The Oops Option 

It was the worst job interview of my life. Worse than the time an employer asked where I needed to improve and I blurted out, “I need to stop stealing office supplies for drug money.”

I don’t even do drugs, but in the presence of someone who holds my financial future in his hands—I get nervous and flustered and say stupid things.

Practice interviews haven’t helped; in the heat of an actual interview that training flies out of my head so fast it creates a vacuum that sucks in all available idiotic drivel.

Not surprisingly, I’ve had a lot of down time to study this problem and I’ve devised the perfect solution—The Oops Option. This neat little device would nullify any dimwitted response and grant the dimwittee—me—a Do-Over.

Example: “Did I say my last employer terminated me for spending half my time on YouTube watching cute cat videos? OOPS! I meant to say—Due to the economy, my company was forced to downsize.” See how simple? Oops Option taken. Interview saved.

But not all my bad interviews were my fault. That’s why the Oops Option should be allowed for other reasons. That rule could have rescued the above mentioned—worst job interview of my life.

On that hopeful day my prospective boss led me into his swanky new office. “Let’s skip the questions,” he said, “and have a look at your portfolio.”

Bless you, I thought.

I’m a graphic artist and I have an excellent portfolio, so I unzipped the huge leather case and proudly placed it on his desk. He flipped through my designs, each time nodding his approval, until he turned to that fateful last page, and there, on a menu cover, sat the biggest, fattest cockroach I’d ever seen.

And it was alive.

The startled critter scurried across the page and jumped in the interviewer’s lap. The guy shot up and began stomping on it, but his carpeting was so plush that the roach just sank between the fibers. He then broke into a vigorous rendition of Riverdance, and when that didn’t work, he grabbed a golf trophy off his desk and bludgeoned the carpet until we heard a disgusting crunch.

I was speechless. I couldn’t even say something stupid.

Keeping his cool, the guy pulled out his handkerchief and extracted the remains of the dearly departed interview wrecker. “Would you excuse me?” he said, and left the room.

Then laughter spread down the hallway, moving from office to office, growing louder and louder in a sort of Doppler effect. The rest of the interview was shorter than, well—the life expectancy of a roach.

As you might have guessed—he never called me for a follow-up interview, which is just as well because, how would I follow-up a live roach?