I cannot stand group interviews . They are free-for-alls in which cruel and ill mannered people whore themselves for six pounds an hour and scraps of material pieced by fingers of a poor six year old boy in a sweat shop in Southern Narnia. Yes it's a character building process, mainly due to the fact that after the evil Overlord (manager/ or is she/he us busy assistant manager) is done with you, you are forced to gather up the fragments of your character and sobbing, piece them back together. See, building? Hooray for me. Nevertheless, your only construction tools are p.v.a and broken dreams, weak adhesives- so everyone can see the cracks. You always leave off with a weaker resolution than you came with.
I have had two horrendous experiences in group interviews. Both in fashion retail. The first I was thrown under a bus or some other form of public transport. Basically Selfridges was opening a River Island shoe department. I took any opportunity to work and River Island was cool so I wanted to go for it. When I did, however I got a nasty shock. In a sense I laid down and allowed the bus to rollover me. There were all these fabulous people, with fabulous hairstyles and fabulous people. And there I was in my dinky little dress and heels and straightened hair feeling like a cow in McDonalds. I knew then I was about to be slaughtered.
Nevertheless I pasted on my favourite interview smile and readied myself. The interviewer was Satan in skinny jeans. I, to this day, have never met a more odious haggard old bint. One of those very thin, very 'in' women with red hair that isn't hers and a smile that looks like a grimace and a voice like tin violins being fed the wrong way up a cat. I tried though, I did try. I wouldn't say my attempt was valiant. But every time I opened my mouth someone would steal my words, badly rephrase them and pass them off as their own.
They were the kind of people that would prey on erratic and squishy creatures like me.
Please don't get me wrong. I like fashion, that is to say, wearing things that suit my mood and make me feel funky or sexy and cool or whatever simplistic adjective takes my fancy. But formulaic indoctrination of the masses, at the hands of creepy thin people with purple hair who wear sunglasses inside, frightens me. I try to follow fashion sometimes in a high street sort of way. I even look trends up online to see what's going on in that world. I bought a Cosmopolitan magazine once too and everything. But if I don't like something I can't work with it. If you hit me in the face with a shovel, you can't convince me that its the new 'vogue' way of goodbye kissing.
Some of the fashion that the bird lady manager was bringing up, I hated. I am a very bad liar. So the interview didn't go well. And all the people made me feel like a fashion novice, because I was. And I felt too old, too young, too fat and too stupid all at the same time.
I'm someone who can present themselves well as an individual and work part of a team. I'm not a person who would disembowel every guest at a garden party with a spork for the last portion of coleslaw. And therefore perhaps I'll give group interviews a miss for a while, just until I gain a little more confidence or lose my ability to feel.