Ah, an office: both an amusing and torturous corporate playground where humans are reduced to robots programmed to exclaim "Happy FridaaAAAY!" in a douchey crescendo at 9am on the dot at the end of every week. It's a place characterized by heinous carpeting, defunct water coolers, expired Lean Cuisines, awkward bathroom run-ins with a superior (excuse me bosslady - you're supposed to be a robot who gives me my paycheck, I do not need to know that you have a digestive system), cliched e-mail dialogue (if I had a nickel for every time I used the term "following up" in the subject line of an e-mail then I would be making money in a very strange way), and of course the dreaded Monday morning spent nursing a hangover in your cube whilst feigning interest in your coworker's prolonged story about his nephew's weekend soccer game in Marin. It's all so contrived, so sterile, so... hilarious.
When I first moved to San Francisco I
lost took on a slew of temp roles. I temped at salons, venture capital firms, hedge funds, investment banks, real estate companies- you name it. I felt like a foster kid in the corporate world. I thought of myself as the Temp Fairy but instead of fairy dust I sprinkled my awkwardness and lack of Excel skills all throughout the financial district. After a few years months of answering to anything from "Andrea," to "Alexander," to "Allysia" to "Alfred" I was able to land a full-time receptionist position but got canned on account of my failure to recognize Costco as a bulk store. A few failed Executive Assistant positions later, I finally realized that being an Admin was not my will forte. I'm more of a terrifically scattered creative type - and to be a good admin one must be extremely organized and a bit type A. I am Type Q.
But I digress: I've interviewed a shitload of times - and now, as a recruiter I'm responsible for prepping candidates for interviews so I'm pretty well-versed on how to
be painfully fake wow a prospective employer. I hope I'm not jinxing myself by putting this out there - but I have an interview with the Onion this week. Writing for the Onion is my absolute dream job - mostly everything I write on Toe Pick is Onion inspired so this opportunity is like my wet dream. So it is in the spirit of the Onion and this momentous occasion that I've decided to feature 10 ways to nail an interview:
1. Punctuality is important
Be sure to show up at least 13 days before your interview time and set up shop in the elevator. Bring a sleeping bag, humidifier, your gameboy and sustainable food such as dried fruit or beef jerky.
2. Dress appropriately
It's better to be overdressed than under dressed so always make sure you wear collared slacks.
3. First impression is key
Make sure to make direct bedroom eyes at the interviewer upon meeting. Shake his/her right hand with your left hand. Awkwardness will ensue. Let out a frustrating grunt as you beg him/her to try again. Then, shake his/her hand again and make sure you rub his/her innermost palm with your pointer finger. The clammier the hand the better.
I've provided a diaphragm for your reference:
4. Set yourself apart from other candidates
Sit on the floor. Tell the interviewer you prefer the floor to a chair because it's "closer to the earth this way."
5. Establish trust
At the end of the interview, look around in a paranoid manner, lean in toward interviewer and whisper "Remember, we never had this conversation."
6. Ask questions
Inquire about health benefits. If the interviewer is a woman ask her which gynecologist she uses/recommends at Kaiser.
7. Appear to be detail oriented
Ask her if she knows which gynecologist at Kaiser provides the most durable stirrups.
8. Be engaging
If the interviewer asks you a question about your work history, ask him or her to repeat the question "but with a little more UMPH this time."
9. Be confident
Act as if you already have the job. Tell the interviewer you're going to set your outlook password to "New England clam chowder" when you start.
10. Leave with a bang
End the interview with a standing slow clap
And, that's all I got. I am off to run laps around the financial district like a gerbil in an effort to soothe my nerves. I'd ask you to wish me luck, but I'm well aware that luck has nothing to do with this.