The Job Interview

Many of you know that I’m working on my resume, looking for jobs, looking for income, looking for some self-worth. Sam will be enrolled in school this fall—pending summer potty-training, of course—so I’ll have a whopping six hours to myself every single week.


How empowering! I feel like I can finally identify with the magnitude of the women’s liberation movement! I’m giddy with anticipation. The possibilities are endless!


Joline Godfrey, CEO of Independent Means Inc, who counsels families on financial intelligence, is part of my inspiration. She admits that without a career, she’d “be a much grumpier parent because I wouldn’t be doing something that’s important to me. I’m a much more loving person because I have integrity and am true to myself.”


Amen, Joline.


It’s been almost three years since I was last employed. I’m a little rusty. My skills have been dulled by peanut butter and Desitin, but they’ve been replaced by new skills, better skills. Regardless, I’ll need to do some practicing before my first job interview.


I’m mentally rehearsing a lot.


Tell me about yourself. Well, I’m Erin. I used to be somebody and now I’m not, but I’d like to change that.


Where do you see yourself in five years? Kids in school full-time, coffee shop and gym every morning, Wally and I can take long walks—oh, God, will Wally still be alive in five years?


Why should we hire you? So I don’t kill my kids. Or develop a daytime drinking habit. Or worse, retail therapy.


Why did you leave your last job? Because we moved halfway across the country and that commute seemed a bit daunting.


What are your greatest strengths? I run really fast, faster than Sam. I always stay on top of laundry. I can grocery shop for four on a budget. I know every playground in the metro area, which ones have bathrooms and water fountains and where the nearest coffee shops are. I make a kick-ass grilled cheese sandwich. And I can send coherent emails with Sam hovering over my keyboard, incorrectly identifying letters.


What are your greatest weaknesses? I tend to work too hard. I’m too dedicated. I’m a perfectionist. I’m too diligent. I’m too much of a team player. I’m too coachable. I’m too humble. My interpersonal skills are too good. I’m too pretty, co-workers are often distracted. Gosh, I hope that’s not too many flaws.


Why do you want to work here? Because you don’t throw food at mealtimes. And I assume everyone here dresses themselves. I won’t have to break up fights, will I?


What do you know about us? You don’t have kids that work here, right? Child labor laws are still in effect? Ok, good.


How do people describe you? Nate says I’m his favorite mom ever, but I should wear my hair down more often. Sam says I’m poopy.


When can you start? Um, right now. But only on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 12, while Sam’s at school. And then if they get sick, I’ll have to take off to stay home with them.


Describe a difficult situation and what you did to overcome it. Well, one time, I couldn’t find Sam’s lovies before naptime, and I had a lot stuff I needed to get done before Nate got home from school so I really needed him to get to bed on time. I looked and I looked and I looked and couldn’t find it, and my laptop kept dinging with new emails, which was really stressing me out, so I decided to hide in bed for a few minutes, and when I pulled back my comforter, there were his lovies! So he took his nap on time after all! Success!


What is your greatest accomplishment? I answered that in the previous question.


What kind of work environment do you prefer? An office building with a height requirement: employees must be over 48 inches tall to enter.


What’s your management style? I yell a lot, but I like to whisper the curse words under my breath.


What’s a time you exercised leadership? I was at Trader Joe’s, like, “Sam, do you want strawberries or watermelon today?” And he didn’t answer me, so I was like, “F*#% it!” and got both.


How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations? Like when I realize it’s 8:42 and Nate has to be at school in eighteen minutes but is still in his underwear and hasn’t touched his breakfast, nor have I packed his lunch yet? Usually I just run around yelling at Nate to eat and get dressed while I stuff his lunch box with apple slices and cheese while he asks me repeatedly why he can’t wear his red pants and favorite Ninja Turtles shirt again. Um, because they’re dirty? Meanwhile, trying to pry Sam away from Dora the Explorer so we can walk Nate to school is its own powder keg situation.


What would your first 30, 60 days here look like? On my first day, I’ll probably just sit at my desk and stare blankly for a while. In fact, that’ll be my whole first week, just to regain my mental thought processes without Sam yelling at me. After that, I plan on darting around to talk to as many people as possible, like a prairie dog popping into people’s cubicles. I just want friends. And if anyone needs me to make a coffee run for them, I’m definitely down for that.


What are your salary requirements? Wait—there’s a salary??! Sweet.