Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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The Interview

The InterviewRenée Cormier PR Services
Public Relations * Communications * Business Strategy

Partnering with businesses to help them strategically elevate
the reputation of their company, products and people.

weir o®
Brand Ambassador

Several years ago, I was trying to land a job in the training department of a large corporation. The economy at the time was not the greatest, so training gigs of any kind were hard to come by. I did manage to secure an interview with a company that sold financial products. They wanted someone who could conduct sales training sessions and asked if I would come in for an interview and give them a demonstration. I was excited to have the opportunity, so I put together a 15 minute demo for them and made plans to go to the interview.

My business look is always impeccable, so in keeping with my sense of style, I wore a beautiful black designer suit and a pair of Steve Madden platform shoes with ankle straps. I knew my outfit was “designer” because there were first and last names on the labels and none of them were mine. I looked smart. My hair and make-up were perfect, my nails were done, and I was fully prepared to conduct my training session and answer any questions thrown at me. I felt confident; like I had it all going on.

As I made my way from the parking garage toward their offices (a bit of a trek in heels) I noted that although the platform shoes looked great, they were a bit dicey to walk in. I made a mental note to reserve those shoes for special occasions and to stick to something more practical going forward. They were stunning shoes, though!

I was a bit early (I hate being late), so I had to wait a few minutes in the reception area. I took the time to go over my notes and make sure I was even more prepared to deliver my training. I was a great trainer. I knew that for sure. I was confident I would deliver a very dynamic training session and that they would be wowed, not only by my great shoes, but by my perfect delivery and relevant content.

After a few minutes, someone from Human Resources came to the reception area to greet me. I stood to shake her hand and began walking down a corridor toward the room where I would give my training. As I was walking, the ankle strap on my left shoe snapped. I nearly fell over and probably would have, except that I’ve got sturdy ankles (which is probably why the strap broke in the first place). I paused to inspect the damage and saw there was absolutely nothing I could do but keep walking. The HR person gave me a look of annoyance. Clop, clop, clop, down the hall I went. Clop, clop, clop, some more. My shoes and I greeted everyone as I entered the room. There were about six women sitting next to each other, all HR types, who I personally believe are made of the same fibre as nursery school teachers and librarians. I muttered some apologies for my shoe. I suddenly had seven women looking at me with minor contempt. They all had note pads. They would take turns asking me questions and would make notes, then look back up at me (sometimes a little smugly).

As I began the training, I found myself limited by my inability to walk around the room. This shoe business was cramping my style. I did what I could without having to clop around but as it turned out, the shoe was the least of my worries. Not long after I got into the training I was hit with the realization that their customer base was from the consumer market. I knew that, but perhaps because most of my experience was business to business, I didn’t think about it. I looked at them and they looked at me and we all knew that the training session I put together was completely wrong. I was mortified. They pierced their lips and made more notes. I remember feeling the sting of their judging looks.

The shoe was an omen. I didn’t even get to finish the session because it was not relevant to their customer base. I picked up my materials and left the interview. Clop, clop, clop, clop…

What a shit show that was. Thank God I can look back and laugh!

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group_work in Humour and in 1 more group

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Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #32

#38
You may be right, there, Martin Wright!

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #31

#37
Ha! No, that's a stock photo and I have a more substantial leg, although it is by no means ugly.

Martin Wright

Martin Wright

4 years ago #30

Hate to say this, you were doomed the moment you walked into a room of HR women. You probably looked better than they ever could. If you had gone for a dronk with them afterwards the order would have been 1 vodka and tonic and 6 saucers of milk.

Paul Walters

Paul Walters

4 years ago #29

Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier I take it those are your legs in the pic? I am a sucker for women in high heels... The way to most mens hearts is through their stomach. me, I would go hungry just to watch fabulous woman in heels... just saying !!!

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #28

I love high heels! I think that all "high-heels lovers" have experienced the similar embarrassing episode on different occasions. Once, just before a meeting, I glued my shoes with the transparent adhesive tape around the foot because the straps snapped. In my case, it wasn't a bad omen. I laughed to myself and my taped shoe, but no one else noticed. Thanks for the great story, Renée. No matter how bad situation seems, we should try to find something good in it.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #27

#30
I agree completely, John. I'd prefer to work with a bunch of men any day. There have been a few groups of women I have worked with where everyone was mostly kind, but unfortunately, many women are terribly competitive and nasty to each other. I also agree with your observations about talent selection. There is a lot of focus on mistakes. I think that is because they actually don't really want to hire anyone for fear of making a mistake themselves.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #26

#32
Ouch! Before I got into training , I was a teacher of English as a Second Language and taught to newcomers to Canada. One of my favorite personal activities in those days was speed skating, so one night I was skating and at the end of the night while they were taking the markers off the ice, I thought I would enjoy a nice fast skate and be one of the last people off the ice. Well, I hit a pick in the ice and went flying into the boards. The next day I went to school with a fat lip, a black eye and a swollen cheek. I looked like hell in my designer suit that day!

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

4 years ago #25

#26
Well said Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier! Thanks!

John Prpich

John Prpich

4 years ago #24

One thing I've learned about working for and working with women, they tend to be very tough on their own gender. My feeling is if this were a similar issue with a male, let's say his shoe fell apart, a room full of males wouldn't have even bothered paying attention, they would have shrugged it off. With the difficulty women have being considered equals into today's economy, you would want to believe that they'd be more supportive, but they are not. I've seen so many chat boards where women exclaim that they'd rather work for a man than a woman, that is not only unfortunate but a real shame. In this type of interview setting you often wonder what the goal is, to catch you doing things right, or to catch you doing things wrong, it's not a wonder that companies can't find talent, they are looking in the opposite direction. If you are ever interested in better understanding gender differences, I'd encourage anyone to read the works of Pat Heim, Ph.D.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #23

#20
Gosh, Lynne, if you can't laugh, what can you do? Sometimes, that's the best option.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #22

#19
Yes, indeed! Life is too short to spend being miserable. I prefer to choose happiness.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #21

#18
That is exactly right, Sara. Here's another perspective for you. Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, things go sideways. We don't know why or what we are saved from in the unfolding of events, but you can be sure that however bad the situation seems, you are probably being directed toward something better.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #20

#17
Hmm. There's a thee here! I think, in both cases, that our shoes must have been trying to tell us something. Maybe we should listen differently going forward. Thank you for sharing this post. Much appreciated.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #19

#15
Good advice for the sensible, but who said I have any sense? :)

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #18

#14
You're my soul sister! LOL Great story!

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #17

#13
Thank you, Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr. Cojones is my middle name (after Marie). :)

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #16

#12
Thanks Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador and thanks for sharing this as well. Yes, it was a tough group and somehow I knew I was screwed the moment my shoe broke. Life is short. We're here to be happy, so why make yourself miserable? I figure I was saved from working with a nasty crew of people.

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

4 years ago #15

Dear Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier, thank you so much for sharing your experience. Love your style! On a personal note, the timing of reading your buzz was perfect. After reading it first thing this morning, before looking at how to plan my day, I realized that my plan doesn't have to be perfect. One of the lessons I got from your piece is that, as long as I use my knowledge and skills to the best of my ability in the moment, and that my intentions are valid, the rest is a learning curve. It's the learning from the experience and the carry over of that learning that I need to keep in mind and that is what will enable the potential to be realized. Thanks again Renee!

David B. Grinberg

David B. Grinberg

4 years ago #14

What a story Renee! It reminded of the time I interviewed for a job for a congressman in the U.S. Capitol. I had a new pair of shoes that were too tight. Don't you hate that feeling..ouch! The back of one shoe was digging into the back of ankle so violently that it drew blood. It was a painful experience indeed but I made it through the interview and got the job. However, as soon as I exited hallowed halls of the building I took that shoe off and walked barefoot to the train the rest of the way. I really didn't care if what people thought. Perhaps that slicing of my ankle was a metaphor for the cut-throat world of politics I was getting into. I'm just glad that men don't have to wear high heels... Also, I shared this on three hives. Keep buzzing...

David B. Grinberg

David B. Grinberg

4 years ago #13

What a story Renee! It reminded of the time I interviewed for a job for a congressman in the U.S. Capitol. I had a new pair of shoes that was tight. The back of one shoe was digging into the back of ankle so much that it drew blood. It was a painful experience but I made it through the interview and got the job. However, as soon as I exited hallowed halls of the building I took that shoe off and walked barefoot to the train. Perhaps that slicing of my ankle was a metaphor for the cut-throat world of politics I was getting into. I'm just glad men don't have to wear high heels... Also, I shared this on three hives.

Charlene Norman

Charlene Norman

4 years ago #12

#1
Oh Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier I feel your pain that day and your fun today. And I so relate. I too love shoes. And the bigger the heel the better. My favourite shoe story is from my very early twenties. I was summoned to Commerce Court downtown Toronto for my very first company medical. (This for the wee lass from the small town of 10,000). Of course I strapped on my mighty five inch sandals. Which I had paid the princely sum of probably $75 for a Chinese knock off. Which fell apart after six blocks of walking (being too poor to pay for the near and close parking). So imagine the mortification of watching the gorgeous straps on said knock off sandals fall gracefully off said feet. Imagine the fun of walking sans dignity barefoot on sidewalk in heat of over 35 degrees. Ever the imaginative lass, I knew that walking in barefoot was NOT a good way to make an impression. I begged the reception lobby person for elastic bands and bound those beautiful sandals and beautiful straps to my feet. I did not however, know that the human body can not stand lack of blood flow in the foot area for a long time. Nor did I know that heat on sidewalks is not good for regular grade elastics. Pound, Pound, Pound goes the throb of stifled blood flow in blackened feet. Pitang, Pitang, Pitang shoot elastics off sandals in blistering hot weather. S**t, s&*t, s*(t smiles the blonde who tries to act as if all this is just a normal, regular day. I learned that day driving home barefoot is fine. Never buy a chinese knock off again. Invest only in mighty fine shoes with sexy looks and damn good quality. Thanks for the giggles.

don kerr

don kerr

4 years ago #11

Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier The ability to read the room and then have the 'ovaries' or 'testacles' to walk away is the mark of someone who is running on all cylinders regardless of footware. Well done!

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Seems you had a tough group from the get-go. Great post showing your sense of humor and it seems you easily chalked it up to experience. They probably wouldn't understand designer high heel sneakers, either. lol

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #9

Thanks for the share, Jared \ud83d\udc1d Wiese!

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #8

#6
Never get between a woman and her shoes, Jared \ud83d\udc1d Wiese. You won't win.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #7

#8
Yes, I had my reservations about that crew as soon as I met them. As for your daughter, tell her to pack a back up pair, just in case!

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

4 years ago #6

"Smug" and "judging looks"? Sounds to me, Renée, that working with these ladies would have been a challenge anyway. Thanks for the entertaining post, though. I'm passing this one onto my daughter who regularly wears seriously high heels at work. 👠

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #5

#3
#4 #5 Thanks guys! In my world, if you can't laugh, you have nothing going for you at all.

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

4 years ago #4

Some phases of life are just simple. It's best to recall those moments with little chuckle. :)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #3

Like a perfect storm developing, some "jobs" or gigs just seem just to go to sh#t no matter how much you may try to soldier on. Just a fact of life. In my experience, the best thing to do is take your lumps, make your apology or peace offering, and move on as quickly as you can. And oh yes, file the cases away for future storytelling and laughs when you're unwinding at the local pub with your compadres. Nice story, Renee. Shows your human side.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #2

Thank you fro sharing Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #1

Ladies and their heels! Shelley Brown

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