Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Worlds Worst Job Interview

As you know from my previous post, I had a job interview today at what I thought was an events promotion company. As it turns out, their ‘events’ are charities and they ‘promote’ them by hassling people on the streets to donate money (*womp womp*). Needless to say, I HATE these people. I avoid them at all costs. They annoyed me to no end in Boston and they are EVERYWHERE here in Australia. I won’t look these people in the eye and have even crossed the street to avoid them in the past. I remember while working at the Ad Club a co-worker of mine (who shall remain nameless) was harassed by one such individual and told them to get a real job. At the time I agreed, but after my interview today I have to admit, that was one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done.

I woke up at 7.30am this morning to get ready which is probably the earliest I’ve gotten up since before I moved to Glebe, put on my cute interview outfit, grabbed a muffin from the 7-11 and was off. What exactly I was off to was a complete mystery to me. I had seen a posting online for an events promotion company and given my experience in both the events and promotion industries I thought this was for me! I found the office easily and there were already two other girls waiting for what we thought was an interview. Being who I am, I started to chat with them. Just the basics, where are you from, do you like Australia, what’s you’re favorite color, all that BS. Eventually the reason why we’re all sitting there comes up and I admit I have no CLUE what position I’m interviewing for. As it turns out, neither do these two girls. This should have been a huge red flag that something was up, but that’s how desperate travelers are for work.

Me: I mean, they say they’re an events promotion company, so maybe we’ll be organizing events?

Other girl: I just hope it’s not a sales job- that would be the worst.

Swedish girl: I wore jeans to an interview, I’m clueless!

Ok, so the last girl didn’t say that, but WHO shows up to an interview that says dress business casual in jeans???

Next thing I know, me and the Swed get called into another room where we are quickly shuffled outside to meet one of the ‘teams’. Turns out we’re going to be spending the day out at one of our events (they still haven’t said WHAT the so called event is or what our role will be). We hop on the tram and are off, the whole while, the guy in charge gets to know me and the Swedish girl. We get to our destination and me and this girl still have no idea what’s going on. Next thing I know, the guy tells me to go wait over by a bench. When he comes back, the Swed is gone. Apparently this is interview elimination style and home girl didn’t even make it up to bat. I haven’t even had time to panic yet, but now I’m officially anxious, paranoid, confused and STILL don’t know what I’m interviewing for.

Finally, the charade is up, and the ‘team’ all take out their Oxfam shirts and put them on over their smart business casual clothes. I have finally succumbed to the reality that I am interviewing for a sales job. FML. This was no ordinary interview. This was more of an improv show where I prove I can make a fool of myself while manipulating people into donating their hard earned money to whatever charity we’re working for at the moment. First I had to watch and see the different styles of each team member while taking copious notes. Then I had 20 minutes to approach random people and get them to tell me what their most embarrassing moment was. After I passed that task I had 15 minutes to come up with 10 ‘ice breakers’ I could use to approach people. My final test was to pitch to 3 people in 10 minutes (hopefully even getting someone to sign up). I felt like I was on a bad game show. I am ashamed to admit I even used the classic line “Excuse me sir, I think you dropped something. *man looks around confused* You dropped my heart.” You can laugh, but I was desperate! I thought about just walking away a few times and giving up, but I was doing pretty good, so I stuck with it out of curiosity and boredom. This is not something everyone can do and I thank my years of acting when I was younger and all those dumb improv games I used to hate for getting me through.

Turns out, I did better than I thought. The guy in charge wanted me to meet the big boss for a final interview. I’d have to start tomorrow and I’d be working mon-fri 8am to 5pm. This game was fun, but not THAT fun. I told him I had to think about it and immediately set off for the nearest pub to get a beer and have what just happened to me sink in. I felt swindled. I felt high on adrenaline. I felt like a fool for thinking I could get a real job in Australia off of

The night before I had been offered a job at a bar next to the hostel where I’m staying so back I went to get a drink and see if they were still offering. They were and I have a trial tomorrow. I hope it goes well, but seeing as how I got offered 2 jobs in less than 48 hours of being in Melbourne, I’m not too worried. I know this was a long one, but I HAD to share my experience. I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll keep you all updated once I actually get a real job.

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