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Monday, September 27, 2004
Just another Manic Monday...
Ah, the joys of job interviews.

Last week, I decided to be totally insane and tweak my resume a bit and re-uploaded it to certain web sites that help you find jobs (or at least this is their claim). Of course, I immediately got 15,000 (OK, not that many, but it sure seemed like it when I was deleting them all) message saying they had the perfect business opportunity for me, if I'd only call RIGHT NOW! I was so amazingly qualified for this position--what with my ability to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen so successfully for so long.

Among those zillions of junk e-mails that are funny to read but don't really merit a response, I got one from a local company who actually felt my skills met with the requirements they were needing. I think I may have actually sent my resume to them, figuring--what the hell, what have I got to lose besides a few electrons?

So, they contacted me last Friday, but I didn't get the message until after offices had closed so I called first thing this morning. I didn't actually get to speak to the person who contacted me, but she was least according to the people I spoke with. They had been forwarded my resume and I was exactly the person they needed, so when could I come on in for an interview. Now, just some background--I had an interview scheduled for today as well and I'm kind of persnickity about these things. I don't mind two in one day, so long as there's enough space in between them so I can make it calmly from one to the next. I got a time that seemed early enough (due to overwhelming response they were working me in) and then got directions of on Yahoo maps and MapQuest from home to interivews and back again. So, off I set.

Well, I got up to first interview place a few minutes early. Not a problem really as I'm obsessive in the whole I'd rather be early than late category. I'd stopped by the post office to drop some resumes in the mail and also by the library to pick up the new Dark Tower book. Since this was an office building, I picked a spot out of the way, in the shade, looked at my notes and mentally prepared myself. Then, I started reading the new Dark Tower novel to kill a few minutes.

Honestly, after going to the interview, I should've just spent the entire time in the car, reading the book as it would've been more productive.

When it was about ten minutes before my appointment, I looked at my notes again and went inside. I found the office and since I had seven minutes, took a moment in the restroom to make sure my hair hadn't done anything insane since I'd last looked (you never know!). I then went in and was greated by...a whole lot of waiting. Seems the guy who was gonna interview us all was running behind in a meeting from somewhere else in the city and there was a pretty bad wreck on the way in, so he'd be a bit late. Well, this was fine, at first, because I had built in my cushion and according to both Yahoo and MapQuest, I only needed 30 minutes to get from interview a to interview b. So, I sat....and sat...and sat. After I filled out some paperwork--which was pretty much name and address and then a questionaire in which there are no "right" answers but your preference. Basically, this is to see if you're enough of a go-getter to be in this marketing position.

I fill both out and turn 'em back in and sit down. I then wait for about 45 minutes, as does everyone else there. Lots of people are coming in, but no hiring person. Finally, he shows up. I'm not quite sure if he was in traffic, but the fact that he had a full cup of coffee from the Starbucks I passed on the way mad me think--ya know, maybe he wasn't as delayed as we thought. Either that or he just felt the need for coffee and by golly, we could all wait. After all, we'd waited this long!

But, boy was he proud that his office had magazines. You could read old issues of Time, ESPN the Magazine, Forbes and Maxim. Maxim?!? I wonder if this is put out there as a test of some kind. I've seen Maxim in barber shops, but not in offices where you expect a pretty good cross-section of men and women. That struck me as odd--but no more so than the four guys who pounced on them like they'd never seen them before. I alternated between looking around and trying to strike up conversations with those around me to flipping through old issues of Time. All the while watching the clock and wondering---who am I behind in line and how close should I cut it before I bail out here and go to my other interview.

But these interviews are going very fast. Sort of like when I applied to work at one of the local banks and after taking the test for two hours, we were all put back into the waiting room together and people went back one by one and then quickly left as they didn't pass the test. I wonder if this is a good or a bad thing. Finally, it's my turn and I go into the office, where I'm given the ten-second overview of the job, asked to describe myself quickly and asked what I bring to the job. I then am given a speech of how this is an initial interview and they're very busy because there are so many qualified people. He makes a few marks on my resume, circles some things, never ASKS me about any of them, says they'll get back to me if they're interested sometime today between 3 and 4 p.m. If they don't call, it was sure great to meet me and have a great day. I'm quickly ushered out.

So, needless to say I'm walking out figuring a couple of things. First is--I have no shot. I didn't make the first impression he wanted and so I was brushed off. I'm not too upset because, honestly, when I tried to ask specifically what the job was, he was evasive as hell. Second of all, I feel as though I got a short-end of the stick. Namely, the office stacked up a bunch of interviews for one guy who ran behind schedule and so we were all given a brush off. I'd be intrigued to know who, if anyone, from the group that interviewed gets a callback. Honestly, my interview was the norm, not the exception. I'm not sure you can make a hiring decision based on conversations that we were told would be about 15 minutes in under a minute.

Needless to say, I ain't holding my breath for a call back.

The second interview, I will say, went a lot better. Not sure if it's exactly what I'm looking for, but at least I got to spent more than a minute with the person interviewing me.

So, we'll see.

UPDATE: Huge shock...they didn't call. Guess that one-minute interview didn't impress 'em much. Not really a bad thing, long run. I kind of feel sorrier for some of my fellow interviewees--some of whom drove from places like Knoxville, North Carolina for an interview. How ticked off would I be if that happened to me?!?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 9/27/2004 02:52:00 PM | |
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