The phone rang and rang and then “I’m in a meeting” popped up on my screen as I was sent to voicemail.
Oh no, I thought, I didn’t even get to speak and I blew it. Or, maybe, just maybe, I had the interview time wrong? With shaky (and sweaty) hands I tried to quickly pull up my outlook mailbox. But no, the first email that loaded showed me I was right, Friday 3:00 it read. And yet… Here I was, with no one on the line.
I began to get nervous – what is the protocol when you get ditched for an interview? If I called again would it be viewed as annoying or intrusive? Or worse, I worried, if I did not call back I might be seen as someone who didn’t care about the job.
The minutes ticked by in an agonising game of “should I call him” but with much higher stakes than a date to the middle school dance.
Finally, I settled on sending an email apologising that the meeting had not taken place but assuring the interviewer that I was able to reschedule at his convenience. I sat there, phone in hand for the entire scheduled 30-minute interview time, just in case he called back.
Later that day I received a reply to my email. It turned out fine. We rescheduled for the following Monday and he even apologised to me!
However, that time in between those emails? That uncertainty was brutal.
I understand that to him, this meeting was just one box to check on his to-do list, but to me? This moment was a big deal. To the interviewee? Well, it’s a moment you prepare for and worry about, and it’s asking your parents and friends for good luck and its clammy hands and planning a nap after when the ensuing adrenaline renders you useless.
I hold no grudges; it was, in all honesty, a learning experience. But, that’s my story of the interview, that wasn’t.