Many years ago I was younger.
During that time I spent many a day preparing for, waiting for and driving to, job interviews. You know how it is; it’s that period of your life when you aren’t exactly sure what you want to do for a living so you find yourself answering want ads for all kinds of jobs. Recently, I recalled a particularly strange job interview at a hotel in Memphis, TN for some sales position; I’ve long ago forgotten the company name and what they were selling; I probably blocked it out.
The interview took place in a chain hotel, possibly a Days Inn, Econolodge or Hampton Inn near the interstate. I remember being told on the phone to go to a particular room on the first floor and knock on the door. I was welcomed into the room by two gentlemen in suits. Glancing around the room it was obvious that the men had rearranged the furniture so that two straight-backed chairs sat at 45 degree angles facing a large fluffy almost bean bag-like chair that they had placed in the middle of the room near the bed. Now, the bean bag-like chair wasn’t an actual “bean bag” chair, it did have short legs, it was just so cushiony that it would be impossible to sit straight in and also so low that you’d have to look up to see the interviewer’s faces. The two straight back chairs sat against the sliding glass door so that the interviewers could sit with their backs to the sun, positioning the interviewee in such a way that they would be facing toward the sun.
After exchanging the usual minor pleasantries, one of the fellows pointed to the bean bag-like chair and asked me to have a seat. I sat my briefcase down (remember those?) and lowered myself into the squishy chair, wallowing for a good 23 seconds to try and position myself so that I would appear “professional” and not like a flopping carp in the bottom of the boat. I realized the absurdity of the situation, even though I was too young and green to comment. Believe me, if it happened today I would comment strongly and shame the two guys for having the audacity to make me feel like I’m part of the Nuremberg Trials. I instantly knew the moment they asked me to sit that there was no way I’d take a position with that company. Can you imagine working for a company that would go to the length of near-humiliation in their job interviews? I remember little else of the interview other than it was really short. I’m sure I gave the lamest answers possible to their questions in order to get it over with and get out of the hotel room.
Now, on the other hand, if all three of us had been sitting in bean bag chairs, I might still be working for that company today! That would have been awesome! Can you imagine it? I think all business meetings should be held in bean bag chairs providing that everybody sits in one.
It’s been many years since I’ve gone on a job interview, I’d love to hear your most ridiculous job interview situations.