May 14, 2009

Interview Survivor - Who will get voted off the Island!

Working on my query letter and thinking about what will happen next has had me thinking about what has happened so far, specifically the interviews I've taken part in. After all, isn't querying an agent similar to interviewing for a new job? One interview in particular sticks out as the most unique experience I've ever had in the interviewing world. Interview Survivor!

I kid you was exactly like a Survivor/American Idol/Apprentice/Reality Vote Someone off the show experience. It was great!

So here is the scenerio...

Five unemployed individuals who are desperately in need of a job come in for the interview of their lives. Only TWO will leave with a job offer and a personal cubical! Who will make it through to the next round in "Interview Survivor"!

I arrive to the interview late because I had gotten lost. (I'm losing points before I even get there! Crap!) Not to worry though, two other interviewees did not bother to show! (HA HA...Sweet...I'm back on the Island!) It's now only three unemployed wanna-be's fighting for the best (worst) job of their life. I can handle this. I'm cute and friendly and people like me! (I keep repeating this to myself) I sit down behind someone's laptop that they've donated for the event which has been placed upon a folding table. (Sweet! Apparently they are already having budget issues...this isn't a good time to bring up my 90 Day review raise is it?)

Round One - Hand Shakes (Have I mentioned that I still don't know what job I'm interviewing for at this point?)

Each of us walks up to (let's just say) Bob, the man heading up the interview, and shakes his had. I walk up to him and give him a firm grip, holding onto his hand for a moment, looking him straight in the eye and smiling like I know his secret. (Which I don't!) I let go and walk to the back of the line, which by this time has grown and now includes the other employees who had recently been hired for other positions. The line moves and Bob frowns as he shakes each persons hand. He gets to the end and shakes his head back in forth in utter disappointment. (Did I do something wrong?)

"I want each of you to walk up to Marybeth and shake her hand." (Oh CRAP...I did do something wrong, maybe I looked at him for too long?)

So the line goes through again. I continue to shake the hands of the other participants in the exact way I had shook Bob's hand. Their grips were weak and shaky, and to be honest somewhat uncomfortable. They all pulled away quickly and stared at me as though I am hurting them. (Kay, um...I'm about 5 ft nothing and my hands are the size of an 8 yr old's. The possibility of me hurting them was about 5%!)

"This," Bob announces, "is the way you should be shaking hands during an interview," he concludes pointing to me. (SCORE! I did something right!) And he makes them all do it two or three more times.

Round Two - (Finally!) The explanation of the job description.

The job involves some light web design work. This is perfect, my husband is a web designer. I automatically have a one up on all occupants of the room. Bob smiles at me as he witnesses me understanding everything he explains. He instructs each of us to create a website right then and there using one of his ready made templates. Round two's winner is, by a landslide, Marybeth!

Round Three - Sales Pitch

Round Four - I can't remember...

By the end of the day I was so burnt out! All this for one job interview! BUT without fail, it was mine. He offered it to me immediately... for $7 an hour. (FAIL!) WITH potential to be a sales rep and make massive commission ... after the first year. (DOUBLE FAIL!)

Lesson Learned!

I rock ... I can sell the phone book. However, I need to keep a watchful eye out for those who want to take advantage of me. In a world where the economy is so unforgiving, it so easy to just give in to the first job or contract offer that comes our way. We need to remember to be choosy and not sell ourselves short.

I am not by any means saying I KNOW my book is going to sell and I am bound to have an agent contract with my first query. (Although I would LIKE to say that!) But I do need to remember to keep a watchful eye and look at all my options if I do in fact catch the eye of someone who realizes I have talent ;)


Jessica said...

It doesn't hurt to hope for success! :-)

Congrats on the job! That's so cool. Go you with the handshake. LOL

Marybeth said...

We should hope for success! Optimism goes a LONG way I tell ya!

Oh and it was an old job. I literally worked there for only a week before I got offered a better position elsewhere. But the story was worth it! Watch out for my killer handshake! LOL

Danyelle said...

Yay for all those points!

Wow on the job interview. Especially with the pay rate. Good advice for both life and querying!

Cristina C. Fender aka Chica said...

I've sent out numerous queries without any luck. Do you know how to write a query that gets some attention? I could sure use the help. Email me at


CMOM said...

Now I feel the need to shake your hand