A few weeks ago I went for a job interview that was one of the strangest ones I had ever experienced. As a contractor and consultant, I am used to going on job interviews all the time so I thought I was prepared for just about anything people could throw at me. As I am always going for short-term contracts, interview questions are generally along the lines of “give me an example of where you have done such-and-such” – they don’t really care about your long-term career goals if their intention is for you to complete your project within the term of the contract (typically 6-12 months) then leave, so I never get the “where do you see yourself in five years” type questions.
So what made this particular interview rather unusual was a comment the interviewer made toward the end of our hour-long conversation: “You look too relaxed. I’m not sure you can handle the hot-headed execs who have their jobs on the line if this project does not meet its deadlines!” Wow! If I had known that appearing relaxed was going to disqualify me for a job I would have called the Qantas reservations line prior to the interview so that I could be put on hold for an hour listening to their rendition of “I Still Call Australia Home” on repeat!