large group interviews, and others seem to focus on personal connections. Taking the time to prepare yourself with the best answers before the interview can calm your nerves during the interview. There will always be questions that can rattle you during the process, but remain true to your convictions and you will find the right job someday!