An interview is a lot like a first date. Both parties put on their best faces in hopes of finding that “right” person to ultimately benefit their own needs. “Sure, I’m an excel expert!” “I love working 12 hour work days.” “Yea, I’m totally into monogamy…really!” It’s all the same thing.
Last week, I had my first date with a lung cancer non-profit. It was after spending three hours with the Executive Director, Susan that I began to think that I may be the right person for the job. I left the interview, and as per my instructions, promptly called my recruiter, Harriet.
Harriet was the overbearing, Jewish mother that I never had nor wanted. “So, how was it?” she asked in her thick New York accent. “Great,” I answered and began to explain to her the last three hours. “Woooow!” she cooed. “Three hours! They must just love you. Ok, I will twalk to them and then I will cwall you later.”
A whole week passed and Harriet hadn’t cwalled.
And then, the phone rang. “Anne, it’s Harriet. I am afraid that I have some bad news,” she said. “They have decided to go with another candidate. They liked you, but they say that you are too personable.” I didn’t know what to say to that, but I did manage to ask Harriet to explain. “Well, Susan said that you twalked too much about things other than the actual job.”
“That’s funny,” I thought since I know that the Susan lives in Hoboken. She moved there from the Upper West Side a little less than a year ago. She takes the ferry in to work each morning, and because of the brisk air, her eyes tear up during the ride. Her husband’s name is Steve and when her parents last visited in November, they commented on how cold she kept her apartment. Her electric bill is way over $500 a month and she is originally from Massachusetts. But, you’re right. I am way too personable.
I didn’t argue with Harriet. I gave her my “Thank you and better luck next time speech” and hung up the phone.
Despite my calmness on the phone, the “too personable” thing really had me baffled and made me wonder just where I went wrong. What more could I have said during the interview? Did I not wear the right suit? Did she see the disapproving look on my face when I first noticed her fake turquoise earrings? And then it hit me. Being too personable was just Susan’s poor excuse for something that is very simply put, yet very hard to say.
She’s just not that in to me.
And you know what? It’s ok.