“… Oh, and don’t wear a suit or anything like that. We’re pretty casual, and I want you to be comfortable,” she said. “Thanks for taking the time out of your morning to give this phone interview. We’ll see you in here next Friday.”
“Looking forward to it,” I said. “See you then.”
It was 8am. I had spent the previous 12-16 hours running the gamut of emotions about some confusing and frightening medical news we had received. I was not prepared for an early-morning phone interview, but the unexpected call came. And I answered.
I was asked all sorts of pre-interview-esque questions about my most positive qualities, my work ethic, my relationships with former employers, an achievement which I’m most proud of, how I handle stress, etc. I was already under a lot of stress, having not slept well, so I think faking alertness and interest during this phone interview was a pretty good indication of how I handle stress.
I was not ready for this phone call.
But I somehow got through it. And I somehow gave all the right answers. After being asked to visit the office for an in-person interview, I immediately starting daydreaming about what it would be like to work in an office again. 9-6. Packing a lunch. Talking to people. Having clear goals for the day. Meetings. Paperclips. Staplers. Excel spreadsheets. And the benefits! Sweet Baby Jesus, the benefits! With the wife losing her county teaching job in T-minus 3 weeks, we’re about to say goodbye to our health insurance. And we really need medical coverage right now. Not only do I want to get this job, but I need to get this job.
I shaved my gangly beard. I dusted off my interview shoes. The wife ironed a button down shirt for me. My pants weren’t wrinkled, so they got no special treatment. “Casual,” they said. No tie. Rolled up sleeves. I slapped a little gunk in my hair and posed it in the modern I don’t give a damn about my hair style. Oh, and sunglasses. Gotta have the sunglasses. Even though no one would see me while wearing the sunglasses. But still, sunglasses. I looked good. I felt good.
“Hi, Matt! So glad you could make it,” the HR lady said. She walked me through the building. I noticed that everyone seemed happy. In an office. At work. Smiling. Laughing. Wearing jeans. “Let me introduce you to [person]. She’s the [title].”
“Hi, Matt!” potential future boss said. “I’m [person] and I’m the [title]. Now tell me a little about yourself.”
So I did. We chatted for a while. It was pretty casual. Friendly. There was serious job speak with a good mix of casual banter. I was charming and made her laugh with my SFW jokes about the weather and such.
“Let me introduce you to [person],” she said. “He’s the [title] of the entire [something and something] departments.”
“Hi, Matt!” [title] of the entire [something and something] said. “Let me tell you about the job and what you’d be doing.”
So he did. He asked me questions. I asked him questions. Again with the friendly chatter and the weather-related jokes. (Hot enough for ya?) He walked me out of the office and to the front door. I do better with charming the ladies than I do the men, but I think he’d want to have a beer with me. Or at least have me work for him.
“We’ll give you a call Monday or Tuesday,” he said.
Sweet. I figured out later that this was a good thing because the person who interviewed before me didn’t meet with the [title] of the entire [something and something] because she was walked out to the front door by the first lady. So I got one step ahead of her in the process, anyway.
I did the whole follow-up thank you email. I’ve waited patiently all weekend. Now it’s Monday. The job posting has been removed from internet job boards. I guess they found somebody. I hope that somebody is me. I really want to work for this company. I’d make an excellent [title]. And I’m pretty passionate about what they make, sell, market.
Keeping my fingers crossed. I’m waiting for the call. RING, DAMMIT. RING!