That One Time I Cried in an Interview

By “that one time,” I mean this week.

Yup. I cried at a job interview.

Ok, it wasn’t Kim K bad, but come on! Who cries at a job interview?

Apparently I do.

I had an interview this week at a great university in my city. Part-time academic advising–that’s what I’m talking about!! I reaallly want this job and was a little nervous for the interview, which isn’t normal for me. I love interviewing. I’m weird.

Anyways, things were actually going really well. No weird questions, nothing trying to throw me off. Then one of the six interviewers asked, “What inspires you to work?” I’ve never been asked that question, but my immediate response was “My mom and grandma.”

Cue the waterworks.

buffy cry

Via GIPHY

Waterworks may be a little strong of an adjective, but my voice cracked and I was blinking back tears. And it was super obvious. I had to clear my throat and apologize, “I’m sorry, I’ve never been emotional in an interview before!” One of them spoke up and said, “Don’t worry about it, that’s kind of how this place gets.”

I explained that we’re actually going through a pretty hard situation with my grandma right now, but I have always admired her love of work. She never thought anything of being a working woman back in the day. My mom has always supported our family and that motivates me to be able to take care of mine. It’s not that what I said was particularly tear-jerking, I think it had more to do with how much emotion has been spent over the last week with our family situation.

But still, super embarrassing for that to get me during a dang job interview. I ended my explanation with, “And thank you for my cry for the day!” which made them all laugh. Surprisingly, the interview got even better after that and became very comfortable.

And guess what? I got the job.

All I can figure is that after you do something embarrassing, you can either shut down in awkwardness or just own it and realize you’ve made a unique impression. Embrace being a goober if that’s who you are. Trust me, I’ve embarrassed myself a LOT over the years and I’ve survived. I think people appreciate the authenticity and knowing they’re not the only weirdos around.

I don’t recommend crying in all of your interviews. Actually, I recommend not crying in ANY of them, but apparently things happen. If something not-so-great happens in your interview, just move on and impress them with your qualifications. Because if I can recover from crying like a little baby in front of a six-person hiring committee, I’m pretty sure most things are fixable.

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