For the past year, I’ve been working as a PR Associate for interior designers. During this time, I’ve missed my past career as a content marketer terribly. I’ve also discovered that I lack interest in the field, which hasn’t helped the situation much. So, when a friend reached out asking if I wanted to apply for the copywriting position at her company, Huckberry, I eagerly agreed.
After all, while working as the Associate Editor at Dot & Bo, Huckberry was the be all, end all. Their email campaigns killed it every time and their copy spoke directly to the adventure-seeking urbanites they targeted.
I was sure that this was going to be the job for me.
On the day of my phone interview, I was not worried. Even as I was pulled into the conference room of an architecture firm to meet with a big name in the industry. Around ninety years old, this woman has written for a variety of publications including Veranda, C-Magazine, and Gentry Home. She’s also a self-proclaimed Instagram expert who wanted to teach me how to post on the social media platform.
… did I mention she is about ninety-years-old?
After over an hour and a half of listening to her say things like “hashtags are pathetic” and “oh, dahhling! This is so chic!” and “yes, when I fly Singapore Airlines I am always appalled by the simpering little stewardesses” I was feeling burnt out. Who uses the term “stewardesses” anymore? Don’t we live in an era of flight attendants??
Still, as always, I smiled and nodded and let her speak her piece. Even when she mentioned the fact that everyone should just “get over” the fact that Trump was president, I humored her. That is/was my job after all.
By the time she finally exited the office, it was time for me to take my phone interview. As I paced outside on the phone, I suddenly found it difficult to switch from haughty interior design mode to laid-back menswear start-up mode. My voice shook on the phone, I searched for answers to the questions (even though I’d been so prepared the day before), and I kept thinking things like, “oh, well dahling. Your products are just so chic!”
Maybe this was a sign.
So, I was somewhat surprised when this phone interview was followed up by a copywriting test. I was no longer sure that this company was a fit, but I was grateful for the chance to show off my chops and make up for the less-than-perfect phone chat.
Unfortunately, my “chops” turned out to be totally misguided and inappropriate prompts for potential clients…
See, I believe my subconscious has an extremely strong hold on me. After the phone interview, something must have told me that this position was not, in fact, right for me.
The writing challenge consisted of creating storylines for two different brands (something I was very experienced with having done so every. single. day. at a past position). Yet, as I sat in front of my computer, it was like walking through mud as I searched for the right words and quippy phrases. Still, I pushed through and completed the first brand description.
The second brand had only one product. A horn from which the owner drinks. Better than “Das Boot” this horn could make any man feel like a Viking and came conveniently with a neck strap so you literally have to put in no effort to carry your beverage of choice.
The instructions for writing this brand description? To have fun with it!
Well, I definitely had fun with it… So much so that I completely disregarded the small detail that if selected, this copy would be published on the Huckberry site and e-blasted to their entire email list. In other words, it still had to be somewhat professional.
The start of my description was not too bad. It waged a witty war between Das Boot and Das Horn. It was the ending of this paragraph truly sealed my fate.
So, I wrote, if anyone ever asks if you’re horny, feel free to say ‘JA!’
Because that’s a normal thing to include in your job application.
I may as well have written “SELF-SABOTAGING. PLEASE DISREGARD MY APPLICATION NOW.”
A week later I received an email letting me know that they’d gone with a candidate who had more experience in the product they were selling. In other words, they’d found a copywriter who knew that prompting customers to confirm their sexually aroused state was probably not the best choice.
Anyway, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to write this post to say “thank you” to the team at Huckberry. Thank you for not mentioning the fact that I’d used horny in a job interview and letting me sweep it under the rug.