One Awkward Interview

Friends! Hello from the land of the late twenties, it’s glorious over here. Last night I went to bed at 8:15. Livin’ the dream!

Seriously, though, the last few weeks have actually been quite a whirlwind of good things. I finally got a smartphone,  perfected the art of brewing loose-leaf tea and a great, great friend gave me a homemade BLT for my birthday. Pro tip for the many people vying to be my best friend: bacon helps. Especially when piled high between two slices of white bread and slathered with mayo. Nom nom!  And on top of all that, there have been some thrilling new developments at my office, which I’ve been working towards for quite some time. As bumper stickers everywhere proclaim: Life is good.

One result of these new shakeups: I get to interview and hire an assistant! Well, I have to share the assistant with my director but whatever, semantics. I am now one assistant closer to being this bitch:
A lifelong goal nearly achieved.

The problem is, when it comes to being the boss, I’m a little less Miranda Priestly and more Michael Scott. (hehe!) I want my colleagues to think I am the greatest person on earth and love me like I’m an extension of their own family.

This makes the interview process especially tedious, as I have to physically restrain myself from turning the interview into the Liz Ho Comedic Story Hour: All Puns, All The Time.

Interviews are awkward even without anyone busting out the joke-time finger guns. “Why do you think you are the right candidate for this job?” “Thoughts on teamwork?”  “Tell me a time you used creative problem solving techniques.” WHAT does that even meeeaaann?! I just spend the whole time wondering what the person thinks about me and trying not to be too weird. It doesn’t help I don’t have a clue what I’m looking for, I’ve never had an assistant before. I just want someone who thinks I’m hilarious and does all my work for me. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

I did some Google research to find some interview tips, but it’s all just way too corporate mumbo jumbo for my tastes. To make the process smoother and more efficient, I have compiled what I believe to be a pretty foolproof list of questions I think will help me find the perfect assistant:

– How are you at sandwich making?
– Do you clear the time on the communal microwave?
– N’Sync or BSB? (There is CLEARLY a right answer here, but I’ll accept opposition, if accompanied by a spirited debate.)
– Favorite season of The Wire?
– Favorite rendition of The Wire theme song?
– Does my hair look OK today?
– Knock, knock…
– Are you vegan? (anyone answering ‘yes’ to this one is instantly eliminated.)
– Can you try to juggle these highlighters?
– Did you have any American Girl Dolls? Which one?
– How do you feel about Zooey Deschanel?
– Name three things you like about me, just based on the short time we’ve had here.
– Now go get me a bagel.

And then I’ll just send them out the door like this:

PERRRRFECT. Send me your resume if you’re interested! xo



116 thoughts on “One Awkward Interview

  1. Every time I notice I’ve accidentally left time on my microwave at home I quickly clear it as if you can sense it from afar!

    PS I can’t believe you are getting an assistant! That is so awesome. I think all of those questions are perfectly relevant.

  2. I like it!

    Here’s my advice (from one that has been round the block so often? That groove in the pavement was made by me)

    Hire someone who is not in a relationship and their family is in Alpha Centauri – they will come to work at 00.30 hrs on Thanksgiving/ Xmas/ Eid/ Diwali

    Hire someone who works like a dog, at anything – they will slave away while you’re at the spa

    Send them out for your perfect cappuccino (a la the devil who wears Prada). If its not EXACTLY perfect they’re out the door. (and I mean exactly down to the colour of the napkin) – this really is the ultimate test – if I can get my perfect cappuccino on demand I don’t care if my assistant is a dolt.

    Hire someone who looks good but not better than you (face, dress, shoes) – you don’t need the competition later on

    Hire someone you would not want in your house – they are your cappuccino slave not your friend/ life-mate/confidant/boyfriend stealer/ornament. They can arrange the canapes though and clean up the mess after a party

    Keep them in awe of you at all times – no slips in decorum or friendly chats, or letting the mask fall. You are their god.

    End of mentoring.

  3. Great post. You’ve streamlined the interview questioning process to it’s most essential parts! I would be your assistant just to laugh with you because you’re hilarious. You’ll have no problem finding an assistant, just make sure he or she knows how you like your coffee and where to hang your coat and purse 😉

  4. I was always a Soul Decision fan — I know, I know a bit of a hipstery approach to boy bands — so can I go for a third option there. I would love this job, and think that job interviews often ask irrelevant questions like describe a time you overcame a difficult situation. Is the story about the time I got on the wrong train twice in one day while backpacking going to be relevant or just embarrassing?

    I am also annoyed that they never ask me to tell jokes — I have a string of pirate jokes up my sleeve and complete strangers are far more receptive than a lot of my close friends.

  5. In the words of a person who once spoke at a time that once was: you are very funny.

    Thanks for the chortle. And good luck on the job hunt … sorry, you’ve already a job – damned instincts. Good luck searching for an ass.

  6. Hi. I just randomly found your blog (maybe because of the word “awkward” since being awkward is my greatest skill ever). I’ve just read this post and I instantly become a fan! I wish interviews are always fun and random like yours. Whoever you choose to be your assistant is really lucky. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go and read more from your blog.

    That is all.

    Have a nice day 🙂

  7. I’d make a great assistant:

    I make GREAT sandwiches
    Since I heat my sandwiches up every day in the microwave, I always find myself clearing the time
    Season 2
    Season 1
    It looks wonderful
    Who’s there?
    Absolutely not
    I can sure try
    Not a fan
    I like that you seem to be a bit crazy, I like that you like the wire so we will have something to talk about on Monday mornings, and I like that we both like sandwiches…so we can eat lunch together (if you’ll permit me to join you for lunch)
    Everything…or cinnamon raison?

    When will I find out if I got the job?

  8. Great post. You should definitely incorporate humor- I went on an interview a while ago and made a couple jokes throughout the process and nobody laughed. It was terrible. But while interviewing for my current job one of the questions my boss asked me was “How do you feel about beards? I grow mine really long in the winter.” That’s when I knew it was a fit.

    • Oh my gosh, that is amazing. Clearly the perfect fit. Your story reminds me of Girls – have you seen that show? Lena Dunham’s character embarrasses herself epically telling jokes at a job interview. SO good!

  9. I’ve done plenty of recruiting, and your method would likely be at least as effective as the current resume screen-interview process most companies use. Definitely go for a personality match. Thanks for the laugh.

  10. I am a sammy champeen and my name is even Joseph so you can even call me Joey.

    I always clear the time, but I’m curious if you hire me am I aloud to execute people who don’t?

    I like the fat one.

    I’m going to go with season one.

    I didn’t know I was going to need my guitar for this interview… you really should have told me because I have my own rendition and it’s kind of awesome.

    Your hair looks fabulous!

    Who’s there?

    What’s a vegan?

    I can juggle these highlighters.

    I never had any of these dolls but I am a boy. I can, however, beat people up if there is ever a problem in the office. I can also be mean on the phone so that you don’t have to. I trust that this will make up for not owning any of the dolls.

    I may have more than a little crush on both of what I call the magic D sisters.

    Only three? Ok, your hair is fabulous. That outfit is perfect. And you are very funny. It has actually been very difficult to restrain my laughter… but I want the job so…

    Cream cheese with that maam?

  11. *coughcough* what state/country are you in again!?

    – How are you at sandwich making? – I ROCK the sammich… if I have the right ingredients on hand.
    – Do you clear the time on the communal microwave? – I don’t use microwaves.
    – N’Sync or BSB? (There is CLEARLY a right answer here, but I’ll accept opposition, if accompanied by a spirited debate.) – …neither?
    – Favorite season of The Wire? – is that a TV show? I don’t have TV
    – Favorite rendition of The Wire theme song? – … um?
    – Does my hair look OK today? – It looks fabulous! Did you just have it done?
    – Knock, knock… – who’s there?
    – Are you vegan? (anyone answering ‘yes’ to this one is instantly eliminated.) – No.
    – Can you try to juggle these highlighters? – I’ll try anything you want me to.
    – Did you have any American Girl Dolls? Which one? – No, but my nieces do. I have the book for the Turkish one but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.
    – How do you feel about Zooey Deschanel? – um… >.> who?
    – Name three things you like about me, just based on the short time we’ve had here. – Your personality is one that doesn’t like the steel infastructure but is much more organic, like a tree, there’s still structure and form and some rigidness but much more fluidity and natural ways of laying them out. Does that count for three? No, okay. I like your questions that get to a person’s personality, not just their prepared answers from every other interview. I really like your hair OMG!
    – Now go get me a bagel. – Toasted? Cream cheese? Coffee, too?

    How did I do? Can I be hired? I’m awesome with detail, paperwork, forms, organizing (per my own standards), and email correspondence, but I suck with phones.

  12. I literally just got a job yesterday (land of the early twenties, yay!), otherwise I’d work for you. I love bacon, I even write whole blogs about bacon. Bacon ice cream? Yeah, I basically did that. And for hiring me I’d give you bakon — bacon vodka.

    Though I think I’d just break down by the time you asked which boy band I prefer…

  13. Sometimes, when I reach a point where I know the interviewee is dead weight in the room, I debate just going dead silent in mid-sentence, staring at them until it’s just at the _edge_ of uncomfortable, go “beep!”, and proceed like absolutely nothing’s happened.

    One of these days… boom

  14. This was hilarious. The fact that you mention The Wire and a favorite rendition of The Wire … dude … dude. MUY Awesome. Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed. Glad I got a chance to check out your posts.

  15. Funny post! I was at an interview the day before yesterday and got asked the very question “Thoughts on teamwork?”… completely threw me. I ended up sort of stuttering “I-i-its good?”.

  16. You are too funny! Over a year ago when I was interviewing, some of the questions I was asked I had no idea why they asked them or what the meaning of my answer(s) meant. Actually, the interview process is my least favorite part about looking for work.
    Good luck on your search! BTW, I have been an assistant (for various companies) for almost 10 years now… Be nice to yours 🙂

  17. Hahaha! This is hilarious. I think I’d be more Michael Scott than Miranda Priestly, too. I’m actually in your position and will be hiring a Community Manager to manage (so would that be a Super Manager??) and amuse myself throughout the day with potential questions. I think the way that interviewees answer questions off-the-cuff is way more valuable than any script they’ve come prepared with. Thanks for the good laugh, and good luck in your search!

    P.S. Between N’Sync & BSB, I choose New Edition — one of the ORIGINAL boy bands. I grew up listening to them with my sister 9 years my senior, and no band can compare in my eyes!

  18. Ah well, that last item on the list clearly is the most important. I wonder if that’s what people think when they’re interviewing me. Most of the time in interviews I think I’m just being tested on how awkward I can be in the span of 40 minutes.

  19. Omg I would LOVE to interview with you. I think you would be won over with my answer to your first question regarding sandwiches….”Of course I’m amazing at making sandwiches! The secret to an amazing sandwich is the fact that I bake a fresh loaf of bread every morning…do you like focaccia, ciabatta, oat, etc…….” or would that be considered trying too hard?? Either way awesome post!

  20. You know, any post with a Miranda Priestly reference is all good to me, including at least one of mine. Oh the joy of bringing someone to tears without ever raising your voice or using profanity.

    “Hire the smart, fat one . . . “

  21. HILARIOUS ! Thanks for the laughs !!!! did you notice that in the second vid, where Miranda says thats all, she actually dabs her left eye like shes dabbing at a tear ? just being wired – congratulations on the fp 🙂

  22. Haha this is hilarious. Thanks for giving me a good laugh in the middle of the day!
    And hope your new assistant gives you the title of coolest boss on earth. LOL

  23. As an employment Counsellor I really wish my client’s could attend interviews like this one – it might make them less anxious! LOL…thanks for the laugh and the read! Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  24. I love this! Hilarious 🙂 I just helped by boss interview someone…it was my first time and I was terrified because I was afraid I was asking too general of questions. Plus, I’m chatty so I was worried I would dominate the conversation or start chatting with the candidates about completely unrelated topics.


    Courtney Hosny

  25. My favorite interview question is: If you could be one kitchen appliance, what would it be?

    The answers are hilarious.

    Also, if someone were to say BSB over N*Sync… I would tell them to leave now, but that’s just me 🙂

    Can’t wait to follow your blog, as I am a mid-twenties wanderer myself.

  26. Interviewer: What’s your blood type?
    Intervewee: Bacon.
    Interviewer: YOU’RE HIRED!!!!!!!!!

    That’s my two-cents-worth. Bacon makes the world go round. Besides sweet tea, it’s the only food group worth having. It is also the reason I have a deep-freeze in the garage. All I can say to vegans is “Bless all y’all’s hearts.” I think I’ll fry me up some bacon tonight for dinner. Nom! Nom! =)

    Nicole @ Three 31
    A Southern Bacon-eater

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