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Adulting 101: Your First Adult-Life Job Interview Will Be the Hardest One Ever!

Chapter 12: Your first adult-life job interview will be the hardest one ever!

It starts with a phone call. A phone call you answer with your usual Hello! That one word that sounds way to friendly and unprofessional. And the voice on the other side of the line answers in this sophisticated, professional way: Good morning, could I speak to Miss Elliot Hansberry, please?

Yes, that’s me, I answer.

-Miss Hansberry, my name is Nadia Bouchard from the Montreal French School Board. You have, a few weeks ago, applied for a job as a substitute teacher. I’m calling today to invite you to a formal interview next week.

For a second you’re not sure if she’s done talking, if you should answer, or even what to answer.


-When would you be available next week to come to our offices for the interview? I have a place left at 10 am on Wednesday or 3 pm on Thursday.

-Ah…Wednesday is fine.

-Perfect, I’ll email you the details of the interview and remind you of all the documents you need to bring with you. Do you have any questions, Miss Hansberry?


-Perfect, then we’ll see you Wednesday. Have a good day Miss Hansberry.

-Thank you! You too.

And she hangs up. It takes a little while for the brain to fully comprehend what just happened. You sent a CV, they liked it, they want to see you for an interview! Your interview falls at the exact same time as one of your classes, but who cares! Between a boring class that you have 3 times a week or a big interview for a real-life adult job, the choice isn’t very hard.

That night when you get home you open your emails and the first new message in your inbox is from Nadia Bouchard, CSDM. The email confirms the time of your interview, followed by a detailed list of all that you need to bring.

  • Your driver’s license
  • Your passport
  • Your birth certificate
  • You high school diploma
  • Your CEGEP diploma
  • The official transcript of your high school grades
  • The official transcript of your CEGEP grades
  • The official transcript of your University grades
  • The 3 documents that are joined to the email, that you need to complete and print

This list makes your eyes pop out of your head! Who knew you needed all that stuff to become a substitute teacher! Then starts the printing, photocopying, and searching for documents. Of course, you lost all your official transcripts of grades, so you have to call the Ministry of Education to order them by mail, and pay $15 per document. Then you print and print and print documents, and photocopy and photocopy and photocopy the same documents, until you have a huge folder filled with two of each document mentioned on the list. And, since in the folder there’s your passport and your birth certificate, you kinda feel like putting the folder in a safe and taking the safe with you to the interview so you don’t lose them or worse, someone steals them and then steals your identity!

Now that you’re ready, you still have to wait until the day of your interview. Your outfit is picked out, a perfect balance between classy and professional and I’m-broke-because-I’m-still-a-university-student! So like a nice skirt and shirt but your snow boots instead of nice high heels because you take the bus and can’t afford a taxi! You know where you’re going on the day of your interview, you saved the address in Google Maps, and now you’re just trying to control your anxiety until Wednesday!

Your friend did the interview the week before and all week, in between unimportant sentences from the teacher, he tells you the questions he remembers and you write them down in your agenda. He makes you answer some of the questions and you start to freak out just a little bit more than you already were before!

And then it’s Wednesday. Of course, you slept like crap the night before because you were stressed and kept dreaming of the interview. Then, you realize your cat slept on your preselected clothes, which now look more like a fur skirt and shirt than anything else, so you have to change your whole outfit last minute. You have your usual morning coffee but it just makes you feel more panicky! When the alarm that you set on your phone to make sure you didn’t miss your bus rings, you jump into your boots and coat, grab your backpack with the precious folder inside and head out. No amount of cheerful music can calm your nerves in the bus, your legs are shaking a little bit and you can’t seem to make them stop! You almost miss your stop, jump out of the bus and walk up to the main door of the building. A security guard great you at the entrance, you sign in your name and pin a “visitor” tag to your shirt. You follow the directions the security guard gives you, follow the white signs like he said, still end up getting lost because this place is a maze, then find your way back and sit down next to the other candidates in a small lobby. You’re about 20 minutes early, so you take your book out and start reading. Every 5 minutes, someone walks up to all the candidates, call a name and lead the person to a desk so they can check their papers. You’re the last one to be called.

-Miss Elliot Hansberry? Says a tall woman, looking straight at me since I’m the only person left in the lobby.

-Yes, that’s me!

I stand up, trying to carry in my hands my bag, my coat, my book and my phone all at the same time, and my gracious attempt ends up making me look like a wobbling duck. I sit down on the chair in front of the woman’s desk, and take out my folder from my bag. The woman goes through all my papers, making sure I have everything, then ask me to fold some of them and put them in envelopes. When everything is all done, she escorts me through the building and up to the 6th floor when the actual interview will take place.

-It’s at the end of the hallway, she tells me. Last door on the left.

I nod, thank her and walk down the hallway. I knock on the door before entering the room.

-Am I at the right place? I ask the two women in the room.

-Miss Elliot Hansberry?

-Yes, that’s me.

-Then you’re at the right place! Please take a seat.

On the table where I sit are a pitcher of water, a glass and a pad with a pencil to take notes.

-The interview will take 30 minutes, you can take notes if you need to. Are you ready?

I don’t know…am I? They both stare at me with a patient smile, and I feel my face turn red. My hands are shaking, my legs are shacking, my voice is shaking.


And a wave of questions falls on you, and you try to answer all of them while sounding smart and competent. And the two women are writing everything you say down on this document, and it just makes you feel even more stressed. You heart is racing like crazy, your mouth is dry but you forget there’s water on the table.

This concludes the interview, says one of the two women after what seems like 15 minutes.


They smile.

-Yes, already! Sometimes we’re efficient. We will call you in the next two weeks to let you know what we decided based on the interview.

So, you thank them, grab your stuff and head out. You walk back into the main lobby, hand your visitor badge back to the security guard and walk out. You look at the time on your phone: this whole thing took less than an hour, yet you feel exhausted! And you wish you never have to go through an interview like this again, even though you know this is just the first one of many! You sigh in relief, but then realize that the part that comes next might be even worse than the interview: the waiting.


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Born and raised in the province of Québec, I'm a second year Education major at McGill University. I've been writing since I was 10 years old, and I hope to publish a book someday, hopefully before I'm 30. Proud member of the LGBTQA+ community, I mostly write fiction and romance, often inspired by my own life. 
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