Yesterday I had a job interview, of sorts, for the glamorous role of Web Associate – Spider-Man was hiring sidekicks, I reasoned – at Yell.com, which essentially entails creating copy for companies’ websites. It was called an ‘assessment’ and incorporated various edutaining segments, among them a copywriting exam, a Q&A session, grammatical tests (ugh) and, yes, they even included time for an interview.
Now, job interviews must rank among the most passive-aggressive situations a human being could ever hope to find themselves in, aside from maybe an Israel-Palestine peace talk or a quiet dinner between Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
The people you’re talking to ask the vaguest questions and scrutinize every answer you give with an intent to demolish whatever credibility you thought your alibi about once working in an off-license had, and make you feel like even the ‘right’ answers are COMPLETELY THE WRONG ANSWERS YOU USELESS CRETIN.
They don’t want you to be good enough to hire. Because they don’t want to hire you.
Being the only one in jeans and a checkered shirt while all the other candidates (most seemingly a year or so younger than myself) were doing their best impressions of TV lawyers may have scuppered my chances somewhat, I’ll admit.
But frankly I’d rather have someone not hire me because they thought I’d be incompetent and so unbalanced that I might end up burning the building down than because I didn’t wear a bloody tie.
Then again, a bloody tie might have sent another message altogether.
As I said on Twitter earlier today, mere moments before ‘being assessed’, I think there’s a good chance that I actually don’t want this job.