Recent college graduates (like me!) are coming to the conclusion that the world has no pity on us. Even though we all have completed at least one degree, the world is still flinging itself around the star Sol at a mind-asploding pace, and life on Earth doesn’t really care whether or not we get a job.
You walk across a stage, grab the diploma from the Dean of Students, or whoever, and then you step outside and Sallie Mae loan officers are standing right there, contract in hand, grinning at you, and holding up a sign displaying the amount you owe in student loans. Hopefully you’ve thought about all of this before and have at least applied for jobs. And, if you’re lucky enough, you’ve gotten some callbacks and have gone in for interviews. In the interview, you’ve probably been asked some questions like: “What are your strengths, weaknesses?” But sometimes you get thrown a curve ball. Sometimes they ask you something like this: “If you could be any bird, what would you be?” That’s when you start thinking about whether or not you’ve applied to be a support staff officer or an ornithologist. It is petrifying on a visceral level.
But I’m here for you.
Wow your interviewer with some outside the box answers, like the ones that follow.
Q: What do you regret the most?
A: [put on a thousand-yard stare] Letting my girlfriend drive the car that night. I should have realized that the GPS wasn’t updated. That what it thought was the Interstate was really Dead Man’s Gorge.
Q: What are your strengths?
A: Arm wrestling and bar fights. No contest.
Q: What are your weaknesses?
A: Well, I have a tendency to to fall asleep on the job. Especially when I’ve been chugging bottles of NyQuil – which I often do.
Q: If you could change one thing about this company, what would it be?
A: Reprimands would be replaced with knife fights.
Q: Tell me a story.
A: A man walks into a job interview, well dressed, confident. His resumé sparkles. His references are flawless. His education – impeccable. The interview goes very well, and the man walks out of the door sure that he’s the top pick for the job. But, a week later, HR calls from the company, tells him that he didn’t get that job. That they found a better candidate. That night, the building mysteriously burns to the ground and the interviewer is found in a lake three weeks later, swimming with cement shoes. [At this point, lean forward.] Good story, huh?
Q: Have you worked with someone you didn’t like? If so, how did you handle it?
A: I did. I confronted them about our personal differences and offered to discuss it after work, in a nearby café. I tried to be the bigger man, put off confrontation that might damage work relations in the office. Later, at the café, the coworker showed up and I showed him a manila folder. It contained detailed information about all the members of his family. He was surprised at first, but, when I told him that unless he manned up and got along with me at work, his family would have surprises in store for them, he saw reason. I call it conflict resolution.
Q: Tell me about a time when you failed.
A: My ex-wife entrusted me with $550. At this time, it was our entire savings – we were young and didn’t understand how to succeed in the world. I was sure that I had a good bet at the dog races. I went to the track, put it all on Vivaldi’s Folly, and, one second into the race, the dog tripped and was trampled by the others. That’s one time when I failed. There are many others. Would you like to hear about them, too?
Q: It’s your dime.
A: That’s more money than I’ve had in years.
Q: What is your favorite game?
A: Risk. It’s training for my ultimate career goal.
Q: What’s something foolish that you’ve done?
A: Killing that hooker in Tijuana.
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DISCLAIMER: Please, don’t try this at home.