Worst. Interview. Ever.

I had been student teaching for 2 weeks. I was called for an interview. This one. I wanted this one. I had substitute taught in the district and just loved the kids there! It had proximity to my home!

I have a knack for bundling my bungled conversations. What I mean is, in public facing roles I’ve had I can have professionally excellent relationships and conversations with 20 people and one of those will be a mess. 19 interactions/relationships: aces. Then there is the one. Lost emails and mistakes in emails. Bungled verbage in a conversation. Calling the person by the wrong name…5 times…in one conversation. Once it starts, it snowballs and is awkward as heck.

This was the interview version of the above awkward bungling. The questions and conversation were stilted. I could not find my footing in my responses. The stone faced interviewer did not put me at ease. Had I said the wrong thing?

“Tell us how you would organize and prepare a novel study.”

“A novel study?”


“Right. What age students ?”

“Any age.”

Laughing awkwardly, “Oh. Good. Huh. Well, I’ve read Charlotte’s web with some students. I mean, I think; If there’s a novel you are studying it, you want the students to be thinking and reading. And reading the novel. And there maybe some activities…[This is where I took an offramp to talk about something else entirely]…So yeah. We would study the book together.” I may have lilted my voice like it was a question. Then I added, “I’m not sure I answered your question.”

Smiling politely, “It’s fine.”

There were a couple more of these. I managed some comprehensible answers. Then the interview began to wrap up.

“To wrap things up, tell us why you think we should hire you.”

I. Was. Not. Prepared. Not for that. I should have been. But I wasn’t. So, I confidently began “Well, I don’t know. I guess…because I’m awesome?”

Yes I did. Great effort on the part of the interviewer to keep it professional. I proceeded to try to make things better with a follow up email that did not make things better. You know how sometimes people are just trying too hard?

I did not get the job.

12 thoughts on “Worst. Interview. Ever.

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  1. Oh, what memories of job interview questions gone bad! You are not alone in this talent! I love that you used Charlotte’s Web and that you kind of bungled up a couple of your words in the retelling on purpose to show us that you meant business. Well done!


  2. Your post captured such feelings that I was brought back to so many interviews that failed miserable. I feel your pain. You had me recalling those numerous interviews where my mouth ran wild and my tongue got quite tied. Sending warm thoughts your way.


  3. Well, here’s the thing. You are awesome because you shared this story. You allowed us all to cringe along with you and recall our own bungled interviews (we’ve all had them). I truly admire your honesty in this piece! It’s amazing how we remember moments like these vividly, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mortification is so fun to experience with other people….in a weird way!

      In any case, I felt like it would ruin the piece and be bragging to add how well other interviews went!

      Been rocking third grade for some time now! It’s the best


  4. “To wrap things up, tell us why you think we should hire you.”
    I was immediately taken back to my second interview. I wasn’t prepared at all for this question. I stumbled and I recall my answer had several “Um’s” and “Er’s”. And no I didn’t get that job. This post had me smiling at the thought of a few of my interviews that absolutely went south. And try as I might I couldn’t steer that sinking ship back onto course.


  5. This is a brilliant post! You walk us through all the feelings, thoughts, and shaky hands one goes through when things. just. go. wrong! I’ve had it happen with parents. I’ve even paused in the middle of a meeting or a conference and said, “Can we start over again?” But what an awful interview. And I don’t mean you, I mean the person interviewing you because come on, it was their responsibility to put you enough at ease so you could speak for yourself. Good thing you didn’t get the job, they don’t deserve you!


    1. You are too kind. The interviewer made a very kind phone call letting me down, to be honest. But truly it was not a good fit and I landed somewhere fantastic in the end!


  6. Yep. Awesome. I loved that part of this post. It would be an answer I’d strive to say, wish I could say, and never be able to say because of the inferiority complex that pervades my being.

    You wound your way through the moment with so much humor, but also with vulnerability.


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