Dear Crabby, How Do I Interview For A Job?

Dear Crabby,

I have been looking for a job and have sent out some resumes, but I need some tips on how to interview.  I have felt really awkward in the few that I have had.  I don’t know what to do to make myself calm down.  Do you have any ideas for me?

Sincerely, Neil Needajob

Dear Mr. Needajob

I only remember having to interview for a few jobs in my life and they were all quite different.  I believe it is the interviews in life that often mold us and either make us or break us.  My first ever interview was when I was 12 years old and I needed to raise money to buy my first bicycle.  There was a milk man in those days, and he usually needed a retrieval boy to jump off the truck and run up to the porch with the new bottles while grabbing the old bottles and carrying them back.  One day, I decided to ask one of these men for a job.  He said I had to pass the interview first.  I replied, “No problem, what do you want to know?” And the man said, “If you can drink all the remaining milk in all the bottles on my first street, then you are in!” Well, I really wanted that bike so I held my breath and did what I had to do.  I spent so much time puking that night and the next day I thought it might have been the end of me.  But I got the job and kept it for two years!  I kept my hatred of milk a lot longer though.  To this day, the thought of milk still makes me want to puke.  My next interview was right after I got out of college.  I was quite nervous; this was to be my first real job in the career of my choice.  I went through quite a range of emotions walking into my first appointment. My thoughts ranged from whether I would be the President someday to whether I would even get the job.  I had a buddy that quizzed me the night before on everything we thought we would need to know to impress the bosses.  As I walked in the room there were four men, all smoking so heavily that I couldn’t hardly see them. They asked me to stand there and answer some questions for them. The first guy asked me if I thought I would be an asset to the company or not.  I must have missed the “et” part of the word and I exclaimed, “No sir, I take after my mother in that regard!”  The next guy asked me what my greatest weakness was, so I told him “Chocolate!”  Then the third guy asked me if I planned to go back to school.  I quickly replied, “No, sir.  If I manage to pass that last exam I took, there should be no reason for me to ever have to go back to that place!”  He abruptly explained that he wondered if I had the ambition to return for a Master’s Degree.  So needless to say, I didn’t ever need to worry about whether or not I would ever be the President of that place.  My last interview was the best.  I was referred to this company by a friend and was quite nervous about the interview due to my previous experience.  As I went in to shake the interviewing manager’s hand, he smiled and said, “Looks like your zipper is down there, Buddy.”  I was mortified, but he just chuckled and said, “I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that does that!”  Then he opened my resume, noticed my last name, and said, “So, how are you related to Dave?”  I told him that he was my uncle. Turned out that this guy and my Uncle Dave were old college buddies themselves.  So he hired me on the spot, and I stayed at that job until I retired.  So, it just goes to show you, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you’re related to!”  Anyway, good luck with the process; they are all good experiences to add to your memory. Be yourself and be honest.  If that doesn’t work, then go into politics!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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