The soul-sucking agony of job interviews

The soul sucking agony of job interviews


I knew my lucky streak couldn’t last forever, particularly after acknowledging it on the blog.

My most recent job hunt took longer than I expected. It consumed my life – monitoring listings, reaching out to contacts, crafting cover letters and tweaking my resume, over and over again.

Then the phone interviews (a nightmare to wrangle when you work in an open plan office with virtually no private spaces, and you don’t drive to work) and of course, the in person interviews!

Here are a few highlights:

  • The interview that never was. I had phone confirmation (but no email confirmation) and when I turned up the interviewer wasn’t there. I’d left work early and gone all that way (it wasn’t a super handy location) and she was a no show – she was in another city that day!
  • The interview that started super late. I scheduled this one for my lunch break expecting to be back at work within an hour, give or take, even with travel time. Nope! I turned up on time, but they didn’t. The longer I waited the more nervous I got, being painfully aware of time ticking on. We didn’t begin until about 20 minutes after the scheduled start and their lateness really threw me off – I spent half of the interview worrying about making it back to work at a reasonable time, and the other struggling to keep up with their aggressive interviewing style. Did I mention that the interviewers were not the same people HR told me I I would meet with?! Just a disaster from start to finish.
  • The interview on my birthday. I took annual leave so that I could have a day at home to chill out, but you know what? The day before I got a frantic email from a recruiter who had been ‘trying to reach me for days’ (they most certainly had not). Cue a phone call in which they declared that my birthday was the only day on which they were holding interviews. I opted for an early slot to get it out of the way, and trekked into the city and back on my birthday just for it. (I didn’t get that job, but later that day I got a call about an interview – for another company I’d given up on ever hearing back from – for the next day, which wound up being The One.)

Now I can look back and laugh, but dammit, it was grueling and disheartening at the time.

And it all worked out perfectly in the end, as it always has in this regard. #praisebe

8 thoughts on “The soul-sucking agony of job interviews

  • Reply Yet Another PF Blog November 22, 2017 at 10:58

    I’m glad it all worked out in the end! Have you already started with your new employer? If so, how’s it going so far?

    I’m currently in the midst of struggling to get an interview. And I’ve never gotten an offer outside my current job so I’m struggling with major imposter syndrome. Any tips for keeping spirits high during the job search?

    • Reply eemusings November 22, 2017 at 22:45

      It’s going well! Still struggling with imposter syndrome. Comes and goes…

      Honestly, just to take breaks. It’s such a time suck when you work full time and you’re allowed to take days or even a week or 2 off and just NOT engage in the search. And not to put your life on hold during it … don’t forget about the other things you have going on, and to try and savour the good parts about your current job while you are still there … which won’t be forever because you WILL land that offer soon 🙂

  • Reply Amy@MoreTimeThanMoney November 23, 2017 at 22:26

    Congratulations on getting a new position. Job interviews are the worst.

  • Reply Amanda November 24, 2017 at 09:57

    OMG I went to an interview where there was no one there before, too! I arrived at the right place, at the right time, only to find the building empty with no lights on. I tried calling the number I had and could hear the phone ringing on the other side of the locked door. I sat in my car and cried, because I was such a good fit for the job and was growing desperate after being laid off and not getting many interviews to begin with. Of course, on my drive home I get a phone call saying there was a power outage, and they moved the interviews to another location. Super! Except my interview was supposed to start half hour ago, I was a sobbing mess, and was already back home… The interview eventually happened. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. (My confidence was completely shot by that point!)
    Interviews are honestly the worst part of the job…

    • Reply eemusings November 26, 2017 at 11:47

      I’m so sorry – what a nightmare!

  • Reply Kate @ Making it Rain November 25, 2017 at 01:06

    Interviewing is just the worst. I also don’t know if I am now just moving toward my technical roles, but it also feels like every job I interview for also comes with a big package of bonuses like language tests and skills assessments. I just found out I didn’t get a DREAM job a couple weeks ago and it had involved countless emails, a phone interview, a panel in-person interview, and a 1-hr presentation to a different panel. The time commitment just to interview for one position is off the charts and I am definitely getting burnt out!

    So happy to hear that you landed in the right role! Looking forward to hearing more about it.

  • Reply Lily @ The Frugal Gene December 13, 2017 at 11:02

    I hate job hunting. I rather hit my pinkie toe on the kitchen corner cabinet for 5 hours straight than go through the interview process. For introverts…it’s just not a reflection of how we really function.

  • Reply Felicity (@FelicityFFF) December 19, 2017 at 09:59

    Interviewing is the worst. 😥

    All the time it takes is the most annoying (like having to interview on your birthday — ugh!). It’s also just constant mind games to some extent. Since it’s uncommon to actually get feedback (like “we enjoyed your enthusiasm, but we’re looking for someone with more focus in this area” instead of just “there were so many qualified candidates”), it makes it hard to know how to improve (or even just how you come across to others) without a ton of trial and error

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