Dealing with stupid job interviews

In which I’ll list my weaknesses as strengths.

Tidy Desk at work

I’m pretty comfortable being talkative and answering any questions, the gibberish I write here will show I am happy to answer most questions (even if the answer is nonsensical). In most social situations I am happy to wax lyrical when any poser is presented to me. All apart from one form of conversation.

The job interview.

I do actually enjoy them in some way. This may sound weird as most people I know hate them with a vengeance, but I think that they are a great way of reminding yourself what you are good at once you get past the tied tongue.

I may have been lucky in that I have only ever attended ‘good’ ones, where the person opposite me on the table is actually interested in finding out about me.

My favourite interview is from many years ago where it turned into a discussion about football and xBoxes, and it is still one of the jobs where I wish I hadn’t had left. First impressions work both ways and I think often the interviewer forgets that.

I’ve only once been in a situation where I was wanting to get out but that was mainly due to the interviewer having no clue what they were meant to be asking me, when you have to interview yourself it gets you thinking about whether or not this role is for you. On more than one occasion I have told recruitment agencies I am not interested in going back, despite being asked to.

If I was to be myself I am sure I would under-emphasise my contribution as I am introverted and have a low self-esteem of my skills (writing a CV makes me feel physically ill) but as with any performance less than 100% committal to the role will be seen through, and just the same with hamming it up and over-acting.

It is with the final part of ‘standard’ questions I have difficulty with and would like to plead the fifth, mainly due to the sheer banality of them. We all have an answer we want to say but can’t, instead we turn and wind our way to some form of platitude that doesn’t really say anything at all.

What are your weaknesses, where do you see yourself in five years, why do you want this role?

Advice from the internet (always a bad idea) suggests rote answers to these rote questions, and as a result they often drift towards buzzwords and stock replies.

What are your weaknesses? Oh, it’s caring too much and being an overachiever. I have to wrap a strength up to look more impressive, rather than being honest and actually talking about a development need because that is not going to get you a job.

Where do I see myself in five years? Five years older, half a decade a go my current path was inconceivable so you would like me to distill the next 1,800 days into 1,800 seconds? I’ll tell you about looking for career opportunities and journeys but really I have no idea.

Why do you want this role? Because I like buying my family pretty things and this job would allow me to do so? There is an element of wanting to work for your company and the role interesting me, but do we not all do the jobs we do for the things it can give us?

I wish we could just skip this section and interviewers could just make a decision on games machines and sports.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Plead the Fifth.”

Author: geekergosum

Ah, so you worked out the riddle. You just needed to use dwarfish and the doors to Geek Ergo Sum opened. Or perhaps you just used Google. Either way you are here, on my little corner of the Internet.

5 thoughts on “Dealing with stupid job interviews”

  1. Yes please. I’d rather just take a written test than sit an interview. You’re going to hire me (or not) to do WORK for you, not to blow smoke up your ass, so why does the interview always have to be about how much of what kind of smoke I can blow? TEST me on what I will be DOING for you and decide based on THAT… … sorry for the shouty caps. I guess this touched a nerve. Which means I should probably write a post about it instead of filling up your comments with my whining. Fine. I’m going. See what you’ve done? I hope you’re happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m always “you want to hire me for my skills that I do and not the skills I am talking about”. I wish there was a way you could have a trial interview (although this would make it difficult with the current employer) where you are basically asked to do the job. I had one interview where they gave me a test that was basically what I could expect the job to be like and that was great for both me and the interviewer to know that what I said I could do was actually the truth).

      This is a CAPS JUDGMENT FREE zone. As long as you allow me my use of brackets.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know right! But that’s the thing right they dont really wanna know who we are do they? In words of Salinger such “phonies”. Poser and phonies taking these interviews. The answers are obvious yet… What to do I don’t foresee much change in this exercise… Maybe they should simulate a survival game of some sorts that should show real character 😑


    1. I like that idea, some of the best jobs (and interviews) I’ve had are where they have admitted that I have the skills from my CV and what they are interested in is what I’m like. What would I talk about, do I like Game of Thrones, what do I do outside of work, what music do I like to listen to. Being a member of a team is as important as my SQL ability

      Liked by 1 person

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