This is going to be another real life blog post. It’s been overwhelmingly on my mind and I just want to get it out in the open.
So as I have mentioned many times before….my time at March of Dimes was limited. And tomorrow is my last day. So I’m spending the rest of the academic year substitute teaching…and applying to a zillion jobs. But after that…I don’t know.
Since I got laid off in September – I have had contract jobs to temp jobs to patchworking income together in every way from teaching classes, to substitute teaching, to doing marketing and development contract work, and even selling my dresses. Pretty much anything to get me to the next source of income.
I hate it.
I love working. I have had a job (and sometimes two or three at a time) since I was fifteen. And that’s not including babysitting or watching the neighbors cats or watering their plants while they’re away when I was as young as 12. I graduated college and got hired literally the next day at my first job. I’ve never struggled excelling at my career or ambitions. I’m a do-er. I am a person in the ranks that likes to get things done.
I have applied for 128 jobs in 8 months. I’ve interviewed for approx. 20. I’ve gotten one temporary gig (March of Dimes). I’ve had two interviews in the last month and I have a SUPER important interview at the end of this month – so please keep the good vibes and prayers and advice coming.
For this upcoming interview – I’ve had Preston download questions for this type of job and I’ve been asking everyone I know with this profession what questions they were asked in their interviews. He & I have been prepping for weeks and have another two weeks to prep. I’m researching the company, the statistics, their mission statement, and every possible question I can think of being asked.
It’s my absolute dream job and I’ve been hoping and praying that maybe all of this rejection and pain and hurt has been to lead me to this position. But I’ve been burned 20 times in 8 months. I have a healthy fear of rejection right now…
But this job. It’s doing everything I have ever wanted to be doing. It’s in my ideal location, my ideal position, I’m qualified, have the experience and connections, in my field, ideal salary, etc. I just want it so freaking bad. And I even have anxiety about publishing how badly I want the job…because I feel like if I write it down and fail again that I’ll have even more people be disappointed for me.
But since I have been on so many interviews in the past few months I have definitely been asked some odd questions.
I’ve definitely gotten the standard “Tell me about yourself.” or “What are your 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses?” or “How would you handle X situation?” or “Can you tell me a little more about your experience with X?” or “What is your five year plan?”
But I’ve gotten some strange questions:
“If one of your students’ parents won the lottery and you heard about it third hand – would you call them and solicit them for money?”
“Are you comfortable working in small, dark, hot quarters?” (Answer – not really…)
“How do you feel about college football?” (it was for a hospital job).
“Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?” (for a job that didn’t involve driving)
I once had a very strange interview with a man who was like in his early 60’s and he had an entire staff of BEAUTIFUL 20-something women and he made a comment about all the girls he hired – so I asked him if he only hired women and he and his model staff all fell quiet before he said “I….prefer women.”…It was one of the creepiest interviews ever. They also asked me at this creepy interview if I would work for a week without pay to test me out, if I was comfortable with dogs, if I could use all this weird software (that the job description didn’t call for), asked to give an example of a sales call (again, not applicable to this job) and then heavily critiqued on my pantomime of a sales call, asked what kind of shoes I preferred to wear to work, and how I got along with other women. When I asked why the person who was leaving the position was leaving – he spent 7 straight minutes talking absolute shit about the girl…and then abruptly got up and left the room. Then five minutes later – some girl came out and said he couldn’t continue the interview and they would call me to finish it. They never called and I didn’t call back. Absolute crazy pants.
But the question I thought was the strangest question ever for a job:
“If I gave you an elephant – what would you do with it?”
It was the last question they asked as I was on my way out the door. And I answered,
“I would immediately put on my circus costume, ride it to an existing circus, and attempt to join it with my own act and crash the circus.”
They chuckled, thanked me, and I left. They ended up not filling the position at all and they were super kind about it.
After I got asked that question – I kind of scoffed to myself about what a silly question that was. What could that possibly be the right answer to that? EVERYONE must say ride it? It’s a knee jerk reaction. But that was in…November (ish) and I have never forgotten the question. I think about it all the time. And let me tell you why.
It’s actually INCREDIBLY telling of what kind of person you are:
I asked a lot of my friends and family and even strangers what they would do if I gave them an elephant and some of the answers included:
Preston (long time period actor) answered, “I would ride it while pretending to be a nineteenth century British army officer, complete with sideburns and pith helmet. Like Jumanji.”
My friend Drew (who is the freest free spirit and funny as hell) said, “Ride it fucking everywhere. Like just to Walmart and be like ‘hey’.”
My best friend Abby (who went to her undergrad to be a vet and has worked at animal hospitals and zoos) said, “Keep it.”
A co-worker said, “I would try to get it back to the zoo. Well first, I’d ask you where the hell you even got an elephant. Then I would go about trying to rescue it.”
My mom (who is incredibly business-y and money wise) said, “I would sell it.”
My friend Cody (big nerd and huge Game of Thrones fan) said, “Ride it around and rule the world from the back of my war elephant.”
A friend Leslie (an entertainment accountant) answered, “I would set up a stand or a business where I would sell rides and do a petting zoo type thing.”
Preston’s sister, Mabel (who LOVES elephants) said, “I’d want it to be my pet. Obviously.”
My brother, Adam, (also super business-y and doesn’t do hypothetical very well) immediately said, “Was that an interview question?”
A friend, Alex (who is very socially conscious) said “I would try to raise the money to send it back to Africa where it belongs.”
His fiance Catherine (who is quirky as hell but with a heart of gold) said, “I would take it to a wild life reserve in Kenya and let it run free AND once and only once we would run a HUGE stampede, like with tons of animals and carnage, and then I would run from the authorities because they would definitely be after me for starting a stampede on purpose. It would be glorious.”
A different co-worker (who is overtly practical) said, “I don’t know. Pet it? Maybe ride it?”
My friend Cathy (who is an Earth child of all Earth children), “Take it to an elephant sanctuary or a rescue for elephants.”
My mom’s friend Christina said, “If it were a real elephant – I’d take it to a refuge area. If it were a stuffed animal – I’d put it on my bed. If it were a plastic elephant – I’d put it on my desk.”
And I know most of those people incredibly well….
And all of their answers make perfect sense and reflect perfectly who they are.
So maybe not all questions asked at an interview that seem random aren’t as random as I think.
My birthday is next week (Monday – May 23!) and this a bonus round of my birthday wishlist:
1.) A new bra. (two of my three bras underwire broke in like three days last week.)
2.) More underwear. I’m a Lane Bryant Cacique girl all the way for these first two.
3.) This dream job. In fact, if I get this dream job – consider everything else except for the new bra void. It’s really all I want.
4.) The following clothing options from Modcloth/Torrid/SimplyBe:
5.) These clothing options that are no longer on sale but I’m hoping someone has and wants to sell/give to me! *ICE CREAM DRESS IS MY CURRENT DISO*
6.) Some cute Amazon finds! Check out the whole list here!
7.) Copies of the plays: Dog Sees God, Extremeties, Mr. Marmalade, The Children’s Hour, The Amish Project, Is There Life After High School?, Venus & Fur, The Heiress, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf?, and reasons to be pretty.
8.) Zenni Optical Prescription Heart Shaped Sunglasses. But I can’t decide – black, red, or white? I have two bathing suits. One is black with hot pink accents, and one is cream and brown zebra stripe. Thoughts?
9.) A pre-order for a Purposeful Planner. These are life. I covet the black and white thick stripe or the Holly Floral daily planner. Or even the new tie-dye blue one that is coming out. What do you say Corie? Your new line comes out on my birthday – give a girl a pre-order for an academic planner? ❤
10.) Practical Boring Grown Up Stuff: New windshield wipers, the 6ft iphone 5 charger cords (also on my Amazon list), two spare chargers, storage bins for moving stuff, appliances/extension cords/tools for when Preston and I move in together, new down pillows, any toiletries, Corelle plates, a car inspection, classes to get more experience. Blargh. And when I say tools – I mean we have a tool box but need a hammer, screwdrivers, duct tape, measuring tape, saw, pliers, wrench, an entire box full of tools. And appliances like…a hand mixer and pots and pans and cooking stuff. Being a grown up sucks. Like just this week I had to shell out a shitload of money to get my tire patched, my oil changed, gas, a new bra, and thank you cards.
The REAL moral of the story here: please give me my dream job for my birthday. I’d rather work to earn the money to buy all the things on my gift list then to get them. What’s your best advice for the interview process?
So here’s the “end of blog” spiel!
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Question of the Day: I feel that this one may be obvious. If I gave you an elephant – what would you do with it?
My next few blog ideas: Next one is going to be 24 things I’ve learned in 24 years. I think want to do one about memorial day. And transitioning your outfits from winter to summer. But I’m not sure. I want to know what you are interested in hearing about? My Top 10 Embarrassing Stories? 20 Facts from Your Blogger? The 10 People You Meet in Theatre? Dress-pocalypse? A team up with another blogger? Let me know!
Love all you wonderful ladies (and gents!) out there!
On every interview I ask, “If your organization was a breakfast cereal what would it be and why?”
Some interview questions are asked to get an idea of who you are, but some are asked for other reasons. For example, the speeding ticket question is supposed to say something about your honesty and pace. Oh, you never got a speeding ticket before? You’re probably a liar, or you just play things extremely safe. How fast were you going? Too fast might make you look reckless, which could say something about your work performance. Also, asking about your interests is a way to understand how you would fit the work culture. Putting together a tight-knit group of workers with a lot in common is a great way to establish loyalty with employees, because this closeness makes them less likely to leave. There is a pool of candidates who are all generally qualified for the position; it’s about your general fit in organization.
Preparing yourself as much as you are is great. Rehearsed answers can go against you, though; interviewers know when interviewees are telling them simply what they want to hear. That’s why people are getting creative with the questions. Being prepared is important, but so is being able to think on your feet.
Based on my experiences being on both sides, it’s best to be honest and not overthink these things. Plus, why make interviewing lame with strictly dull questions?