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Story Time: The Interview From Hell

Hey. Hi. Hello!

Yeah, that’s right folks. It’s a Wednesday, and I’m putting up a blog post. If you read my post from Friday then you’ll know last week was not great. In fact, last week was terrible for a few reasons. But one thing stands out that was more terrible then everything else, and that was a job interview process that I went through on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Now, I normally don’t bash things or really even talk about work, because that’s not what you people signed up for. However, I really need to share this experience because it was just terrible, and hopefully it can give some people who are in the job application process some red flags to look for. Or maybe it’ll just give everyone a chance to laugh at just how wild this 24 hours was for me. So sit back and relax and let’s have a story time!

SO, Thursday of the week before, I had sent in a resume for a job posted under the heading of “Sports Marketing Associate” for a company here in New York called Ace Marketing. Now, I’m in retail, and want to get the heck out of there right quick (hopefully before the holidays), and I also really love sports, so it sounded like a win-win. There was no minimum experience required, so it really sounded too good to be true.

Less than an hour later, I got an email from someone named Meghan about a potential interview with this company for Friday or Monday. I’m thinking, “Great, this company moves fast, maybe I’ll have a job in no time!” However, I had to be at work during the time slots for both Friday and Monday. No worries. I email this Meghan back, asking if I could arrange a phone interview, or something for Tuesday?

I don’t hear back over the weekend, which is totally normal because it’s the weekend and offices don’t work then? Monday comes around and I get an email confirming an interview for 12:50 on Tuesday. Weird that they just assumed I was free that time instead of reaching out, but thankfully I was, so it all worked out.

Now it’s Tuesday, and I get an email with instructions for where to go for this interview. The first thing I notice is that it’s going to be in a shared workspace called Production Haus. I’ve been to an interview at a place like this before, and it was wild, so I lowered my expectations a bit. The second thing I noticed was that this space was in the Garment District. Not a great place, but hey New York is expensive, so I looked past that.

I do my makeup, put on my business attire, and headed out the door. I arrive at the location, which needs some MAJOR TLC and lighting work, and am greeted by blasting music coming from a tiny white speaker perched on the corner of this plastic table. Sat at the table is this small human, who was definitely an adult, but not by much. I tell her my name, interview time, and company, and she hands me what I can only describe to be a questionaire. I go find a seat on a couch next to a TV that has a Donkey Kong game for the Playstation going. Like who is actually going to start playing Donkey Kong while they’re waiting for an interview?!

As I’m filling out this questionaire, I notice that one of the questions is how much you’re getting paid at your current job. You literally can’t ask that question????? Red Flag #500 at this point honestly. So, I cross that question out, and continue filling out the rest. I give the form back to the human behind the plastic table, and sit back down. I got there at 12:43.

As someone who has interviewed candidates before when I used to work at Express, and as someone who has respect for others, I figured my interview would start on time. Normal assumption right? Wrong. I WAITED UNTIL 1:20 TO BE INTERVIEWED. I had no where to be that day until the Red Sox game, so I waited. People who arrived after me were getting seen before me.

Finally, a tall, blonde woman calls my name. I grab my back, stand up, and shake her hand. This lady displayed no emotion. No smile, no laughter, no any sort of human emotion. I was sat there just staring at a blank face that I’m not even sure if she blinked her not. I felt like I was watching a robot in action, it was wild.

I sit down, and then she takes her place at her desk across from me, and starts her speech. You can tell it’s rehearsed. She starts by saying she had over 4,000 applicants for this job, and were seeing 150 of them today (4,000 is a lie, LinkedIn said it was only 200. I also didn’t ask how many people applied?) She asks me why I applied for this job. I said I hated retail and wanted to get out. She asks me what I want to do, I said open a makeup company. She asks what my favorite company is. I say Tarte. She then launched into a two minute tirade about what she wants to do, all while drawing on the back of my resume a bunch of letters and squiggles. I spent two minutes getting talked at, not interviewed. Cool cool cool.

This two minute speech that I encountered from this robot was the exact same speech I had received the last time I had an interview at a coworking space in November of last year. It’s honestly like my life is out to repeat itself or something. This robot even used the exact same letters and squiggles that this other lady did, except the other interiew lastdd 15 minutes and she actually seemed interested in me.

As I’m leaving, the robot says that if they like me I’ll hear back from them later than night for the second round interview, which would be a coffee date with one of the staff. I leave, go home, and get ready for the game. While I’m at the game, I get an email, saying that I was scheduled for a second interview at 9AM THE NEXT DAY. Well fuck.

I knew that I wasn’t going to get home until after midnight, and would have to get up hecka early to get ready, but I needed to learn more about this position, so I decided against all better judgement to go. I also feel like I didn’t have a choice because it felt like I was being told I had to go, rather than asking if I wanted to go?

So, I get home from the game, am way too wired to sleep, and just stare at my ceiling really until my 6:00am alarm goes off. Around 6:30 I climb out of bed and begin to get myself ready. I regret everything that I’m doing, because I could’ve stayed in bed until 10:00am when I would’ve had to get up for work. But, I told myself I wanted to get out of retail ASAP Rocky, and needed to learn more about this job.

By 9:00am I’m back at the production space, seeing the same little human perched behind the plastic table. I get handed another questionaire, fill that out, and take a seat at 9:10. I’m waiting, and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. You get the idea. It’s a lot of waiting. Around 9:30 chatter errupts in the back of this space, with periodic chanting. I was in sorority, so I’m used to weird chanting and shit. However, this was a little too weird for this time of morning.

Eventually it’s 10:05 am, and my name is being called by the same robot woman I spoke with the day before. She introduces me to the woman I’m supposed to be having a coffee date with, and then says some half-hearted praise about her, that sounds fake, like everything else she does. I’m also paired with another candidate, so it’s like recruitment all over again.

The lady rushes us out the door, and we’re off! I inform her that I have to leave by 11:30 because ya girl has an actual job she gets paid for that I need to be at. That’s when she starts running to the coffee shop. We were in the middle of Times Square, please stop running lady I can’t keep up. Eventually we get to the coffee shop, she says some words, I follow her to line and don’t order anything. She starts barking at the person behind the counter that she wants almond milk.

We sit down, and there’s another lady there who I guess was supposedly training to become a corporate trainer, which meant that she would start doing coffee dates like these to interview candidates. This girl looked like she was gonna get eaten alive at any second, so best of luck to her!

Now, I don’t know if any of you have ever been on a coffee date (I certainly haven’t because I’ve never been on a date, but I have seen plenty of them from TV so I think I had an idea of what they should look like), but you expect some form of mutual conversation or something like that? Not this one.

This corporate trainer lady starts firing off questions and facts that sound made up about this company. I don’t know where she learned her people skills? Prison maybe. Or whatever robot factory she was made in. Wherever it was, she was terrible at it. Had no idea how to engage two people in conversation.

My eyes kept drifing away from whatever she was saying because I hadn’t slept and we were in the middle of a giant coffee shop in Times Square. You can’t expect anyone to focus in that shit. She called me out for not being focused. I said I was, she moved on.

As she was talking at us, she kept drawing all over our resumes and questionaires the same sort of gibberish the lady from the day before did. Sidenote, I feel really bad for the girl I was paired with. She had only been in the states for two weeks, and I hope to god she didn’t decide to join this company!

Anyway, this trainer lady is talking and talking and talking. Not engaging in conversation. Not doing anything besides talking at us about this energy account called Sage. I signed up for a sports marketing associate position. Not once was sports mentioned. Also, they don’t even have a job position called associate? So, fake news all around.

Eventually, after what felt like 10 years of watching this robot lady draw hierogliphics all over our papers, she abruptly stands up and rushes us out the door. She grabs my arm and pulls me ahead of everyone else to start hurling questions at me. She asked what set me apart from everyone else, I said my education because it’s literally true. Her response was that there were people at that company with two buiness degrees from Harvard, so my education did not set me apart. 1. Rude. 2. No one who graduated from Harvard would be stupid enough to work there, next question.

We get back to the office, I’m given yet ANOTHER questionaire to fill out. What is with this company and wasting paper? On the questionaire we’re asked to rank our trainer in a few areas. I gave her all 4’s and 5’s because she was literally awful, but also because we didn’t get to know her at all. All I got to learn about her was that she asked stupid questions and has poor social skills.

It’s 11:20 at this point and the blonde robot lady calls my name again. We’re back in her office, and she’s reading over my questionaire. On the bottom we got to ask questions that we had. I asked what part of the job involved sports since they were never mentioned, if this was the office space we were supposed to work in because I didn’t see how there was room, and why our day started at 10 when we were called in to be there at 9.

The only question she picked out was the one about starting at 10. Her response? “We cleared our busy schedules for this, I’m sorry if we can’t start on time.” She said it with the most amount of disgust I’ve ever heard a robot use before. Yeah, you should be sorry. You may be a start-up company but ya’ll should own watches. I, along with everyone else who was in that waiting room, cleared their schedules to be there at 9. If you ask us in at 9, you better be ready to start at 9.

She said she had a room full of people fighting for this position, which wasn’t true. Everyone I talked to out there was frustrated that we started an hour late, and no one seemed interested to work there. I said I didn’t want to work for a company that didn’t value my time and left.

Obviously, I didn’t hear back from them at all. I also never found out who Meghan was, or if she was even a real person. I can’t believe any sort of office environment possessed that level of disrespect for their potential new employees. Every person that I told that story to told me that I was way too professional for them for sticking it out after every time they kept me waiting. That’s just the way I was raised I guess, with a certain amount of decency for someone elses’ time.

It was hands down the worst job interview I’d ever been to, although I don’t think I can use the word interview here at all, because it was just me getting talked at not talked to. I’m glad it’s over, but I think that robot may have also cursed me. Or maybe it was the Yankee’s fans. Either way, take this as a learning experience. And also be smart and research the company you’re applying to first.

Until Next Time!

XOXO,

LHC

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4 comments

  1. Yikes. That is such a weird interview….What is a co-shared workspace? Is it like an open office plan with no cubicles? And who keeps someone waiting 30 mins for an interview? Even if they did offer you the job, you should turn it down (unless you’re desperate for cash, obv, lol, but sounds like you still have a job at the moment)

    1. A shared space is basically just a space for start-ups to work without having to invest an an actual office space, if that makes any sense? Basically take a random space, add a bunch of small rooms, and bam, you can call that a co-worker space! It’s super sketchy all around

  2. OMG I read this whole thing! I’m so sorry that was an awful experience! I am always wary about “marketing” jobs with vague names. Ace Marketing sounds like a super fake company. You probably would have ended up selling knife sets from door to door or something. LOL. There are so many fake job places out there. I once got a call back for a graphic designer position but it wasn’t an interview, it was a test, and the guy was super rude and made me feel dumb. Total waste of time. So I feel your pain! At least you are able to recognize the signs and know you want to work someplace much better! Good luck to you on your job search!!

    1. Thank you!! It was described to me as a direct to consumer marketing position, which basically meant cold calling all day!!!! There are so many companies like that around the city and they all claim to be making “6 figures” and working with huge clients they’re all so suspicious, but make for really funny interview stories!

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