As I wonder about the shop waiting to be collected by my interviewer I cant help but smirking at how focused I am about this interview. I had done my meaningless research, dressed appropriately to match their indie-esque style and had even listened to indie music on the bus ride coming up. I had my answers prepared, covering a vast variety of subjects and was ready for anything they could throw at me, like some sort of dodgeball guru. I also have what I call my ‘Golden answer’ which gift wraps every cliché interviewers want to hear in a modest and personal answer to the question ‘What do you like about Retail?’ which might also be disguised as ‘What do you like about Sales?’ or ‘Why do you want to work in Retail?’. The only thing that could throw me off my game was if the interviewer was a gorgeous babe with a sexy voice. I’m then called over by a gorgeous babe who introduces herself and tells me in a sexy voice that she will be conducting the interview……bugga!!
Despite the elaborate cleavage……err……i mean eyes, that I’m sure will acquire more viewings than The Dark Knight’s opening weekend, I manage to remain focused as though I had temporarily turned gay. She takes me through a 6 page print-out that has over 20 questions. I’m quick with my answers, witty with my remarks and maintain confident body language and presence. I even brush off thoughts of her moonlighting as a call girl on evenings……thoughts that later resumed on the bus ride back. Around mid-point in the interview she asks me a straight forward, pablum question. But not just any question. THE GOLDEN QUESTION!! “What do you like about retail?”. “Well…” I say with a smile, as I prepare to dazzle her. “I genuinely like retail because it’s so busy, I enjoy working in fast paced environments, there are always things to do, especially with this stores location…” I somehow continue to smile without using my mouth because I am reciting this answer word for word how I had written it. “…also I love the customers I know most people hate customers deep down but I think they keep a job interesting, I love the interaction, there is a great feeling knowing you have provided good assistance to someone, even when dealing with rude or difficult customers, knowing you kept calm and dealt with the situation with understanding and professionalism…and get a good result from a position like that, its a really good feeling”. I put my hand on my chest, nod my head and let out a heartfelt tear. NAILED IT!! She buys into the false sincerity, welling up herself and jotting some notes down……ok so maybe I’m exaggerating with the tears but dammit when the film of my life comes out, that’s how it will happen!!
I’m on a high, nothing can ruin this!! I was like an accompanying picture next to a ‘How to do a good interview’ article. I envision myself teaching a class on interview techniques, and insisting pizza is the new apple to the teachers pet. “Ok, what do you enjoy about sales?” the lady says interrupting my thoughts. Huh!!………WHAT!?……but…BUT……THAT’S THE SAME QUESTION!!! YOU CANT JUST REPHRASE A QUESTION YOU HAVE JUST ASKED!!!……I wrack my brain trying to come up with a good response but all that’s coming to me is stuff I had just said!! CANT SHE SEE SHE HAS JUST ASKED ME THE SAME QUESTION TWICE!! Can I just say “See above”?? Time is ticking away, I look at her as she notices the desperation in my eyes, but I have nothing!! I cant repeat stuff I have already said!! I have nothing!! I’m completely blank!! Blanker than a blank dictionary with nothing but the definition of the word blank………hold on……I’VE ALREADY USED THAT IN ‘SMALL TALK’!!! AAAARRRGGHHH!!!
It was like trying to un-pause my brain with a remote without batteries. It feels like I’m falling down a large staircase, tumbling so hard you would think I was blogging. This must look so bad!! Worse than when I whipped out the lip balm when that girl shouted ‘kiss my ass’………or the time I spent 15 minutes in hmv considering whether buying a Miley Cyrus 2010 calendar was a step too far. The lady eventually grows tired of my embarrassing silence and tells me we can come back to the question later. She continues to fire questions at me but I fail miserably in trying to regain my rhythm. I’m all over the place, only partially focused on the questions being asked and mainly on how much damage that skipped one had done. Three quarters of the way through I realise it was hopeless, the few minutes of bad had undone the initial brilliance I had started with. My face by that ‘How to do a good interview’ article had been replaced with some shhhmuck in a bow-tie. I call it a day, put myself on auto-pilot and spend the rest of the interview looking at her “eyes”.