My First Interview

Based on a true story…

He stood there dressed up the smartest he’s ever been. His brand new suit his mother bought him. Fresh faced, baby faced. Ready to kick some ass at his very first interview.

This was to be his second ever job. His first being a cleaner at the college he also studied at. After deciding to leave college his dad helped him get an interview with a computer company, doing customer service. Call centre work. He hadn’t done anything like this before, he was practically fresh out of college.

The job was based in his hometown, the other side of town so a bus ride and a long walk. He didn’t mind, the job was handsomely paid.

He walked into the building and politely checked in at reception. He waited for his interview to begin. 15 minutes they had him waiting in the reception area. How would they have liked it if he was 15 minutes late?

The longer he waiting the more nervous he became, he never had an interview before so he had no idea what to expect. But eventually he was called into a meeting room, just him and a guy named Dave.

Dave shook his hand and introduced himself then invited him to sit down.

“Water?” Dave said.

“No thank you.” He said nervously.

The interview soon began and Dave began asking question after question, he struggled to answer them confidently. In life he is probably one of the most charismatic people you’ll ever meet but the moment he stepped into this room he froze. He lost his charm, he lost his edge. What had happened?

He soon began answering questions the exact same as he answered the previous one.

“So what sort of person are you?” Dave asked.

He stared blankly and replied, “I’m just a calm sort of bloke… Yeah just really calm.”

Dave nodded and wrote something down on his clipboard. “Right okay… And what would you consider to be your biggest strength?”

“My biggest strength?” He pondered, he took far too much time thinking of an answer. “Well I suppose my biggest strength would be the fact that I’m just a calm person.”

Dave with a puzzled look on his face nodded again and proceeded to write down something on his clipboard, probably something like, “This guy is definitely not getting the job.”

“If we gave you the job, what qualities would you bring to the team?” Dave asked.

“Just a good level of calmness I suppose.” He replied while clenching his fists. He certainly did come across as a lunatic. As like someone that was about to snap. ‘A good level of calmness’?! What kind of answer was that!? Inside his mind he was screaming at himself for being an idiot.


He tried but there was a mental block. The rest of the interview didn’t go much better.

Why did he keep answering every question with the word “calm”?!

“What do you think is your biggest weakness?” Dave asked.

He replied instantly with, “Sometimes I can be too calm.”

“Okay that’s it for my questions, do you have any questions for me?” Asked Dave?

Not knowing the rules about interviews his first question was, “Yeah how much is it an hour I’ll be getting paid?”

Followed by, “What sort of holidays will I be getting?”

And finished with, “What are the hours?”

Terrible questions to ask in an interview! But he knew no better. Dave answered them regardless as he already knew in his mind that he wasn’t getting the job.

“Okay well thanks for your time today, we’ll let you know.” Dave said. The two shook hands and he walked out of the building. He lit up a cigarette knowing what a major screw up he had made.

‘We’ll let you know.’ He whispered to himself as he walked towards the bus stop.

But you know what? They never did.

Now whenever he has an interview he thinks back to this day and he makes sure he never ever uses the word “calm”.


31 thoughts on “My First Interview

  1. This is a great story to tell! Well done. At least the interview provided you with something to entertain people with at your next party. I’ve done stupid stuff like that, as well. It’s like your anxiety gets the best of you and your brain just locks up. If I had been the interviewer I would have said, you sound kind of nervous, why don’t you just relax a moment. Or at least I would have tried to lighten the mood to help you out. Why are people so insensitive?

    • Me and a friend were on about this the other day, it’s still funny even after over 8 years. It used to be the moment I stepped into an interview room all my charisma and charm went out the window. Now I generally don’t care if I get the job or not so I have no reason to be nervous.

      If I remember correctly, the guy that interviewed me didn’t have much charisma himself, he probably didn’t know how to put interviewee’s at ease!

  2. I think you’re a fine writer, by the way. Ever think of going in that direction? You could have a book in you? If you turn out to be the next JK Rowling I’m gonna want a piece of that pie!! You know, for noticing your significant talent and encouraging you. Haha! I’m totally serious!

    • I’d love to be a writer, the next Hank Moody from Californication haha. I think I’d have to keep writing for now, see what I’m good at writing, I’ve tried writing a novel or two before but fizzled out and lost interest. If I lose interest writing it people won’t want to read surely?

      Thank you for the compliment, if I do become successful you’ll definitely have a cheque coming your way! Unless its an actual slice of pie you’re wanting?

      • I’ll take both.

        Actually, I think, My First Interview, could be a sketch on Saturday Night Live. You might look into writing for TV or a screen play if you have a good story. That way you won’t lose interest. I think writing a novel would be very difficult, unless it’s a short one! hahaha!
        If you are serious, there’s a computer program called FINAL DRAFT. It makes writing a screenplay so easy. You’ll need to write somewhere around 100 pages. But since much of it is dialogue and set up, it’s not so bad.
        Anyway, just thought I’d mention it.
        I’d like to think I know talent when I see it : )

      • I’ve heard of Final Draft, I’ll have to look into that thanks! :) I was thinking of possibly doing a creative writing course. I’m sure doing something like that can’t hurt. It’d probably help me know what kind of writer I wanted to be.

    • Haha thanks! Some people are born made to have great interviews, I however was not! The time someone asked me what my greatest strengths were and I replied with, “I don’t think I have any.” is a close second.

      • I always say now my personality, I’m Mr. Charisma. Then when they ask me what are my weaknesses I just say, “Look at me. I’m like a solid block of steel, I have no weaknesses” It seems to work.

      • Noo that’s on Thursday, this one is for an inbound sales role in a call centre. Trying to avoid call centres but inbound sales is alright, people just phone up, “I want this.”

        “Alright what’s your credit card number.”

        Boom. Plus it’s about 5 minutes from my house which is better than 40 minutes (Which’ll be like an hour with traffic in the morning.)

  3. hey man, what a great and relatable story. i think being calm is a very underrated quality — forget the skill sets and test scores — if all hell breaks loose in the workplace (which it never actually does…) then the calmest man among them becomes the leader, right? it’s very important; us calm people know that anyway.

    • Thanks :D I remember when I worked at this telesales place last year, all hell nearly broke loose then. A racist Asian guy and a racist Chinese/Geordie guy started going at each other behind me while I was on a call, I pinned the Chinese guy down with my knee to the back of his neck and the Asian guy was dragged out by the manager. Trying to make a sale to some old woman while the Chinese guy is yelling, “FOOKIN GET UFF ME MAN!”

      Did I get the sale? Yes, yes I did. Calmness prevailed there.

  4. Hahah your calmness is such a charming characteristic. Anyone that throws the word calm around during an interview should be given the job. Nice one Pete!

  5. lol, that’s hilarious/horrible

    Wow, what an Interview Sinker… But it sounds like exactly what would/might happen on a First Interview ever, lol

    I’ve had some pretty stressful Interviews myself… Ones where under the desk, my feet couldn’t stay still, ha… But my upper body pulled through for me

    Nicely Written


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