“I’m a customer,” she says. “Approach me.”
I hate role playing.
“I just walked in,” she says. “I’m looking at phones. Okay. Come over.”
If I had to choose between job interview role playing and polishing a trumpet while the trumpet player is trumpeting, I would choose the trumpet. Every time.
“Hi,” I smile, but oddly, like someone is holding a shiv to my side, “can I help you?”
“I’m looking for a phone,” she says. Her name is Sally. “Something new. Something really cool.”
“Do you like iPhones?”
“Okay. Stop right there. Ask what she currently has.” This is Sandra. She’s watching from the side, a few feet over at the table we were all just interviewing me at. “Meet them where they’re at.”
It’s always wise to learn from mistakes.
“What phone do you currently use?”
“The Dell Aero.”
Some mistakes I’m happy to leave behind.
“But I don’t want the Dell Aero anymore.”
“Right,” I say. “Do you like iPhones?”
My job hunting and interview history has left me with many regrets. Like, for instance, the time I applied to AT&T as a retail representative, somewhere in Washington state, circa 2010.
It didn’t start off very well either.
I was four minutes late. I remember that clearly.
Because I’m never late to a job interview. Never. Being early is a sacred cow. Show up with extra 15 minutes, at least. Acclimate to the office temperature. Slick the hair in the bathroom. Breathe.
I squeezed in this interview on my lunch break.
I was a produce clerk back then. I asked for an extended lunch. I left hastily, swapping a kale-stained apron in the car for a Van Heusen and a ten dollar pre-tied tie and driving 40 minutes.
The hope was to gain a bump from $8.50/hour to $9.25/hour. Totally worth it.
There was traffic probably. Either way you cut it, Sandra hated me the moment I waltzed in. She had me figured out: This guy comes late to interviews. It was all in the eyes.
Good thing, too, the interview lasted 40 minutes. Sally, the other one, she was alright. She gave me a little grace. But Sandra. Man. It was the most uncomfortable interview of my life. We all knew it wasn’t going to happen. While I can understand going through with the interview (everyone needs practice, even the interviewers), role play?
A total hail marry. Or maybe, let’s just make this guy squirm. That’s what you get for coming late!
“Sell me something.” (more…)