First Job Interview

If you remember from a couple posts back, I went through a very long and drawn out thought process as I tried to decide what kind of job I would use to support myself. Anyway, yesterday was my first ever job interview at a local bakery. . And it showed.

I didn’t know what to expect. My parents, friends, random people on the street – just kidding – all had advice for me. “Sit up straight, don’t fidget”, “remember to smile, Rebekah,” “they’re going to ask you to describe yourself.” All of it seemed easy enough, in theory. Sure I could describe myself, in my head. I even thought of a great joke that would go with this particular conversation. .

“So tell me, how would you describe your personality?”

“Well. I’m a very good listener. *shut mouth and stare blankly and quietly at interviewer until they get it*”

Best advice award: “don’t try to be funny. Employers aren’t looking for funny. Stick with sweet and respectful.” Of course, you can never be truly prepared for your first interview. Or the nerves. Or what crazy things you’ll do before the interview just to get your mind off it.

For example, I suddenly turned into a busy body. I couldn’t sit still and be on the computer or read. I fluttered about, eating stuff. Then came in my room and uncharacteristically decided I couldn’t work with such a mess and organized everything. Then I felt a little better and researched the bakery more on the Internet, edited my cover letter, printed my resume, realized the font wasn’t the same on my cover letter as my resume and reprinted that, then spent some time doubting everything I wrote in my resume, then I sang songs loudly all the way up until I got ready to go, just to stay calm. It’s so funny. I can get up on stage and sing songs in front of thousands of people, but this, talking and being evaluated by one. And without a script or rehearsal, is a whole other thing.

I walked into the shop, head high. Then realized there was no one in sight. So I did what anyone would do. . . Which was standing awkwardly by the counter until the girl in the far back of the shop noticed me. She didn’t, so I smiled and said “helloo” and soon I was being directed to the owner.

My hand was shaking all over as I tried to hand her my resume. She gestured for me to sit on a black leather love seat to her right, and I faced my first challenge. I perched on the edge of it, trying not to slouch. Then tried turning my body so I faced her more, and by then I realized my hands were practically spasming in my lap! So I crossed my legs and shoved them under my knee. Sit up straight and don’t fidget. .

She scanned my cover letter quickly and asked about my blog Est Parfait, then put the papers down and asked me to describe myself. I didn’t expect a question so soon, I don’t know why. But I did have a whole speech panned out in my mind. About how I love baking and sweets, and how I wanted to own my own cafe once upon a time. . . It never came out of my mouth in one coherent thought. NOTHING did. I feel like I mumbled the entire time. She kept asking me to repeat myself. Oh gosh it was horrible.

She asked about my work experience. I have none. But I’ve “worked” (without pay) in every situation it feels like. The library, I’ve worked the kitchen cooking and cleaning for a young adult boot camp for a week, I’ve sold T-shirts, I’ve helped at military air shows, I teach kindergarten, I’ve clean, dried, and harvested peaches. I’ve been around. . Heaven only knows if I communicated any of this.

Though she did say I’ve “lived a cool life.” Which made me feel a little better. (Just from the fact that it stopped my mouth from flapping any more. At one point, my dad’s words came to mind, some people go off on a rabbit hole during interviews, saying things that don’t apply. I desperately tried to shut up.)

Soon I was finishing up with the oh-so-intelligent concluding words of “so. . yeah.” and she asked me if I would be willing to be a dishwasher. Of course I said yes! I almost got excited, actually. My mind flashed to the big announcement I would make, at a table crowded with friends and family, apple juice raised, “I’d like to make a toast! You are looking at the new, official, bakery dishwasher!”

I’m guessing some people would think this below them. But I’m not daft. I’ve seen my Work Experience. Volunteer all over the place.

The owner warned that when “girls start sighing” (I took as giving attitude) about dishes or mopping or taking out trash, they’re out of there. It all made so much sense. Instead of being scared, I felt like I was taking notes on how to be a good business owner. She then asked if I had any questions for her.

Of course I couldn’t say no. How would that look?

I asked, if I became a dishwasher, would I be able to look on what other people are doing and learn things? She said in a little while, which sounded promising. She said how she starts employees on little jobs, because if she can’t trust them to do well on a little job, how would they do well on a big one. It reminded me of Jesus’ story about the servants and the coins, but I said nothing. Then the owner smiled knowingly at me, “that’s scriptural.” =-) I think I’d like her.

My interview was scheduled for 3:30. At 3:38 I was standing and thanking her for her time. She said she’d get back to me.

I don’t know why I was expecting a yes or no the second it was over. I picked up my things and headed to the door with her, and she said I was a sweet girl, I smiled, and we parted ways. The thing is, I don’t know if it was a “you poor, illiterate little thing, but you are a sweet girl. . ” or “you’re a sweet girl, people would like you here!” OR “you’re a sweet girl, but there’s no way you’re gonna last.” Obviously, my pessimism overrides my optimism in these situations. So I went home like the drama queen I let myself indulge in in times like these and made cupcakes from a mix to take to a ladies fellowship thing that night. Which went horribly wrong. And ate chocolate chips and soda, while my mom told me “it really wasn‘t that bad. . ”

I ended my day by washing all the caked-on dishes I dirtied from baking, how fitting was that?

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