Let’s Get Grilled

Job interviews… love ‘em or hate ‘em, we all gotta have ‘em if we want a job. Gone are the days when you could blag your way into a job by inventing bizarre and obscure qualifications on your CV (“So, Mr Jenkins, you have a BA in Goat Milk Chemistry and Himalayan Ornithology from Grozny University? Excellent!”) and making up work experience (“Yah, I spent 3 months delivering tiny babies in the Gobi desert before moving on to building saunas in downtown Sarajevo for a health charity”). Nowadays, application forms and then, if you don’t make a complete balls of the form, the subsequent interview are designed to get you sweating, thinking and in some instances crying hysterically, to prove that you have got what it takes to get that job. If you receive an application form that contains questions that start off with, “Describe an event where you have… blah, blah, blah” then you’re in trouble, mate, because they are going to make you work for this, baby. Get your ass ready for one hell of a grilling.

I have had an interesting life I suppose, but it seems that no matter what deep and meaningful question I get on these forms, I have done nothing that would remotely relate to it. So what to do? Well, I remember as a child that adults used to mention something called “telling the truth” so I thought I’d try that. Naturally for the jobs I was applying for, experiences of setting up entertainment shows for children (just don’t even ask about that one, OK?) and my unlimited knowledge of how to fold BHS cardigans (another job that I ‘forget’ to put on my CV) didn’t really cut the mustard, so needless to say in most cases I did not even get an interview.

Of course, actually getting an interview can be even more traumatic, especially if you don’t really know what to expect. The question that always make me want to run for cover is: “So what are your good qualities?”. I’m like, “……”. What does this mean? Do they really want me to say all that crap like, “Well, I’m enthusiastic, hard working and organised, and it is very unlikely I will sleep with your wife”.

If you want to know what a person is good at, do you really ask the people themselves? Once in an interview, a young lady even asked what my bad points were. I mean, what could I say? “Well, I can be lazy, I’m loud when I’m drunk and I may not call you after a one night stand…. In fact I really won’t…or maybe I will, look it depends OK? Leave me alone, you stalker!!!” Sorry, sort of lost my thread there… Yes, so anyway… job interviews.

The worst kind of interview is the “informal chat”. Invariably I turn up suited and booted when the interviewer looks like a breakfast television presenter in a pastel cardigan and bri-nylon ‘slacks’. The words, “Now just relax, this is going to be a very informal chat” just make me more nervous and suddenly my suit feels ridiculously over the top and I might as well be dressed up in a kilt complete with sporran. My perfect interview would be where the interviewer just asked me my name, complimented me on my hairstyle and gave me the job. I mean, is this really too much to ask? Well, is it?