Job Interview Hell


It is oft said that ‘hell is other people.’ To me this phrase is a bit vague and nebulous. Other people (red headed actorly crumpets for instance) can be heavenly. A more accurate idiom would be  ‘hell is other people interviewing you for a job’.

I have a great and inglorious track record when it comes to stuffing up job interviews and unlike the Split Enz song* – history has been repeating itself of late.

I hope history does not repeat this look.

I hope history does not repeat this look.

In a quest to a add a bit more work to my work/life balance I turned my attention to the online job sites once more. The good news is that I seem to have this cover letter/ resume malarkey worked out and scored several call backs. The bad news is  that I’ve endured a handful of interviews. Sadly the process is not becoming easier with age and experience. On the contrary interviews are becoming even more painful as middle age erodes my tolerance for bullshit and wankery.

The circle of hell known as the job interview

The circle of hell known as the job interview

One dude, who was (at least superficially) a successful middle aged executive, told me that he pretty much had me sussed on the basis of the crappy personality test I’d filled out before our meeting. Given that this probing multiple choice questionaire had provided all the information he needed, the purpose of the interview was to see if I behaved in accordance with my ‘authentic self’. Yes – the 50-something balding dude in a suit with a strong track record in accountancy actually said this.

He went on to explain that if I was not my ‘authentic self’ he would know because he has an uncanny knack for picking up fakery. Kind of like having a well tuned Gaydar but for fakes not homosexuals. He could sense a fauxmo-sexual at twenty basis. Righto – I suppressed an eye roll (my God it took some strength) and considered myself warned.

Then he asked the killer question – ‘what would you do if you could choose any job in the world?’ There is no way in hell an irrespressible cougar like me can answer this question ‘authentically’. I rattled off a rehearsed spiel about how I love being on the coal face of small business. Its so much more rewarding than laboring as a nameless cog in a soulless multi-national corporation doncha know. I guess dude’s Spidey senses detected the inauthenticity I was spouting.

A more authentic career aspiration for me is a head features writer for  The Onion. If only I could thrash out gold like ‘Seagull with diarrhea barely makes it to crowded beach’, I would know complete professional fulfillment.


Alternatively I see myself as a Hollywood casting agent with a very comfy couch specializing in male leads. (But don’t we all).

Failing the above, I would reinvent myself as a wardrobe assistant on the set of Vikings. The thing is I would be rather incompetent. Clive Standen’s shirt would regularly go missing. With hard work and study I am sure I could progress to losing Travis Fimmel and Alexander Ludwig’s shirts as well. Perhaps I could orchestrate the series first entirely shirtless episode. Cougars everywhere would applaud my artistry.

Here's Travis Fimmell - dressed by a competent wardrobe assistant.

Here’s Travis Fimmel – dressed by a competent wardrobe assistant.

Anyhow I am sure you understand that there is no way I could be authentic about any of this in an interview situation with a middle aged accountancy dude albeit one with Spidey senses. Needless to say I did not get the job.

A week later I found myself sitting opposite a tall dark handsome crumpet with geometric sideburns. That bit was OK. The annoying thing was that Mr Sideburns wanted to set two hours to extract my entire life story – without evening buying me a drink. Seriously Hunky McSideburns said he had to follow company protocol which meant deconstructing every fucking line on my resume.


Here’s the thing – I am 45 years old and I have been known to enjoy an adult beverage. The nineties are kind of a blur. I simply can not remember my life story. I

I was fudging along OK when Hunky McSideburn’s boss walked in. This dude was wearing a tailored suit of blue and white check and sporting – a blonde man bun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WANKER ALERT! WANKER ALERT!! – the warning siren going off in my head was so damn loud that I am surprised the entire office floor did not hear it.

Call me old fashioned but for the man bun is like so 2013 and only acceptable if;

a) You are a Viking.

b) You are a hawt barista in a hipster cafe.

c) You are this guy.

He would be right at home on the set of Vikings

NEVER EVER should the man bun be teamed with a suit – let alone an obviously tailored number in edgy blue and white check.**

Anyhow that it turns out that you can judge a book by its cover. Blondie McManbun revealed himself to be a long term resident of Wanker Town. He referred to himself as a ‘digital nomad’. This does not mean he has wandering fingers – which admittedly would be interesting. Rather he viewed himself as some kind of internet age gypsy who swans about spending summers at Byron and winters at Aspen. The work/life balance see-saw is definitely tilted towards ‘life’ as he checks in on his stable of internet businesses  between swimming/surfing/skiing/sinking expensive piss/boinking etc etc Every couple of months he’ll jet into Sydney or NY to talk to his people before heading off on his merry way. His carbon footprint growing larger and larger with all the indulgent air travel and the hot air emanating from his LinkedIn profile. Don’t you just hate it when wankers are having a thoroughly better time than you?

Needless to say I turned the job down in favor of another position. The interview for that one only lasted 20 minutes and they shouted me a coffee!!! The choice was a no-brainer.


Is your tolerance for bullshit decreasing with age?

What’s your ideal job?

Man buns – hate ’em or rate ’em?



*History Never Repeats 1981 – Jezuz! I am old.

*Kit Harrington is the only individual permitted to rock the suit/man bun combo on account of his excessive hawtness. Oh my! Talk about putting the erection in resurrection Jon Snow.

kit and nikolaj

Kit with his man bun and some Nikolaj because this is Mumabs and I over-deliver.

But what about Jared Leto ? – I hear some cougars cry… Can Jared Leto not rock the man bun along side Kit Harrington?


To that I say NO!! Jared Leto is a wanker. A beautiful wanker but a wanker nonetheless.








16 thoughts on “Job Interview Hell

  1. Oh Mumabs, you never fail to deliver. Halfway through coffee #1 and I’m snorting with laughter. I don’t mind a man bun. I think it’s a natural progression of my 90s boyfriend prerequisite- he must have longer hair than me! Please, please get that job on Vikings. The world needs more shirtless Vikings.

  2. Omg as someone currently putting together their first resume in 16 years at age 44 you are scaring me. I have no tolerance for people like that.

    And I am mostly a no on the man bun lol but you have inspired me to finally start watching Vikings!

  3. Man buns should definitely just be left to Kit Harrington! Kit could actually get away with just about anything in my eyes!

  4. Man buns, I hate them, even when the man sporting it is otherwise spunky.

  5. Uuuuuuuurgh. Glad you found some nice, normal people to work for! I’m convinced that some people out there like to interview people simply to enjoy exercising their power over others. Also they have no actual idea what they’re doing…

  6. Hi Mumabs, love your take on life. I’m 56 and definitely short on the bullshit fuse. Applys to private life as well. Its so freeing to realise you dont have to bullshit anymore.
    Unfortunately every job comes with drama unless you work for yourself. Thats the only time there is no office politics.
    Love man buns so long as your talking about their butt.
    I still remember 1981. It was a good year.

  7. Can you come and do interviews for me. Or with me. And we can just snigger at the nonsense together. It would make it less painful. LOL.

  8. Oh man. It is so good to read your words again. And I am job-hunting and DITTO. My CV is scoring me interviews. My interviews are not scoring me jobs. Doesn’t help that I left the corporate world just before it jumped on the social media bandwagon and all companies see is this digital-sized gap in my CV. Freelance social media work just doesn’t seem to cut it. Le sigh. x

  9. I would not have been able to keep a straight face with bun hair man. A shame they saw through your answer, I bet they would have LOVED hearing your honest one! One of the joys of being a journo is that most work you get is word of mouth. I can handle myself in an interview but I’m prone to overshare, let’s hope I never have to interview again! Glad you’re gainfully employed though. xx

  10. OMG, that is hilarious! I can’t believe the hoops you have to jump through at interviews now. Man bun and checked suit?! You should have snuck a photo! Too funny. #TeamIBOT

  11. Well, this is terrifying. I have no idea how I’m going to go applying for my jobs – my resume is pretty lame.
    As for man buns – no. Just no.
    Except for Jon Snow. Of course.

  12. Man buns. No. Just no. Yay on the new job and having options!

  13. Man buns!! Something I’ve never worked with! It would be pretty hard to take one seriously sporting one of those – unless they wee the ones mentioned above! McHotness! I’ve recently just applied for a job after 6 years of being a stay at home Mum. The waiting process is so painful!! I got a letter to say they received my application – why a letter? An email would of cost less trees and stamps for that matter. I just wanna know already. Coooooommmmmmooooonnnn!! Lol! Congrats on finding a new job that fits perfectly xx

  14. Are you kidding me? “to see if I behaved in accordance with my ‘authentic self’.” LOL
    As for blonde man buns, my 12 year old soccer playing boy rocks his.

  15. Ohhhh I work in Government and interviews are not as exciting as this! Good luck with the new role. Visiting from #IBOT

  16. The whole experience is scary. Let alone bun man. I say be your authentic revolted self by all the #shit of the bun man and his ilk. And I work in government too – much more boring interviews.

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