Three pints of beer and a breath mint.
Job interviews are pretty contentious social interactions and they’ve always made me nervous. Though I tend to interview well, it’s only because I’m masking the fact that I want to jump out of my skin and run down the street screaming.
The rule I’ve always followed for interviews was to interview them. Ask more questions of them than they do of you. It’s a psychological trick where you make them think or feel that you don’t need them, that you’re an asset in and of yourself. And in order to come off that way, I’ve found that getting slightly tipsy helps me tip the scales in my favor.
Not everyone can do this, I know. People can be sloppy amateurs when it comes to the booze. But I come from a long line of Irish and Scandinavian stock. My ancestors didn’t drink to get drunk – they did it to feel normal. And seeming exceptionally normal is often good for getting a job.
People who don’t know me well think of me as a confident person. I’m not. In fact, I tend to be terrified in social situations. However, one day, in the fifth grade, it dawned on me that everyone else was at least as afraid as I was, so if I just pretended like I wasn’t, everything would fall into place.
Anyway, today I interviewed at a bar in The French Quarter. I showed up totally sober. I realized afterward that I hadn’t shown up for a job interview entirely sober since I was 20 – and I’ve had a lot of jobs.
It was probably a mistake. I couldn’t think of questions to ask them. I was nervous and fidgety. I felt like jumping up on the desk and howling. It would have been a total flop if the guy didn’t ask me, as part of the interview, “Could you tell me a joke?” .
What’s the difference between God and a bartender?
God doesn’t think he’s a bartender.
Laughter. Sweet, sweet social anxiety release valve. I’m so glad I thought of that right away.
Anyway, I hope I get the job. And I wish I didn’t feel the need to get tipsy beforehand. But if I do get it, maybe it will mark a change in my interview habits.
David Larson is an impulsive person who sometimes writes.
Photo credit: flickr user buddawiggi, used under cc license