Question: I see you’ve been in the Peace Corps for the past two years. You know I once thought of applying for the Peace Corps.
What I wanted to say: Great then, can I have your job? Because I actually applied, was accepted and served two years in the Peace Corps. It appears that I have already demonstrated that I possess more initiative and follow-through than you.
Also, while we are on the subject, I once thought of applying to Harvard.
What I actually said: Yes I was a Peace Corps volunteer and it was a very challenging and rewarding experience. While I was serving in Senegal I feel I gained some valuable skills and insights that would make me an excellent addition to your team.
Question: So we don’t allow our employees to check facebook or text during work hours. Do you think you would be able to disconnect yourself from your personal life during the day?
What I wanted to say: Well, during a particularly long power outage in Senegal I once went 2 weeks without internet, cellphones, music and electricity in general. So, yes?
What I actually said: Yes. I don’t imagine that will be a problem.
Question: We are looking for a highly motivated employee who is capable of working without direct supervision. Do you think you are capable of this?
What I wanted to say: Probably not. Motivation has never been my strong suit. That’s why I enrolled in college at age 16, traveled independently to 18 different countries before I was 21 and spent the last two years doing grassroots development work in sub-Saharan Africa. I’m such a slacker.
What I actually said: I have had extensive experience successfully completing projects without direct supervision. And for the past two years I have worked on projects while living on the opposite side of the country from my work supervisor.
Question: We work with a variety of people from a variety of backgrounds. Are you comfortable in a diverse work environment?
What I wanted to say: Nope. Not comfortable at all. That’s why I volunteered to live halfway around the world in an isolated African town where no one spoke English. I just feel so awkward around people who are different than me.
What I actually said: I’ve been extensively trained in cross cultural communication and have over 3 years of combined experience in international work and travel. I feel most at home working in an environment that embraces diversity and encourages a variety of work and communication styles.
Question: I see you’ve put down that you are interested in a salaried position. Just want to let you know that our entry-level employees are hourly positions and they usually start at minimum wage.
What I wanted to say: Last time I made minimum wage I was a 16-year-old waitress. I assumed that now with my three degrees and 4 previous years of experience that I am worth more than $8.80 per hour. Whoops. My bad.
What I actually said: Well I understand that compensation packages vary from company to company. I am willing to take a dip in salary if the company offers other employee benefits. –oh, you don’t? Not even health insurance? *Awkward silence*