OK, so maybe I should have paid closer attention when I applied for the job. I definitely should have researched the organization before my phone interview. It probably would have been good if I remembered I had an interview. Hey, it’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, but these things happen.
I applied for a job with a non-profit, and they contacted me to set up a phone interview. I swear I put it on my calendar…seriously, I’m like 93% sure I put it on the calendar. Luckily, I’m pretty fast on my feet. So after the second time I asked the caller, in my totally annoyed voice (you’ve all heard it) what he was calling about, I actually stopped and listened. A little tiny dim light bulb popped up in my brain.
I immediately switched gears from my annoying voice to my semi-fake phone voice. Chipper! Perky! Energetic! Sometimes it actually works. In the meanwhile, I made a little small talk (great interview tip by the way) so I could get to my computer and check out the organization’s website. It popped right up and the stub I saw said something like “For years, Union advocates…”
Before I had a chance to click the link he was asking me why I was interested in the organization. I launched into a whole thing about how much I support Unions, and why I think it’s important that they have a voice, blah blah blah. He continued with the usual interview questions, and by the time we finished I was feeling pretty good about things. Sure, we got off to a rocky start, but I finessed it.
As I was sitting around thinking about how great I was, I went ahead and clicked on the actual website. It said something like “For years, Union advocates have lied to the public and pushed the political agenda.” Oh. I went on to read about their lobbying efforts which are in opposition to just about everything I believe. You can believe they had a lot to say about family values. What we had was a full on right wing organization with some innocuous name that sounded like they advocated for rainbows and unicorns.
Okey dokey then. My bad for sure. On the bright side, I wouldn’t work there for all the money in the world. Still though. I don’t know why I cared, but I wanted the interviewer to know that I understood how ridiculous I sounded, so I sent him an email and thanked him for his time, and apologized for clearly being so unprepared. He sent a very nice note in response.
I thought about all the years I sat on the other side of the desk and collected stories of whack job candidates. Let’s be clear that I’m not one of them! They are legit losers whereas I was just having an off day. But I know in my heart that when this guy is swapping war stories, I will always be one of the nutsos. Sure, he may have a couple of laughs about the woman with her skirt tucked into her pantyhose or the guy who brought his mother to the interview. But sooner or later, I’ll be the “no seriously, you won’t believe this” story.
I humbly accept my fate.