Everyone wants free cover, discounted drinks and the glory of being a shot girl at one of UIUC’s most popular bars. (We’ll call the bar ‘Orange Tiger’ for short.) But before the perks, there is the interview that few make it out alive from. Friends of mine said their sorority sisters experienced everything you could think of during the interview — blacking out, expensive Uber fees after throwing up and disturbing interview questions, just to name a few. But I decided I was going to make my own conclusions after actually going through with the interview. After all, what’s the worse that could happen?
The interview usually occurs on a week night and of course it was the night before my hardest exam, but I went anyway hoping I wouldn’t get obliterated. I put on my most risqué outfit in the middle of winter — with no jacket, naturally, because weather is nonexistent when choosing an outfit that’s bar appropriate. Arriving at the Orange Tiger at 7pm, I was welcomed by bar backs, managers and bartenders all directing me to sign in on a sheet of paper. I proceeded to put my name, sorority, year in school and relationship status. I walked into the war zone of 60+ girls all gunning for the same goal I was. A flurry of thoughts rush through my head; the competition was overwhelming. So when someone offers me free tequila shots, I take seven of them.
Girls get called off the list one by one and head to the opposite side of the bar for questioning; I gulp down anything and everything in front of me because hey, it’s free. People said the reason most girls end up throwing up on themselves by the end of the night is because the bartenders force you to drink. But the truth it is that all the drinks are free all night long — who am I to throw away a free drink? I have standards as a college student and I will definitely not lose sight of them tonight as I prove my worthiness through my acceptable-because-hey-it’s-college alcoholism and shot girl material.
By the time my name is called, it’s almost ten at night and the bar is ininundated with people. Or maybe it’s because I’m seeing double. I’ve heard various whispers of what the interview is like and I’m as prepared as I’ll ever be. Someone waves me over to sit on a bar stool and I’m instantly squeezed into a booth of managers that also greet me drunkenly. I’m the last interview of the night; they’ve probably already picked their shot girl, but I sit down confidently and stare at their blurry faces with a smile anyway.
One man takes the lead and asks three questions, each one dirtier than the last. “What’s the name of your vagina? How many guys have you slept with? Fuck kill marry out of three of us.” Possible answers rush through my mind: should I threaten to file for sexual harassment if I don’t get the job? How have I not named my vagina yet? Think. Think. Should I make my number larger or smaller? Do they want someone that’s easy? I decide on answering confidently and seemingly unfazed as I multiply my number by four, pop out the first name I can think of that starts with a v and compliment all of them on their looks. After all, they aren’t looking for the perfect answers. They’re evaluating the way I react to the chaos.
The Orange Tiger is packed now as I stumble my way back to the main bar. I successfully survived my first five-minute shot girl interview. I thought about how bad I wanted this job and thanked God that they didn’t ask me to show my breasts like the girl before was asked to. The bartender asks what I want and I slur “long island ice tea, I’m a shot girl,” and get the drink for free, each sip taking me further and further into unconsciousness, I high five the stranger next to me and leap in satisfaction feeling ever so satisfied that although I most likely didn’t get the job, I got unlimited free drinks for night. That’s all that I really came for anyway, right?
If I could describe my experience in less than 10 words, I would describe it as…”the best time I never want to have again.” Sure, the drinks were free and I socialized for hours. But the next time I’m forced to answer demanding sexual questions in an interview only to be judged on whether I’m good looking enough to be the face of the bar, I think I’m just gonna stay home.