The Job Interview Merry-Go-Round

Beginning Skype Interview Face

Second interview today. Sixth interview in four days. One offer to teach in South Korea. No call backs from part time jobs to fund my broke-ass backpacker lifestyle in the meantime. Two over Skype, one over the phone, and three in person.

I feel as though I’m riding the interview merry-go-round. It’s a strange place, filled with questions that seem more and more similar with each passing interview. That’s mildly remarkable, given that I’ve interviewed for four different industries over the last week. When someone is trained to interview, are they given the same questions despite differences in the industry?

“What were your reasons for leaving your last job?” 


When one adds the wonder of Skype to the mix, it becomes even more of a strange interview dance. I’ve found it hard to feed off the other person’s energy and get excited about a question when some part of me knows that I am sitting in my house, talking to a computer. My usual techniques of reading body language and tone of voice are greatly inhibited by the tiny, fuzzy, at times choppy image on the screen. I’ve realized that I kind of suck at Skype interviews.

What is your philosophy on education/coffee/fashion/bagging groceries?

It is great practice, I suppose. Since the job market is a little bit tough these days (did I say a little bit? I meant a lotta bit. Even with a college degree and two years of experience, I can’t get hired at a coffee shop), interviewers seem to be much more picky than in the past. Their interviewing styles and respect for the interviewee’s situation seem to be a different, perhaps because they know that they can afford to be choosy if 40 applicants will show up for one part-time position.

Are you comfortable with a company that prohibits unionization?

The selectivity of the interview process at times begins to feel like the employers are playing games with me. I’ve begun to second-guess myself and wonder where I made a mistake when they fail to call me back after what felt like a great interview. Was I overdressed or underdressed? When she gave me that business card, was that a hint that the first person to call would get the position? Was my tone too professional, or not professional enough? Was it underqualification, or overqualification?

And who the hell interviews a candidate in a dirty hoodie, looking hung the hell over?

We’ll call you in two to four weeks, unless we fill the position before then.

On the upside, if we ever do get out of the Great Recession and job hunting becomes easier, I’ll be an interviewing equivalent of a martial arts sensei. Or a Skype Whisperer. Eventually, I have to get some kind of position. It’s the Holidays, and retail needs help. Right? I can’t move to South Korea next year in my current incredibroke state.

If not, consider this six steps closer to me taking a GreyHound to Occupy Wall Street and giving into unemployment for at least a few more months.

Update: I got hired at an eyeglasses shop at the Flatirons Mall. Not hugely resume-building, but a job nonetheless! No longer unemployed!

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