Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Interview from Hell

I'm still working on my website, but let me tell you about my first lousy interview. There was a job fair in a hospital about 4 miles from my house. I went there on Saturday about six weeks ago, thinking about filling out an application and turning in my resume alone. The HR people were really excited with me and passed me straight through to interview WITH A POTENTIAL MANAGER.

Holy Mary and the orphans. Gulp!

I soooo wasn't ready to interview. I didn't have my lucky underpants on. I didn't have my interview mindset. I didn't have the slightest clue what I was going to say. Holy fuck! It didn't help that when the manager finally came up to see me, I was stuffing my face with a sandwich. It had onions in it. I hurriedly swallowed my last bite, wiped my hand on a napkin and shook her hand. She gingerly accepted it, as if knowing that the mustard caught at the edge of my lips was on my hand as well.

As we proceeded into the office, I managed to clean up a little bit more and gain a modicum of propriety. "So," she said as she had me sit down on the other side of a huge, organized desk. That should have been my first warning sign. What nice person has an organized desk? Only an anal obsessive type person would have one. She's not gong to be nice. She gave my resume a cursory glance. "Tell me why you got out of nursing and why all of a sudden you want to come back."

Damn lady, just delve into it won't you. "Ummm," fuck. Never start a sentence with ummm, isn't that the interview no-no? Her eyebrows went up at that and I slogged on, determined to recover myself. I started babbling. When I'm uber nervous, I either babble or giggle. Neither are good interview responses. She asked me a few more cursory questions and then hit me with a big one. "What steps have you taken before you started interviewing preparing you to re-enter nursing." SHIIIIITTTTT! No steps, no steps at all, this was just a spur of the moment thing. Don't panic, don't panic. "I have been re-reading my NCLEX Kaplan book---" I started nervously. "Did you take a refresher course?" she pursued relentlessly interrupting me. No heifer, I didn't take a refresher course, that shit costs like 1500 bucks---do I have that kind of loot sitting around? Hell fuckin' no! "Did you take ACLS yet?" "No, but I'm on the wait list for it." She nodded, then brought in her assistant manager to grill me.

Together, with 2 sets of brown searing eyes, they ran me through this interview questionnaire with medical questions to see my critical thinking skills. My actions were appropriate, even I knew that, but they kept asking for the rationale behind everything, and I dithered on the first question so long that they didn't even ask me the rest on the page. After that, Manager lady showed me a VTACH strip and asked me to identify it and give the appropriate treatment. Of course, I incorrectly said VFib which made me look more like an idiot. Fuck a duck!

On my way out, even I know that I tanked the interview. "We'll call you and let you know," Manager said. Yeah right, when hell freezes over. I'd never done so poorly on anything in nursing before. The more I thought about it, the more upset I got, until I ended up parked on the side of the road crying. I managed to contain myself enough to get home but only enough to rush through the house, bid a terse greeting to my hubby and head straight for the bedroom to cry my eyes out.

He came in moments later and between my hysterical tears he managed to piece the sorry interview together. "Don't worry sweetie, it was just a dry run. You'll do better next time, now you know what it's like and everything. You didn't even really want that job anyway," he continued as he soothed and comforted me. "And now you know what to study and focus on and the kind of attitude to have."

It took a while with his positive energy but I was finally able to put things into perspective and get over myself. He's right, there are hundreds of other opportunities and if the last Manager didn't want me, someone else will.

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