My Worst Job Interview Experience

Cafe at Ohio Street Beach Chicago

Cafe at Ohio Street Beach Chicago

If you ask me how it went after an interview, I’ll usually say, “I think it went pretty good,” because early on I had an experience that really raised the bar so high for what constituted a “bad” interview so that nothing since has come anywhere close.

About a year ago I was contacted by a Chicago company looking for a graphic design intern. This was maybe two weeks after school ended. I thought, “Damn! This graphic design thing is going GREAT! I don’t have to do anything and the jobs are coming to me!” Yeah, May 2014 Beth was kind of an idiot. Phone interviews went great and a week later I went in to meet with the rest of the creative team. “Awesome! Job searching is THE BEST!” Shut up, May 2014 Beth.

Fast-forwarding through the start of the interview, I met with 3 of the firm’s creative team members. It wasn’t going all that awesome, but it wasn’t horrible. Just odd. I had the feeling I was being sized up as to whether I was worthy enough to hang with them. Then the forth member of our party walked in.

mean girls lunch table

“You can’t sit with us.”

I went over my background and he waved off looking at my portfolio. He started on a lengthy monologue telling me how their employees are born, not made and “it’s in the DNA to work with us or not” that was liberally sprinkled with profanity. Okay, I LOVE swearing. Half the titles in this blog have swears in them, but in a job interview? However, it just kept getting weirder.

When I told him my ultimate career ambition was to be a creative director he made an expression that can be called the, “Good Luck With That, Lady!” and launched another monologue about how I obviously didn’t understand the creative director’s role. It’s more then “making pretty pictures” and “throwing up a logo”  (sounds like it would rip up the esophagus something fierce) and I need to reconsider. May 2014 Beth was kind of stupid, but I knew I did NOT want to work for this guy. I don’t have time for people who shit on someone else’s ambitions.

Remember the profanity laden, “It’s in the DNA or it isn’t” monologue from 2 paragraphs ago? Well, he wasn’t finished. Let’s join the scene already in progress:

Douche McGee: Here at Jack Ass International (I maybe altered their names), we believe it’s in your DNA or not. You’re either one of us or you’re not. There’s no learning to be one of us. So, what I would like is to get to know you a bit better. What makes Beth tick? What sort of thing gets Beth going?

May 2014 Beth: Um…what are you asking? You want to know my hobbies?

Douche McGee: Well, for example, I see by your wedding ring, that you’re married.

May 2014 Beth: (thinking) Do I tell him it’s against the law ask me that? Eh. Just go with it. I don’t want to work here anyway.

May 2014 Beth: Yes, I am.

Douche McGee: Kids?

May 2014 Beth: (thinking)  WTF? Seriously?? I’m gonna get DNA tested and make sure I’ve got nothing in common with this guy.

May 2014 Beth: Nope.

Douche McGee: (pause while he unsuccessfully stifles a giggle)

Douche McGee: It’s a man?

May 2014 Beth: What’s a man?

Douche McGee: You’re married. It’s to a man? (giggling at his own cleverness) You’re married to a man?

May 2014 Beth: (thinking)  OH HELL NAAAAAAAAW. I wish I was married to a woman, because I’m pretty sure my awesome lesbian wife would totally kick your ass for disrespecting her lady.

May 2014 Beth: Um, yes. My husband is a man.

I’ve found when you ask someone about their sexuality it tends to grind the conversation to a halt, so thus concluded our interview. It was so completely absurd that I skipped right over anger and burst out laughing when I got into the elevator. Since then, really as long as people don’t insinuate I’m gay, I consider the interview a success. My “success” barometer might need to be adjusted. But it makes for a great story and taught me to be ready for just about anything in an interview.

A little housekeeping, I taught myself some basic After Effects and made this little intro video for my website. So if you’ve got a burning desire to hear my voice, now is your chance!

Little Beth, Beth Brousil, Self-Promo from Beth Brousil on Vimeo.