Sunday, June 2, 2013

How dare you?

One of the things you always here during a job interview is the question about what are your strengths or some variety of that like skills. I have recently heard this question and my response seemed to catch the interviewer off-guard (and by that I mean security was called into the room).

Interviewer: So tell me about your skill set?
Me: How dare you? How dare you ask me that.

              Okay, I did not have to do this. But I have no skills or strengths so I had to distract them from my inability to answer this question. I have found that mock indignation usually works the best. Standing up while saying this in a loud voice also helps. Well, maybe helps is the wrong word.

Me: How dare you? How dare you ask me that.
Interviewer: Oh, I'm sorry, I did not...wait a minute...

(Side note: If they do happen to ask why you want to work there, the right answer is never "I am looking for a wife (or husband)." I cannot tell you how many times this has tripped me up. You think they would appreciate this response since it means you would take a genuine interest in your coworkers but they do not like this answer. NOT AT ALL!)

             Things went downhill from there (which should come as a surprise to no one) and I made a hasty exit. Or they made me make a hasty exit. It is all hazy...

             The truth is that I cannot answer that question without lying. I have no marketable strengths. A finely honed sense of sarcasm and the absurd does not impress most interviewers (it should but it really doesn't. I have tried several times but it always ends up with my hearing the phrase "Well, thanks for coming in today. Don't call us. Really. Don't,").

               Nowadays no one is moved by the idea that I am still trying to find my place in the world. Maybe they would be if I was in my 20's (which I am not. I have not been there for a long time.A long, long, long time. Long). No one is really impressed by someone trying to find out who they are when that person goes past the age of 70. By this point you really should have a pretty good idea who you are. Unless you have amnesia and then you get to start over.

               Here are some other answers that really do not impress interviewers:

I am really good at watching TV. I could do that for hours and hours, maybe even days. Heck, I don't even need bathroom breaks (this might be a useful skill but lets be honest, it brings up more questions than anything else).

I am really good at imitating my cat, dog, whatever pet you want to insert there.  The animal might enjoy it. You might enjoy it but outside of that...

I spend most of my time in a daze, dreaming of the dandelions. Trust me, this one will get you an instant "What's that?" or "Excuse me?"

Spend a lot of time planning world domination. Sure, who doesn't? I know I do (and things would be very, very different if I was running this place. Like for instance, the complete outlawing of reality shows about certain families.) but save this answer for later (like when they ask why they should promote you above some other candidates).

I want this job so I can fund my trips around the country following Justin Bieber. Telling an interviewer you have Bieber Fever (I don't personally. I am just saying there are many people who do and they are all young girls. Which I am not.) is probably not going to be a good way to sell yourself. Unless you are trying to impress a bunch of twelve year old girls which brings up the question WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? (For the general public, I apologize for making reference to him. I never wanted to but it made sense in this context. You have no idea how sorry I am).

                  You may be thinking no one would ever say any of the above things.
                  Hi, I'm Al, Have we met?