Let’s talk about job interviews.
Whatever it’s a café or a business firm, every time I have an interview, I want to get there prepared. I spend time making researches about brand, company, products and even about interviewer.Furthermore, I dress according to the specific required dressing code (“smart business” for firms, “dressy-casual” for restaurants and bars). Yes, I do my best to impress who I have in front of and around me, trying to let the interviewer know me and see as much as possible of my self.
Nevertheless, yesterday, I showed a little bit too much of my self.
I’m not the grey-jacket-and-black-pants kind of professional woman, so I usually prefer a simple dress in neutral color.This time a picked an embroidered beige dress with a zip fastener along all my back. Damned zip.
I walked in the building, went upstairs and introduced my self to the receptionist ( a 20 something boy). I sited down in the waiting room reading Wired magazine and waiting for Mr. A. I was feeling great (finding Wired Magazine in a waiting room is always a good sign to a technology lover as I am).
When Mr. A. arrived he invited me to follow him in another room, crossing all the flat, in my embroidered beige dress.
During the interview I was comfortable (as I always am during interviews): it was just a chat about who I am, what I have done and what I can do (something I am really prepared about). But but but… Interviews are not only about making them know me, to me interviews are about know the company as well and , in this case, the company was Mr A.
… and he was distracted and smiling in a funny but annoying way. Was it because of something I was saying? Was he not interested in what I was talking about? I was there looking at me, talking an thinking “this is a Harvard educated man, he is professional… he looks professional but there’s something going on here”.
Trust me, when you invest time and competence getting ready for an interview it’s not nice to sit in from of someone practically chortling in from of you.
The interview was over. I had been my self, I felt good about it but just a little bit disappointed by Mr A’s behavior. I mean, what the hell was his problem?
Before letting me go he invited me to complete a psychological test in the waiting room and goodbye. Perplexed I sited on the chair and suddenly I understood. Wearing a dress you are not supposed to have a physical contact between the chair and your back’s skin, don’t you?
Yes, exactly: my back zip was unzipped. Yes, exactly: I crossed the flat and have had the interview wearing an unzipped dress. Yes, exactly: people in that office have seen my not skinny back, my black bra and probably my tights as well.
Yes, exactly: that’s what Mr A. was probably laughing about.
To be honest, after I had tried to fix the zip, I spent five seconds thinking about changing my name, identity and move to Kenya. Then I simply accepted that on May 26th , 2014 in London, I had made a complete fool of my self, like never before. It’s been like a grief and I went through all five stages.
Denial. “Are you sure he noticed the unzip dress?”
Anger. “Well, he should have said something, he has been unprofessional laughing of me instead of with me”
Bargaining. “Ok, he was a man, so probably he was embarrassed as well”
Depression. “Who cares about the dress… I’m just sorry because I like the position and he won’t probably give me the job”
Acceptance. “What is done is done.. and probably was meant to be. Let’s laugh about it!
Of course, the day after such a thing the feeling is like hangover: “Did it really happen?”.
Laughing about the event with my sister, she told me that Kate Middleton had a similar accident. Yes, her ass is probably nicer than mine, but it’s still comforting to know that I’m not alone.