Friday, July 22, 2005


We are hiring someone in our department, and my manager wants me to participate in the interviewing process. After he interviews them, I interview them. Here is the thing: I am a horrible, horrible interviewer. To the interviewee, I'm a dream because I basically ask no questions. To the company I'm interviewing for, I am useless because I get no information about the candidate other than determining, in my professional opinion, whether or not they might appreciate bathroom humor.

My manager gave me a list of questions, but I am just not the type of person who can say stuff like, "Tell me about a situation where you needed to motivate people on a team you were on. What did you do? How did you get people to listen?" without laughing or feeling like a complete asshole.

Here is how a typical interview with me goes:

Me (in jeans and flip flops b/c my manager is gone today and I forgot I had to interview someone): Hi I'm Sarah. Thanks for coming in today.

Interviewee: Thanks a lot for seeing me.

Me: So tell me about the job you're doing now (or tell me about your last job).

Int: Blah blah blah responsibilities blah blah synergies blah blah develop skills, etc.

Me: That's great! What kind of technical experience do you have?

Int: Blah blah html blah blah photoshop blah blah quick learner.

Me: That's awesome!

Long, uncomfortable pause

Me: let me tell you about the position. Blah blah oversee processes blah blah.

Another uncomfortable pause-interviewee is staring at me

Int: Well what is it that you do?

Me: Oh my responsibilities are to blah blah blogging blah blah slacker blah blah internet porn.

Another pause, more staring

Me: So....did you like college?

Int (if it's a cool interviewee): Yeah it was a blast. I wish I could go back.
Int (if it's a sucky interviewee): I enjoyed the campus, but the class curriculum wasn't rigorous enough for me. Although I did feel that I gained important real world experience that will really help me in my professional career.

Me (thinking, after cool interviewee response): Awesome-this guy's a drinker.
Me (thinking, after sucky interviewee response): Loser.

Ridiculously, neverending horrible pause where no one is talking and I am stuttering things like, "don't know what else to ask", "resume is nice", etc.

Me: you have any questions for me?

Int: So how did you end up working here?

Int: What's your job history?

Int: What did you major in?

Int: What are your career goals?

And just like that I am suddenly the one being interviewed. What the hell is wrong with me?


Anonymous said...

when i was the executive director of a national organization, i would ask everyone i interviewed "what was your favorite breakfast cereal when you were 7?" i don't really know why, but feel free to steal it next time. -steph

Violet said...

hey sarah, is it ok if i link to your blog?

Sarah said...

Steph, dammit! But you're like really good at interviewing and being authoritative and stuff. Basically I'm saying you're mean and make people cry (it's happened!).

Violet, of course!

Erik Holtan said...

I need a job when I get back!
I think I can pass the test!

Mon said... hard. I have not had the pleasure of doing so in my professional life, but I WAS a damn good mgr. at Taco Bell! I hired every person I interviewed, and I had maybe 1 good employee! How do you really interview high school kids, whose previous job experience is 'babysitting'??

Anti-Blogger said...

If you are doing the interviewing, where do I send the resume?

Be warned, I ask for a lot of money. Yes, because I am THAT good.

Van! said...

sara..... sara...yummy sara!

midwestgrrl said...

Ha -- I used to have to interview people at my old job, and it pretty much went the same way. It was only useful in that we hired lots and lots of women, and no attractive men, so I would often make a case for a certain interviewee based on that.

Yes, cheekbones and broad shoulders. Because I am a shallow, shallow girl.

danielle said...

sarah, all interviews ARE first dates. or...was it that all first dates ARE interviews. i don't know. maybe you're dating these people now. nice work.

Adam said...

Dude, you need to research a bit more.

Check out some really bad porn, surely there is one you can totally steal the script from.

Feel free to thank me when you're done.

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

Just because I interviewed a guy doesn't mean I want to date him.

Though he had very nice teeth and he hinted he was into Reggee.

Public Frog said...

That's exactly how I interview people. I am 40 years old (almost). I have always hated interviewing people. I'm very glad I don't have to anymore. It feels like prying, you know? And putting people on the spot. And that's rude. I'm all about making people feel happy and at ease until we can all finally be rid of each other and go home.

John said...

I interviewed 2 girls before. The one I wanted to hire took another job before I could call her back the same day. I ended up hiring the other girl. She was almost as bad as my interviewing skills.