This morning I woke bright and early for an interview. I woke too early. After showering, dressing spiffy, and gathering my things, I set out to Amsterdam for my appointment in my dad's car (he blocked mine in when returning with groceries) and arrived half an hour early.
When I entered the store, I was greeted by a shift manager. He told me the interviewer would be right out, so I stood in a corner near the front, taming my anxiety, fiddling on my phone, shifting my feet, steadying my breathing, and trying to remain unnoticed by the shoppers going through the line and staring at a me. I stood, daydreaming, looking out windows, reading signs, adjusting my glasses, folding and unfolding my arms, checking the time on my phone, looking for games to play on my phone, eavesdropping on conversations about the weather and ex-husbands and a sale in aisle three. I stood there, begruding that I didn't sleep in an extra half an hour. I stood there for forty-five minutes and squirmed, fifteen minutes passed my scheduled time because there was someone already being interviewed.
Once it was my turn, I was asked inside a room. I was asked to take a seat. Once seated, a woman around my age, probably a little younger, sat directly across from me in an identical fold-out chair. I immediately noticed her bright blue eyes, dark blue suit, and pulled back hair--she was attractive; I also noticed her height. I kind of had to look up to meet her gaze, but that didn't throw me off. What had me discombobulated was I figured out instantly why I was asked to sit first and why it took so long for the woman and the man to take their seats--the woman's pose was identical to mine.
For anyone else, the notion of mimicing the interviewee's pose is to alleviate their nerves. For me, I was distracted; I kept wondering if I changed the way I sat, would she do the same? Was I sitting weird, and if so, did she feel as if she was sitting weird? If I sat in a different way, would she have copied that position? I believe so, because I was not in a normal or comfortable pose. It had rained that morning, and on my way into the store I stepped in a puddle. Despite how long I waited, I did not discover the mud on top of my black shoe until walking into the room for my interview; when I sat, I crossed one foot over the other to hide/rub off the mud.
After introductions, the interview began. During multiple sentences I lost my train of thought, thinking, "Her eyes are the brightest blue I've ever seen," and, "Don't look down. Don't look down. You just looked down. Look back up. And now you're staring at her forehead. See, she just touched it. You dolt."
A loud alarm went off, and I practically jumped out of my seat. It was explained to me buzzers were how the back of the store communicated with the front, and as all three of us shared a laugh at my expense, I started to wonder about the two interviewing me...
Was the woman being trained for a managing position or was it customary to have two interviewers in the room? Was it a ploy to see if I could maintain eye contact between the two? Would they ever be a couple? Had I been picked for an interview so she would have a challenge, since the man met me yesterday? Should I not have told them I was on Medical Marijuana in Denver for stomach problems as I touched my belly to demonstrate where it had hurt?
I imagined false backstories about each interviewer in my head. I imagined their memories and conjured details, guessing who they are, and as I did that in my thoughts, I rambled off responses to the questions posed to me about myself. Somewhere along the way, I forgot their question about my work history, what I intended to say, trailed off and finished with, "I think that's it." It occured to me my head might have shook involuntarily while I spoke; I cleared my throat as if that would remedy the situation--oh, the joy of being unable to obtain my medications.
Suffice to say, the interview went horrible. As I left the store, I heard my interviewers laugh, and I know I won't hear back from them by Tuesday. I still considered it a victory.
Every interview, every time I go into public it is a victory, because it scares the shit out of me, and I do it anyway.