Stylised Monologue

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Job Interview from Hell.

Different post today, instead of fashion, I am going to talk about a little job interview experience I had this week. It's long and ranty but quite funny (in hindsight) 

Generally speaking, despite dreading them and feeling momentarily inadequate, I have had quite a bit of luck, both with Job and University interviews in the past. Well this is no longer the case.
A few weeks ago, I applied for a writing job here in London. So after getting an email declaring that my CV had impressed them, I got invited along to an interview. 
On the day, I arrive at the tube stop. A whole hour early. Find the place, kill A LOT of time. 2.30!Finally! I ring the bell... nothing. I ring again... I am getting increasingly anxious. Finally someone exits the building so I sneak in. I walk upstairs, completely lost. 'Um... sorry, I'm here for a job interview, for the copywriter position?' I tell some busy woman drowned in what looks like a sea of pink fabric. She looks at me. 'upstairs' she says.  'Thank you, but there are three floors with loads of different rooms, 'upstairs' really doesn't help at all' I think, but only verbalise the first two words. 
the rest of THAT day went smoothly. I found the room, met the team, was given a task to write a hooking review for something, I hovered over the keyboards for a couple of minutes, then wrote something down, shook hands, thanked them and left feeling really positive about it all.
Fast forward a couple of days later, I get another email. They really liked my work and I have been shortlisted and will I please come in for a second interview to meet the boss (lets call him Rick*) and his pet (lets call him Jose*), feel free to dress casually. My thoughts upon reading this email were, put in the eloquent words of young men around Britain that have either just witnessed Manchester United score or have made some progress with the girl they have been admiring from afar, 'GET IN'.
The big day arrives and I have put a lot of pressure on myself as this is the only job I have applied for in a while. I pick my 'casual' outfit. (black dress, white lacy pockets, peter pan collar and leather studded jacket, a good mix) get on the tube rehearsing my answers about writers, websites, problem solving, telephone manner, search engines etc. again and again in my head (and occasionally, to my embarrassment, not JUST in my head). I arrive at the building, half an hour early. Kill some time. Ring the buzzer. Silence. I buzz again. Nothing. I look at my watch. 4.40. I'll wait till 4.43, then I'll phone them. 4.42, I buzz again. Enter the longest one minute of my entire life. I phone them. I can hear the phone ringing from downstairs. No one picks up. I knock on the door, getting quite desperate. A blond lady with comical butterfly glasses opens the door and asks me who I am there to see. I say Rick*. Unfortunately, at no point was I given a surname (shady) so she is a bit wary of who I am. At this point, thankfully, the girl that interviewed me last time comes down 'Hey Daphne, come upstairs. Rick* will be ready to see you in a few minutes' I follow her, feeling quite victorious over my first (possibly located only in my head) battle with butterfly lady. I sit in a waiting room while the girl announces my arrival and I can hear Rick* saying 'give me five minutes' The waiting room is full of newspapers all of which are swamped with news about this little financial crisis in Greece. It's so strange to see the Greek prime minister on the cover of all those newspapers. As far as cover girls go he is neither easy, breezy nor beautiful. Tyra would not approve. Anyway, I am finally called in by Jose*, an odd looking man who did not speak one word the entire time I was there.
I sit opposite both Rick* and Jose*. The room is basically a bonsai jungle. Almost all surfaces are covered by miniature Japanese trees and even stranger, each dwarf tree had teeny porcelain men climbing it, or resting under its pretend shade. So Rick and I shake hands and smile. I introduce myself. He asks me if I'm Greek, I say yes, he tells me he loves Greece, I say it's not brilliant at the moment, he asks why, I say because of all the financial problems that we are facing, he looks at me like I'm from planet Mars, he says he doesn't know about it, I just nod. And with that, the world's worst and most bizzare Job interview commences.
Rick: So, I see you've worked as a translator, that is very impressive.
Daphne: *revised answer about how challenging yet rewarding translations are*
Rick: Do you have a boyfriend?
Jose - *creepy smile*
Daphne (thinking: WTF??!!) : err.. yes.
Jose - *creepy laugh*
Rick: How long have you been together?
Daphne (getting uncomfortable): um.. almost... um.. two years.
Rick: good, good
Daphne (thinking: why?!)
Jose - *creepy nod*
Rick: So do you know what we do here
Daphne: (I tell him but will avoid mentioning here, I don't want to identify them) 
Rick: yes, that's right. Good.
Rick: So what about your parents
Daphne: excuse me?
Jose- *creepy stare*
Rick: What do they do for a living
Daphne (getting increasingly annoyed, I tell him) 
Rick: Ok, I see. And what is your relationship with them?
Daphne (at this point not only am I weirded out by these questions but I am also really hot and can feel my face getting more and more red)  very good, we're very close (thinking back I should have not answered this because despite having no problem talking about my parents, they are fantastic and I'm very close to them, this was completely inapropriate and personal and as far as I'm concerned had nothing to do with copywriting whatsoever - I'm getting wound up just thinking about it)
Rick: Ok, ok. Are you organised?
Daphne: Yes, very.
Rick: If we sent you away to sell jeans would you be a good sales woman.
Daphne: yes, I think I would be, but I thought the position was for a writer
Jose: *creepy laugh*
Rick: *creepy laugh* yes, yes.
Daphne: Ok, well I'd try my best anyway.
Rick: Are you shy?
At this point, I probably resembled a tomato, my face must have been so red, but I was trying to come accross as cool, comfident and other adjectives used in self help books.
Daphne: I guess, naturally, I am but I am very professional and I have learnt to overcome it.
Rick looks at Jose, Jose looks... creepy
Rick: Daphne, I can't read you.
This statement, I have to say, really throws me off. This whole interview has been like a mechanical bull so far, It's really trying to get me to fall off but I am just about holding on. Well that question lands me face first, on the ground. 
Daphne: You can't?
(admittedly, I could have said something more clever, but I was thrown off) 
Rick: I am very good at reading people and I can't read you.
I stare at him, he looks at Jose.
Rick to Jose: Can you read her?
Jose: *shakes his head negatively but his creepy little grin doesn't move*
At this point I am boiling inside and out. This leather jacket was a bad idea and what the hell is going on. First of all as far as I'm concerned, I am a real human person, I am multidimensional and a bit like an artichoke in the sense that I have layers (I'm not sure why of all things layered artichoke came to mind, but I'm going with it) What can't he read? I'm a writer, he read what I wrote, he liked what I wrote, that's what he should be focusing on.
Rick: I just can't read you. Who IS Daphne
Daphne (thinks: Me you maaassive bellend, have you not been paying attention, it's me, this girl sitting opposite you who you have been interviewing for the last half hour)
( I don't verbalise any of that, instead I basically give him a quick resume of my CV) 
Rick: I think you're shy
Daphne: (thinks: I think you're an arsehole) you do?
Rick: Yes, (to Jose) don't you?
Jose: *creepy nod*
Daphne: Well, as I said, I think naturally, maybe I am, but I would never let than interfere with my projects.
Rick: What about houses?
Daphne: yes?
Rick: Would you be ok going into people's houses?
Daphne: for what?
Rick: to review them
Daphne: Yes.
Rick: Do your parents know you're here?
Daphne (thinking: seriously WTF) as it happens, yes, they do.
Rick: and what did they say?
Daphne: Good luck with your interview
Rick: I see. Do you live with them?
Daphne: No, they live in Greece.
Rick: I like Greece, my best friend is Greek.
Daphne: nice.
Rick: So, it's good that you're Greek.
Daphne (thinks: what about my writing?!!!!!) *I smile*
Rick: I still don't know who you are.
Daphne: (again, I could have said something better but at this point I didn't know that I wanted to work there anyway) no?
Rick: You are very pretty, isn't she Jose?
Jose *fucking nods.*
Daphne: thank you.
Rick: And you seem like a really sweet girl
Daphne: (thinks: fuck off you patronising twat) *I smile*
Rick: I will tell you within the week.
Daphne: If I've got the job?
Rick: Yes.
Daphne: Thank you.
Rick: Bye
I nod back. 

Needless to say,  I am OBVIOUSLY not going back. What the hell??????
Have you ever had a similar experience?
Being asked about your boyfriend and parents at a job interview?!!!!!!!!!!
Tell me about your bad interviews!!

* both Rick's and Jose's names are fake. Unlike them,  I am actually professional and would never reveal their real names, location, subject they work on and company name. 


  1. George Agdgdgwngo5 July 2011 at 11:48

  2. Lovely blog post as always. Beautiful pictures.
    And lovin' the interview from hell story - so funny. I can't believe he thought it was ok to ask you all those personal questions. (creepy)

  3. I can't even begin to express how much I laughed. I read this entire post........


    I almost felt your pain on this end of the screen. That's like...OUT OF A MOVIE. You should've bolted once he asked you if you have a boyfriend. I've never ever had such a creepy interview. I've had awkward/disappointing ones but never creepy...especially not to this level. I applaud you on your patience and adaptability. Damn.

    Castle Fashion

    PS: Your tights are rad!

  4. I've had some odd interviews but WOAH, that was creepy! Well done, you sounded like you dealt with it well and remained professional, keeping your cool. I don't think I would want to work there! x x

  5. loved this post..i definitely had a good laugh!! and did i tell you..that i love love ur skirt and ur tights...Very CHIC!!

  6. love the outfit, have the tights as well ;)

  7. So lovely!

    You've got a really cute blog, maybe you'd like to follow each other?


  8. Hi Daphne! First, I just want to say you look really great and I love your leather skirt! So chic with the denim shirt! Second, OMG about your interview! And how creepy! It's so rude that they ask you personal questions that has nothing do with your skills...yikes! Thankfully, I've never been to a bad interview..just bad retail jobs really. xoxoxoxoo

  9. loveeeeeeee the shoes and tights


  10. Oh my! That's just a real WTF.

    But "I can't read you" made me smile, those guys just overwatched Twilight, huh


  11. Hi there! Thank you for visiting my blog. I will def follow you (twitter as well). Great style. x

  12. Love the ring and tights!


  13. Your story makes my last interview seem a whoooole lot better! It sounds like an absolute nightmare. What a creepy interviewer - I would have been terrified. xx

  14. Love the stockings ! Great blog! Now following! Hope you can return the favor, if my blog inspires you :)


  15. Creepiest thing EVER! just read your whole post haha - glad you got out of there!! :S
    Nice outfit otherwise :D

    X Heels In Sand