“Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?”
Can you be more specific? Like, do you want to hear about my childhood in Chicago and my abiding love for bad teen TV shows, or were you looking for the greatest hits of my resumé? Because if you just want the greatest hits of my resumé, maybe you could have familiarized yourself with it just a teeny tiny bit before I drove ten miles, through lunchtime traffic, in my crappy car that has no air conditioning, only to be told once I arrived that your office doesn’t validate parking.
“What are your greatest weaknesses?”
You understand that I’m trying to get hired here, right? How is telling you about things I’m NOT good at going to help me with that goal? I mean, you do know everybody who says “I’m too much of a perfectionist! I care too much! I work too hard!” is just a butt-smooching liar, right? And why would you want to work with a butt-smooching liar? Truth talk: Whenever I make coffee, it tastes like something that came out of Hagrid’s ass. Also: I’ll probably spend a lot of the work day reading ONTD and wishing I looked like Selena Gomez.
“What are your greatest strengths?”
Reciting the title of every Buffy episode in the order they aired, and parallel parking.
“Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?”
Employed somewhere, hopefully. Living in a house, but maybe a condo? Maybe still a regular old apartment, because my current place is super cute and my roommate is delightful. But then again, I’ll definitely be married in ten years, absolutely, unless I’m still single. And I’ll probably have at least one kid, because I really like kids! Except I guess I might also not, because I’d have to meet the right guy first, you know, I’d want to do it as a team, and dude, it is so super hard to meet even a random guy in Los Angeles, let alone the right one. Though I supposed I can’t really rule out the possibility of unplanned pregnancy. Oh God, please don’t let me have an unplanned pregnancy. Did I remember to take my birth control pill today? Wait, wait, I’m not supposed to take it for another hour. Phew. Close one. Anyway. I will definitely be in one or more of those places. And definitely not still at this job.
“Why do you want this job?”
BECAUSE I NEED A JOB. I NEED ANY JOB THAT I CAN DO WITH MY CLOTHES ON ALTHOUGH I AM STARTING TO GET MORE FLEXIBLE ABOUT THAT CONDITION. Because you’re offering health insurance. Because I have bills to pay. Because I don’t always want to be driving a crappy car with no air conditioning.
And I think I would be great at this particular one, because if I didn’t, I would not be wasting your time and mine. I’m here! I arrived on time, with three copies of my resume, printed on card stock! I’m smiling! I put on mascara! I shaved my legs! I’m wearing heels and a skirt and suit jacket! This is all an indication of my enthusiasm and interest about this position, because I could be on my couch in yoga pants, shoving fistfuls of Cheez-Its into my mouth and watching the Switched At Birth marathon on ABC Family!
So, you’ll call and let me know when you make a decision, right?
Molly Shalgos has contributed to The Hairpin, HelloGiggles, and the Center for Psychology of Women. She works in television, so she goes on job interviews a lot. Like, a LOT.