Surviving Dante’s 8th Circle: A Job Interview Gone Wrong



Are you familiar with Dante’s 8th Circle of Hell? I’m pretty sure it’s fraud. Also, I think I may have visited it today.

So…sometimes, in this life, you receive an email asking you to come in for a job interview. You weigh the pros and cons and you kindly decline…on the grounds that the job is too far away (in commute hours, not actual miles), doesn’t pay very well, and doesn’t look like a good match. And then, sometimes, you get ANOTHER email asking you to please reconsider. You are assured that the CEO (him/herself!) has reviewed your resume and they want to talk to you about a new position they think you would be a good fit for. You’re sought after! You’re special! You’re going!

You are not a (complete) novice to this game, so you go to the company’s website (looks ok) and consult a job app to see what kind of ratings employees have given this outfit (it’s a mixed bag…but hey, you think, most reviews are written by disgruntled employees anyway!) And so you pull out a suit and some heels and you go. You sing along with the radio as you drive. You’re feeling optimistic as you sip your latte and adjust your pearls.  But then you pull up to an apartment building, and alarm bells start to go off in your head. And, when you climb the stairs to the “office suite” on the third floor, you can’t help but wonder if you have accidentally time traveled to the 1970’s…or maybe this is an office time capsule? Maybe that’s a thing? Still, you think…interview experience is good. And so you carry on.

When you’ve hiked the final flight of narrow, decrepit stairs and finally get to the door, the name of the business is on the door…which is good…except that it’s printed out on a sheet of paper and taped there. The weird thing is…it’s not the name of the company you’ve been talking to. Still…you’ve come this far, so you go in. And inside? Well, it looks a lot like the inside of one of those “offices” you see raided on the news from time to time. There are windows…but some of them are spray-painted black. The wall to wall carpet is stained and there is miscellaneous furniture…but no people, save the other 2 very confused looking candidates. Finally, the recruiter surfaces and the first candidate goes in. You text several people your location…just in case. The remaining candidate, a tall, fit-looking Latino man, looks at you and says “Hi! My names Rolph. Does this place feel weird to you?” And you admit that, yes Rolph…it sure does. Ten minutes later, Rolph has filled you in about his career as an “independent film maker” and you’ve decided that, when the woman who’s interviewing leaves…so will you. It’s either that, you think…or wakeup in a bathtub three towns away with one less kidney.



You know, when the woman who revised my resume last month told me this new format would “get more attention”, I should have asked what kind…because this is not exactly what I was hoping for…


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