I had an interview with a very well known and respected company. I came in with high hopes. The facilities were modern, and I could see everyone in their spot working towards a common goal.
My interviewer made me wait a little bit at his office. After hanging up the phone, he greets me, and we had the usual small talk.
I had been in a lot of interviews, so I was familiar with the process.
He asked me about my skills.
He asked me about my technical competences. I said: “I’m proficient on Microsoft Excel”. After going in depth, I realize I did not know the specific functions he needed in such software, so I am not a good candidate.
He asked me where did I see myself in the next 5 years. I said: “I am 26 years old. I don’t want to get married or have kids in the near future”. So once again, I am not a good prospect. (I’m 30 now and I still don’t want any of those two).
He asked me why I’ve jumped from one job to another recently. I explained him my situation about my relocation from town to town for situations beyond my control. And just like this, I am not a good candidate once again…
He told me that someone my age would already have settled down: that I should be looking for a job that helps me accomplish all my future goals and, to exemplify his point, he even shared with me some of his experiences from the time “he was younger, and he liked to party”. (I have never been a party girl). And continued with a story about how he changed his lifestyle and how this has affected his life telling that it had led him to where he was now: a great position in an established company.
In other words, he made me feel a lack of confidence in myself, and as if I wasn’t worth the opportunity. At this point, I lost interest in the job. I didn’t feel like I could belong there. Yet, even after all the things he said, he made sure I felt committed to the potential opportunity in such way that I thought that if I didn’t take his job, I would be turning down a bright future.
I said I was going to think about it, and that I could definitely get better with the use of Excel as a tool, as I consider myself a quick learner.
We shook hands goodbye and politely thanked him.
Right after, I was walking down the street and at that moment without knowing why, I felt demoralized. During the interview, it was bearable. But once we were done, I realized it had gotten to my head.
I called my boyfriend in tears. He comforted me as usual; he said the right words and helped me realize that if someone could make me feel that way, and made me doubt myself that way, it wasn’t worth it.
I didn’t want to call the recruiter, so I wrote a polite email turning down the possible job offering. He never answered back.
I learnt that a job that is worth your time applying for, will hit the right notes from the start and you, as a candidate, will identify this the moment you walk into the room. For the entire hour I spent there, I felt the exact opposite, and knew right away that I would not be content working there in the long run.
We are who we are, and our paths have driven us to where we stand now for a good reason. We take what is worth. We learn and move on, hoping for the best, always giving our best.
Hiring companies often forget that in this marketplace it is a mutual decision.