My very first job interview was when I was 19 and had finished my first year of university. During desperate times when my options were to find a summer job or go back home until my second year, I handed out resumes to a bunch of places. The first place to call me back was Subway.
I didn’t get the job. Probably because it was my first interview so I likely sucked, especially since I had no experience either. I can’t even imagine what my resume would have looked like. Jobs: fish plant worker, town ground’s upkeeper, bingo caller. At least I had a bunch of awards and scholarships to fill out the rest. It was okay because within a week, I was working at Tim Hortons downtown thus the beginning of my relationship with downtown Halifax and with coffee, which I still don’t really drink.
Since then, I’ve had a nice variety of interviews that have included questions like “if you were a billboard, what would it say?”, “what’s something nice you’ve done for someone that you had to go out of your way to do?” and the ever famous “why do you want to work for us?” It also occurs to me that despite the different types of interviews I’ve had, I probably still have a pretty good track record since I did end up getting the job for nearly half of the interviews. The ones I’ve lost, however, have included a second run at HMV and a bank. My current job didn’t have an interview at all and recently during an attempt at working for Apple, I didn’t even make it to the interview process.
It’s interesting, though, the differences between the interviews I’ve done because they can be so different and each expect such different things. I’ve been lucky in one sense that the job I usually end up having is one that I like enough to stay in for an extended period of time but on the flip side, when it comes to looking for or wanting another job, my interview experience is pretty limited. I can remember having maybe ten interviews in my life. I wore a tie to one. I chewed gum during another. I did one as a formality even though I already had the job. But over time I found myself realizing, in an interview, it’s a two-way street. While the interview is a way for a company to get to know who they’re hiring, it’s also a way for me to get to know the company and there’s always a chance that I might realize it’s not the place for me. Is it too professional? Not professional enough? Doesn’t hold the same values that I look for?
So in the end, not getting a job after the interview isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think of it as building interview experience at the very least and even if you don’t think so, they can make a great story! I dare someone to spend a week over the summer gathering up interviews, going to them and making them the most crazy, absurd interviews you can!