Celebration of My Failures: 5 Job Interviews I failed (Part 1 of 2)

To give you context, I am 30 years old and recently quit my job to start my own company. This post is more of a celebration of my interview failures. It is in chronological order starting when I was in college.

1) Freshman year at College. I realize I have no money & I need to pay my own rent.

I was interviewing for an hourly Job as a resume reviewer on campus. It was conducted by 3 interviewers interviewing 2 people at the same time. Yes, the same exact time in the same room, both interviewees sitting right next to each other. Every question that they asked, I jumped out and answered first. I didn’t really care about the other guy with me. I thought I was being proactive, out there, and letting them know i’m not afraid to give honest feedback. It turns out I was just an idiot. I didn’t get the job, and I felt stupid afterwards.

I ran into the other interviewee and found out he did get the job.  That sucked.The interview did start well because I struck a conversation with the lady at the front desk. When the interviewer came out to greet me, she said “oh you know her?”, and my response was “oh, we just met”. +1 for me right? Then I fucked it up in the “group interview”. How does a resume / interview preparation shop interview two people at the same time!. Some sort of social experiment or something. but whatever, I messed it up, life goes on.

2) College Campus Administrative Position

I’m still in college while i’m hunting for my first job. this was for some on campus administrative position that sort of involved using a computer.  I knocked the interview out of the park. There was a computer test which I destroyed (in a good way), and even opened up files that weren’t configured properly on their computers. I didn’t get that job. End up going to another girl. I am still sort of bitter about that. So this one wasn’t really a failure, but I still didn’t get the job and not sure why. So, basically I failed. Right?

3) “Big Company” Internship

3) This interview was for an internship for a large company – I built a connection to get this interview. The position was for technical sales. Interview was going well until he told me he just ran a marathon. I asked him “oh, how long was the marathon?”. Fucked.that.up. I truly didn’t know they were all the same length. I also fucked it up at the job fair (remember, I had a connection) when I spoke to the guy. He asked me what time can I interview at, and I stupidly broke out my “interview calendar” and starting talking out loud, “oh cisco interview at 12:30, maybe I can do it after that?” He was just like “just tell me what time”.   I was a name dropping idiot. Safe to say, I didn’t get that job.

4) Interview for Full Time Software Engineer

I did my research (aka asking other people who interviewed with this company)  beforehand and I knew there was a programming question. In fact, through my inside info, I knew EXACTLY what the interview question was. It was “how would you program something to detect a palindrome ( a word that is spelled the same frontwards and backwards, e.g “mom” or “dad”). I had 6 hours to prepare and when I came to to the interview, he asked me that question. I was super stoked because I prepared for that same exact question.

I then proceeded to realize I didn’t really prepare for it, I just knew what the question was. I got on the whiteboard and just looked like the biggest amateur known to mankind. I didn’t really KNOW programming well. Then I told him that I know more on the networking side, since that was my major. He then proceeded to ask me a VERY in depth networking question. I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I asked for feedback at the end of the interview and he told me “you’re not that good of a programmer or a network engineer”. I left laughing knowing I wasn’t going to get a call back. At least I left knowing what the answer was. That’s got to be worth something.

5) Consulting Analyst Position

Large Consulting Company Interview #1 for a consulting analyst position. All I can think of at that time was what the hell is a consultant anyway? Everything was going well, until I interviewed with someone who looked like he belonged in the Adams family. Except this dude was smart, real smart. He asked me a question about my resume that I didn’t necessarily tell the truth about. I didn’t lie, but I tried to mask my experience as a network engineer (which was my major) instead of a programmer which what I really did at an internship at another company. Dude quizzed me on some basic knowledge and I just could not answer it intelligently because, well, I wasn’t prepared for it. I messed up bad.

The worst part about this interview was, his eye contact. It was fucking PERFECT. The dude STARED me down and never ever blinked. I was totally amazed and freaked out about it at the same time. If there was a staring competition, he would be the national champion 10 years straight. He’s like the Michael Phelps of staring. I promise, it was that good. I can tell this guy hated me. The next interview with next interviewer went well – but I didn’t get past the first stage, as I predicted.

The funniest part about this is that a classmate of mine ended up working for this company & this guy end up being his boss. At a BBQ he ended up telling my old classmate that I was the biggest clown he’s ever met. I ended up working for the consulting company 3 years later. I sent an email to him when I joined. I never got a response.

I will post the other 6 in another post shortly. It includes lot of other great stories.

PS: Read the only resignation letter template you’ll ever need.

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