Thursday, September 12, 2013

How not to interview for a job... if you want it. By Liza O'Connor!

HOW NOT TO INTERVIEW FOR A JOB…if you want it, by Liza O’Connor

Never, Jess. I’d never risk your life to amuse my readers. This is a true story.

Before I decided to dedicate my every waking hour to writing and publishing, I actually had serious, important jobs.

I know…hard to believe. During my interviews that resulted in employment, I managed to keep my humor in check. Those where my humor burst out, well, those were hysterical moments that I doubt the interviewer will ever forget. When I’d go bad on an interview, I’d go really bad.

On one interview, after keeping me waiting nearly a half hour, a guy walks in and sits. “So tell me about yourself?”

Having disliked the commute to their office, and now bored with my wait, I smiled and replied, “Well, I graduated second in my class from a small school in Arkansas, but that only assures you I can count to ten as long as I’m not wearing shoes.”

Seriously, that’s what I said. I am interviewing for a strategist position with one of the top three electronic firms in the world, and not only do I begin with my high school achievement, which no one cares about, but I imply I am too stupid to count to ten using my fingers, and must take off my shoes to get the job done.

And I said this with a straight face.

The interview went on for over three hours, with five guys coming in to interview me.

I’m pretty sure the behind the scene conversations went like this, “Jack, you have to interview this lunatic. She’s hysterically funny, only she’s being serious.”

One guy asked me how I would go about creating a strategic campaign for their products. (They have about a zillion, but he was a later interviewer, clearly here for the comedy hour.)

So I smile. “First I would reach out to the current users for [company name] and your competitors products and see what they think.”

My answer surprised him, because that’s actually a good way to start.

“What else?”

“I won’t know until the users tell me why they prefer your competitors’ products over yours.”

That went off really well. He left and the CEO came to interview me next.

Naturally, I tried to behave for him, but using the information provided to me by the head hunter, I managed to piss him off too.

The Headhunter had mentioned during her prepping, they needed a top notch strategist because the customer perception was their products were inferior to Sony and others.

So I mentioned to the US CEO (Big CEO is in Korea) that the public’s ‘perception problem’ needs to be addressed. He became outraged. “******* is a highly admired and respected company. There is no perception problem with the company. People love and admire our products.”

I gave up being nice and lectured him. “You may have solved the quality differences, but you’ve yet to solve the public perception issues and just waiting for people to notice the improvement will take years at best.

Note to anyone who actually wants a job: NEVER LECTURE THE CEO, at least until you become a trusted ally.

Not surprisingly, I did not get the job.

Truth is, after driving there, I knew I didn’t want the job, because the commute would have made me miserable. If I can’t get somewhere within 30 minutes during non-rush hour time, I’ll spend my life on the road during rush hours, and probably die in a fiery ball of metal and plastic.

Still, I went in with the intention of giving a good interview for practice. Then, when they would offered me the job, I’d turn them down.

However, since Serious Liza had no metaphorical money in the pot, Funny Liza dived into the pot head first.

Now in my story Oh Stupid Heart, (2nd book of A Long Journey to Love)

Trent stupidly signs an employment contract without sending it to his lawyer. Bad move because it turns out the contract he signed says the new employee Grant can’t be fired, even for cause.

And his raises are guaranteed. The only way to get rid of him is for him to leave voluntarily.

And the only reason he’d do that is if he got a better job elsewhere. Trent did his part by taking all responsibilities away from the jerk. His ‘job’ is to do nothing other than scratch his ass. And a security guard sits and watches him to ensure that is all he does. He cannot use any electronic devices while at work. He sits on a hardwood chair with a straight back and stares at an ugly wall.

But given in 3 years his salary will climb to a half million, Carrie can’t trust having the most boring job in the world will make him leave. She needs to get Grant an offer of a better job. So she asks Dan, the head hunter, to set her up for an interview with an unethical competitor in need of an EA. She arrives at the interview wearing the ugliest suit that has every existed.

(Her twin sister gave it to her.) On every skill questioned, Carrie admitted while she had skills, Grant’s were far more impressive, except when it came to typing. She was by far the superior typist.
Soon after she left her interview, Dan, the headhunter, requested she come to his office.

He is pissed. The CEO had reamed him for sending an unqualified candidate (Carrie) and withdrew the contract for an EA because he had found one on his own. (That would be Grant)

Yeah! Mission accomplished!

Solves Trent’s nightmare, but Dan wants retribution for the money he lost and the hit to his reputation he took.

Uh Oh.

To find out how, you have to read the book.

Oh Stupid Heart
Book Two of: A Long Road To Love
Humorous Contemporary Disaster Romance
By Liza O’Connor


Carrie Hanson is in love with a different species: Trent, a pampered, uber-rich socialite who’s also her boss. Everyone keeps telling her it’s a train wreck looking to happen, but her heart wants what it wants. So despite the billion and one reasons not to, Carrie commits to this inter-species relationship. But while she's off being trained for her new job responsibilities, a beautiful ex fiancĂ©e is working hard to get Trent back and Carrie fired.


As the train filled with lesser quality people all talking on their cell phones, the noise and cacophony of smells began to irritate Trent. If not for the pleasure of holding Carrie, he would have demanded the conductor stop the train and let them off so he could have his driver rescue them. The train barely picked up speed before it slowed down, stopped, and allowed more people on. They just kept coming and coming. His glare discouraged a few people from sitting on the other side of Carrie, but eventually an old, heavyset black woman collapsed in the seat with a sigh.

“Don’t normally get to sit,” she muttered, and released a heavy sigh of exhaustion. Her faded, crumpled, threadbare clothes looked as tired as she did.

The conductor stopped and demanded five dollars. She pulled out a coin purse and tried to pay him in quarters.

“No coins.”

The woman put a calloused hand to her forehead and shook her head. “It’s all I got.”

“Not my problem,” the conductor said.

“Take her fee out of the change you owe me,” Trent snapped. Why did the guy have to be such a jerk?
The guy clicked more paper then thrust a ticket into her coin-filled hand. Finally, he handed Trent three twenties.

“And a five,” Trent growled.

The conductor muttered softly and thrust his hand into his pocket and pulled out a five. He glared at Trent. “You’re only getting this, because of her.” He nodded at Carrie. “Otherwise, you’d pay a second service fee.” He handed Trent the bills and stormed off.

The old woman flashed Trent a weary smile, displaying brown and yellow teeth, which made him slightly nauseous.

His grandmother had always said “Never engage with the common people. Perform all charity at a distance.”

“Thank you for the ticket. They’re so expensive, especially since I got sick last month and needed medicine. I didn’t have any money left to buy a monthly ticket.”

“How much is a monthly ticket?” he asked.

“$125.00. But I don’t have it, so I’m paying ten dollars a day. And I only make sixty a night, forty once they take out taxes.”

“What do you do?”

“I clean an office building. Job starts at 8 p.m. and I have to be done by 5 a.m. with no excuses. If I don’t show, or I don’t finish, I get fired.”

He retrieved his wallet, culled two hundred, and added it to the change the conductor had returned. He passed it to the woman. “Here’s enough to buy the monthly ticket and a bit extra to put aside to buy medicine the next time you get sick.”

The woman studied the hundred dollar bills. “Are these real?”

“I assume so. I got them from the bank.”

The woman’s brow furrowed and handed them back to him, keeping the twenties and five. “I can’t afford to get arrested. I’ll lose my job.”

Never had a person refused his money before. It hurt his feelings and frustrated him. Damn it, I wanted to be charitable. Why can’t the damn woman just do her part?

A Long Road to Love
Book Two
Oh Stupid Heart
Coming Mid-September

Book One
Worst Week Ever

Liza O’Connor
Author Bio:

Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.


Liza's Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter
 Worst Week Ever Trailer
Other Books by Liza O’Connor
Saving CaseyWorst Week EverComing Soon:
Oh Stupid Heart
Coming To Reason
Ghost Lover

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  1. Maria, Thanks for having me on your site today. Hope Carrie's idea helps those who really would like someone at work to GO AWAY.

  2. I love having you here. You are so funny your posts always crack me up! =D Best of luck with your new book - both this one and Worst Week Ever are on my TBR list. =)

  3. OMG! Problem with being a smart *** in an interview, sometimes they offer you the job anyhow. I loved it!And the book sounds great. Thank you for the morning humor!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Try that again with all the necessary letters this time.
      You are most welcome. Lecturing the CEO pretty well assured me they wouldn't offer the job. The counting of toes comment assured they wouldn't hire me, unless they needed to lighten up the work environment. (I was really good at doing that. And happy people work harder and get along better.)

    3. Liza, I think working with you would be an absolute pleasure. And you're so right - happy people stay at their jobs, perform better, and feel better!

  4. Loved the interview. I was never good at playing with people like that, I leave it to my husband. I would have just walked out. Tweeted.

    1. I should write a book about my interviews. Some were very disturbing. A radio station owner told me besides my air time slot, I would work on his sales staff. My job would be to soften the client up before he came in with the hard pitch. Being incredibly naive, I had no idea what he meant. The other female DJ filled me on how they would meet me in a cheap hotel and .... I went back to the station owner and told him I had no interest in the sales job. He gave me the air time job anyway, but the sexual harassment was constant through the 3 months I worked there. (Much worse than Ian in Oh Stupid Heart.)

    2. Me too, Ella - when I was in my 20s I did my best to appease everyone. Now I would have left and thought they were missing out. LOL!

  5. You actually made excellent points on your interview. But better that you became a writer so we can read wonderful stories like "Oh Stupid Heart"

    1. I was actually a very good forecaster/analyst/strategist, because I would see where things were headed...and write the potential future.

      But eventually it ceased to be fun, so I quit, became a very poor but happy writer.

    2. I agree, Nancy. The world is better off with Liza as a writer, because this way she can put smiles on many faces! =D

  6. I'm so happy you became a writer!
    I loved reading your interview.

    1. Thanks Brenda. I'm happy I became an author too. I believe this is what I was meant to do. It feels right.

    2. Thank you for coming over, Brenda! Great seeing you here! If Liza had gotten that job she might never have become a writer, and we would all have missed out!

  7. Thanks so much for having me on your site. :)

  8. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.A fantastic presentation. Very open and informative.You have beautifully presented your thought in this blog post. job interview


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