My Interview Hell

14 February 2007

I've been attending a lot of job interviews lately. I can't wait until I actually get a new job, then I can spend my time doing something more pleasant, like having a hysterectomy, attending meetings of the Young Liberals, or being imprisoned at Gitmo. (I'm kidding, of course! I would never want to spend time with Young Liberals).

The whole thing is deeply unsettling. First you've got to find the right building, according to the interviewer's garbled directions, then once you've finally located it and done three laps around before actually finding the entrance, you're confounded by the building directory, which evidentally hasn't been updated since 1998 (have you ever noticed how in every building directory, there's always one company name which is missing half its letters?) and have to put up with the looks of disdain that those who "belong" in the building have for the lowly visitors.

All of this is as nothing, of course, compared to the actual interview experience. I can tell you, I am absolutely fed up with filling in the same almost-identical forms and answering the same almost-identical inane questions. Now, no one could deny that the actual process of applying for jobs is so much easier these days thanks to technology - you just log on to a job search site and once it has your details, you can find the jobs you're interested in and apply automatically. So why on Earth can't a similar technique be used for interviews? The potential employee could make a video of themselves answering the stock-standard interview questions, and employers could then search for and view relevant candidates, without anyone having to pretend that it really is "very good to meet you".

This is my idea, but anyone who wants is free to patent it, as it would make my life right now a heck of a lot easier.

Maybe I'm just grumpy since attending these interviews is involving a lot of long days and a lot of travel. So as I was returning home on the train last night, and heard the announcement "The train will be stopped at this station for ten minutes. Passengers who wish to get out and stretch their legs are obliged to do so", I hopped to it. I assume that they meant "Passengers who wish to get out and stretch their legs are welcome to do so", but I didn't want to take the chance.


  1. Now that's a scary train trip...public transport is bad enough without the always your post was a reader's delight!

  2. Thanks! :)

    I actuallly started laughing when I heard this, but none of the other passengers picked up on it (they probably didn't understand)

  3. Back when the Perth rail system was first electrified in 1993, as the trains pulled into the city station the automated voiceover would announce:

    "This is Perth. This train terminates here. All passengers please alight."

    Within a couple of years that had changed to:

    "All passengers please leave the train."

    The only explanation I can come up with is that a significant proportion of Perth's train passengers don't know what the word "alight" means. Perhaps one of them attempted to set fire to the train?

    Just thought I'd share that with you.

  4. Arthur - you just gave me a good laugh!

    That's why computer programs no longer say "press any key" - too many people rang customer service to complain that they couldn't find the "any" key.


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