Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Ladies' Guide to the Sand Landian Job Interview

Dear Ms. Adventures,

I have been searching for a job in Sand Land for several months. At first, no one was showing interest in my CV. But then I used your Sand Land CV guide to spiff up my CV and I am finally getting called for some interviews.

But I'm still not able to land a job! I research the company ahead of time so I will be well prepared. I arrange for a babysitter to watch my children while I attend the interview. I arrive at the interview 15 minutes early. I give good answers to the interviewer's questions. What gives??

Jobless Gal in Sand Town


I could not help but chuckle as I considered your plight. Perhaps you are doing everything right by the standards back home. But honey, you're not in Kansas anymore! Many of the behaviors you've described may signify "excellent candidate" back home, but in Sand Land they scream "pathetic, douchey loser." But don't fret, gentle reader, if you follow these simple steps, you'll have employers wrapped around your little finger:

Everything about this picture is wrong.

Step #1: Cancel that babysitter!

In Sand Land, when a lady attends a job interview, it is expected that her children will accompany her. Consider them an accessory as essential as your CV. If you do not currently possess children of your own, borrow or kidnap someone else's.

You should plan to bring a minimum of three children under the age of 10 to the interview. One of the children must be an "Unweaned Bipedal", which is to say that it should be old enough to walk upright, but...umm...not yet eating solid foods. Consider the other 2+ children "Wildcards" who can be of any developmental stage. Both categories of children have essential roles to play at the interview.

Step #2: Tell your husband to clear his schedule.

Much like children, a husband is an essential accessory at any woman's job interview. If you are not married, you will need to hire someone to pose as your spouse at the job interview. Be sure that your husband or the hired actor is capable of assuming an air of belligerence and machismo at the interview.

Consider the "Unweaned Bipedal/2+ Wildcards/Husband" ensemble as the bare minimum necessary to conform to Sand Landian job interview etiquette. You can always go the extra mile and invite parents, siblings and any house guests who may be staying with you at the time of the interview.

Step #3: Care and feeding of children prior to the interview.

All Wildcards you are planning to bring to the interview should be placed on a diet of processed carbohydrates, high fructose corn syrup and added sugar for a minimum of 48 hours prior to the interview. The children should also be kept indoors and deprived of TV and favorite toys so they will be in "peak interview form" - an emotional state characterized by pent-up energy and extreme agitation.

Step #4: Getting yourself ready for the interview.

In job interviews back home, you may have tried to demonstrate that you were eager to get the job and enthusiastic to contribute to the organization's goals. But this type of Eager Beaver attitude gets no love in Sand Land. Rather, you'll need to project a "you'd be damned lucky to have me on whatever terms I and any member of my interview ensemble demand" attitude.

To convey this mindset, consciously avoid all information related to the company with which you're interviewing and its industry. You should also be prepared to give the impression that you have little to no clue about what the prospective job entails. And try your best to remain ignorant of the company's physical location.

Step #5: Prepare and pack large quantities of food.

Your interview will probably last all of 15 minutes and during that time your entourage could become ravenously hungry. Tantalizing "interview entourage picnics" that I've come across in the past have included aromatic ingredients like raw onions, canned fish and BBQ potato chips.

Step #6: Leave your house at the time your interview is schedule to start

A major, deal-breaking faux pas in Sand Land is showing up to the interview early or on-time. Never do this! You'll look like an over-eager chump. From the Sand Land employer's point of view, late = aloof = hard to get = awesome employee.

Once you are in the car, have your husband drive about aimlessly as you call the company and ask for directions to the interview site.

Step #7: Take over the waiting area

When you finally arrive at the interview site, you and your entourage must launch a coordinated banzai-style attack on the waiting area. Think of the lobby as Guadalcanal and your crew as the Imperial Army.

Instruct your children beforehand that they will be rewarded with Baskin-Robbins if they succeed in digging up all of the lobby's potted plants with their bare hands. While they are doing this, your husband should pester the reception staff to change the TV channel and crank up the volume. Your objective is to bring the company's operations to a grinding halt so everyone sits up and takes notice of the awesomeness that is you.

Step #8: Meet the interviewer

When you are called to the interviewer's room, be sure to bring your whole crew. The children should dart into the room and begin playing with the interview's office supplies, paper weights, mobile phone, etc. Your husband should munch on the BBQ chips while demanding to know the salary you will be paid, he should then warn the interviewer that you can't work later than 2:00 p.m. When the interviewer asks your husband and children to wait outside, express extreme annoyance.

Step #9: Ask not what you can do for the company, but what the company can do for you.

Answer the interviewer's questions in a confused and distracted manner. The interview should be a tit-for-tat game wherein you attempt to ask more questions than the interviewer. All of your questions should be asked in a manner that assumes you have already been offered the job:

Interviewer: How many words can you type per minute?

You: Typing? Uh, yeah. I can type. How much annual leave are you giving me?

Interviewer: 30 days. How much experience do you have answering phones?

You: Ummm, I can use phones. Are you going to give me 45 days' leave next year? What about air tickets?

Step #10: Shit fits.

90 seconds into the interview, your husband should give the go ahead for the 2+ Wildcards to run into the interviewer's office and begin throwing full blown shit fits. Each Wildcard should throw a shit fit that is completely unrelated to the other Wildcards' shit fits. For example, one Wildcard could scream about how they want to leave while the other Wildcard rolls about on the floor demanding a juice box.

Step #11: Deploy the Unweaned Bipedal.

In the midst of the Wildcards' shit fits, the Unweaned Bipedal should scamper into the room, jump into your lap and attempt to climb up your shirt.

The interviewer will be amazed at how your cool, collected self manages the chaos. They will sit back, watch the situation and think to themself: "Hot diggity dang! Look how Superwoman wrangles them kids! No assignment we'd throw at her could ever come close to the technical difficulty of simultaneously placating those Wildcards and juggling that Unweaned Bipedal."

Before the interviewer can stop themself, they'll blurt out "Hired! We'll give you whatever you want!"

Happy Job Hunting!

Ms. Adventures


  1. Really funny write up... had a hearty laugh.. hahaha

  2. Come on, we don't really eat BBQ chips do we?

    -Omani in US

  3. This is brilliant, an absolute hoot!!
    Well Done. Your suggestions and advice is amazing and so to the point!!
    And to think that someone, somewhere in the town of loonies et al, will take this as Gospel, and follow it to the letter?

  4. If people do treat this as gospel, then all interviewers should beware!

  5. This is absolutely hilarious!In Sand Land the braver ladies like to attend job interviews with their friends and older brothers if they dont have / cannot rent a husband and a herd of hyperactive offsprings. They tipically arrive in a group of 4-5 ladies, settle into a corner and blissfully ignore the interviewer until they finish gossiping.

  6. I want to move to Sand Land just to do hiring.

  7. This is all garbage, hope you dont succeed cos sand land is now famously known for becoming garbage dump for western direct hire - so keep on fighting your own day to day fuckwittery.

  8. Anon - Please keep fighting you own ignorance!

    You have not built your country, nor do you want to. Expatriate labour built your country and it is still expatriate labour that keeps your country running relatively efficiently.

    Also, it's the folks like you that make all other civilised nations shudder...

  9. lol @ Anonymous - "garbage dump for western direct hire"

    Highly unlikely. But I can suggest a couple of steps to realize your vision.

    1. Get a real education (with a grade score above 75% to really earn it)
    2. Develop a work ethic. (All these protests only show to the world that all you are looking for is a handout)
    3. Don't consider any job beneath you. ( I have yet to come across any Omani laborer - I wonder what that tells you about the society)
    4. You need expats to grow the economy, hell even the United States is looking for qualified expats to come settle and grow the economy, what makes you think that Oman is self sufficient?

    His Majesty has done a wonderful job setting up a platform for success, but with what I have seen in the past month, I have no doubt the current generation will squander it.

    Anon - Chances are you are unintelligent or too inarticulate respond to this. But if you are neither, I would welcome your point of view.

  10. 1) US has brilliant and intelligent young expats asian/european thats how silicon valley was born.
    2) Real professionals are not born from the colour of their skins - see item 1 - i am afraid thats exactly happening here in Oman
    3) Oman have lot of western expats no doubt, but majority fall below average. Some will not survive in their own countries in one single day.
    4) Some of the companies in oman should carry red cross logo, typical PDO, should become charitable organisation cos they really do not worth what they are paid for.
    5) Real expats in this country are known who contribute economy engine of this country. Unfortunately Oman employs based on colour of the skin - i really do not want to become racist, Glory to those expats of whatever nationality who plays key role to economy of this country.
    6) So TJ i go back to statement above - you surely sounds one of those lucky ones. Enjoy your stay in Oman.

  11. Anon - Show your proof that western expats fall below average. Prove how most of the expatriates who work at PDO are useless, bearing in mind that the vast majority work for Shell and have been posted to Oman.

    Unless you can do that, then you just show how much of a bigot that you are. Without these useless expatriates, your country wouldn't have progressed to what it is. So stop moaning, get a real education, do some proper work and prosper.

  12. Anon - If you follow my points, you will clearly see that I'm advocating a meritocracy. But from your post, I see that your comprehension skills have failed you quite miserably. I agree with the post above, perhaps it is time for you to go back to school for a refresher course?

  13. Absolutely hilarious!!! I've sent this link to all my unemployed girlfriends!!

    I wonder if turning up preggers adds to your advantage! :)

    Sidenote - I'm tempted to send my resume (thankfully not written in Sand land style) to you :) I too am an HR professional.

  14. Had to post this somewhere - from:

    One terrific comment:

    Well Mr.XXXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXXXX, you should leave the college and join the Baladiya as a toilet cleaner, because that's what you deserve to be if you want to pass with a "D" (donkey) grade. Come on, grow up, study well. Is this the way you will take Oman forward? How did you even get admission into a college.

  15. Seriuosly if you believe thats how companies in Oman interview people, you are one dumb low class white trash.


  16. LOL. This is hilarious :D

    Being an HR professional in Pakistan, I would like some more suggestions from you :p

  17. Where are you? Please post especially if you finish the off site story.

  18. Are you stil here? Missing your great stories.

  19. Ah, the comments are almost a good as the post. But we're all wanting more tales of daring-do in Sand-land HR!

  20. We miss you - update please