Job Interview Nightmare
Before l knew of the nightmarish nature of interview and job hunting, I naively thought that landing a role at a high profile company would be a sure thing, especially because I knew someone there.
A friend of a friend had recommended me for an associate writer role at the WWE back in 2015. With my years of writing experience and childhood love for the product, I believed that this was a role that I’d be able to get without too many headaches.
Unfortunately, that was not the case. During my initial phone screening I was explicitly told that this company was very selective and that I was lucky just to be getting an interview. Being a longtime fan of the WWE, I could see how a lot of people would be gunning for jobs there. But at this point, I hadn’t suffered through countless interviews and rejections so I was still unrealistically optimistic and foolishly did not line anything else up at the time.
The interview process started the week of Thanksgiving with the first phone screening. The initial call went well, and my connection at the company was well liked so it felt like that put me in their good graces. It made be very excited, and I bragged through the holiday letting everyone know that I was going to get my foot in the door of a company we all grew up supporting.
A second round of in-person interviews was scheduled for just a few weeks later so I had prepared myself by purchasing the WWE network and catching up on the weekly show “Monday Night Raw.” During those few weeks, I did nothing but study the show and try to come up with ideas to pitch to the people who’d be interviewing me in the coming weeks.
My mother ended up falling down the stairs during that time and spent a stint in the hospital. Thankfully she did not sustain any critical industries, but I still had to leave her bedside at the hospital to drive up to Connecticut for this round of interviews.
Now, I believed this was my make or break moment with them, and if I could get through this round, than I probably was a shoe-in for the role.
Learn the Team’s Sandwich Order
The second round consisted of me meeting with two human resource people, a writer, and the head writer of one of the shows. The interviews went well, especially with the writer who told me that he liked me a lot during our conversation. The final interview of that day was with the lead writer of one of the company’s biggest shows, and that’s where things got awkward.
I approached the meeting thinking I’d be helping out with ideas, but he told me that the most important thing that I’d be doing is remembering sandwich orders. I was turned off initially, but I was ready to work my way up the ranks to take his job someday. That discussion went ok.
When I got back to New York, the human resource person I had been working with said I had been selected to go for another round with the VP of writing for the company. This would be a phoner. Right before the Christmas holiday, I got on the phone with this gentlemen and we discussed ideas for the product and why I thought I’d be good for the company. Again, I thought the interview went well and I believed this would be the final round before they made a decision.
But that wasn’t the case. I received an email letting me know that I was to report to the company on Jan. 13, well after the New Year holiday to endure one final step before starting the role. Or at least this is what I believed. I thought I was heading up there to sign some paperwork and accept an offer. Instead, I interviewed with the same VP again, this time, in person. The talk went fairly well, but I felt like they were starting to get cold feet based on speaking with this gentlemen twice.
And my hunch was right. Just a few weeks later I received a call from H.R. telling me that I was not selected for the job. I was devastated after spending all of that time interviewing with them. The torturous process kept me on the hook for almost three months. And I made the mistake of putting all of my efforts there. I should have still been applying and interviewing with other companies in the meantime.
Interview for Job Tips
I learned valuable lessons from this experience. I now knew that you need to court as many employers as possible, and if you know someone, it doesn’t guarantee you anything, especially with big companies like that. Also, don’t ever just rest comfortably applying and interviewing at one job at a time, even if it’s your dream company to work for. Landing a job is a numbers game, and the more interviews you schedule, the better chance you will have at landing something.