Friday, February 17, 2006

Interview Review...

So I donned my black dress pants and fuscia twin sweater set (blech) and headed for the interview an hour away. The office was actually about a mile away from my old company, just on the other side of the mall (LOL), so I found it OK, but then got lost in the parking lot. [sigh]

I eventually found the office building and headed inside where I was met by the receptionist and then led into a conference room by the recruiter, who told me my first interview would be with Jim, the "manager" of the technical writers.

While waiting, I notice an 8 x 10" framed picture of a rather hot guy on the wall outside of the conference room, with a plaque of some sort hanging under it. I kind of chuckle and wonder if they have an Employee of the Month gig or something.

So anyway, in walks Jim. Everything's going OK and I'm explaining what I did at my last job (and hoping it made sense) and doing fairly well. We got to a point (an hour later) where he asked if I had any questions and I cautiously approached the subject of how flexible they are with business hours and working from home, without wanting to sound like I had no intentions of coming to work if hired.

I ask and before he can answer me, I start rambling and say something along the lines of, "You know... on those days when you're not really too sick to work, but you also don't want to come into the office and blow snot all over people." Nice. Real nice. As if I come into my place of employment and practice my air hanky techniques on my co-workers' keyboards.

(I also think I used the word "bastard" at some point, but I have no recollection of whom I was referring to or in what context. I do know it wasn't referring to him, so I guess it's all good.)

So after a long hour, he says it's time for the next interviewer - a tech writer. He leaves and I again stare at the hot guy's picture outside the door while waiting.

A few minutes later, in walks this woman, Lisa. She seems kind of shy and like she'd rather be doing anything other than talking to human beings. Don't get me wrong... she was a very nice lady. Just not very talkative. So she has these weird things on her face. All of these bumps. They almost looked like acne, but they weren't red at all (matched her skin perfectly) and were bigger than zits. They almost looked like moles that never turned brown or grew hairs. So anyway, I spent the entire 30 minutes she was interviewing me hoping it didn't appear as if I was staring at the growths on her face and only half paying attention to what she was saying. [sigh]

So she eventually tells me that next interviewer up is Ted. She leaves to go get him and I stare again at the Employee of the Month picture (or so I think). Ted walks in and introduces himself. Here's where it all went downhill...

TED: "Hi! I'm Ted. It's nice to meet you."
ME: "Thanks! You too!"... [pointing out the door to Mr. Employee's picture]... "I swear, when I leave here, I'm going over to look at that guy's picture. Is he Employee of the Month or what?" [said in a half-joking, break the ice sort of way]
TED [becoming somber]: "Oh. That's Earl. He was a great guy. Everyone loved him. He was driving his motorcycle to the shore for the weekend in 1997 and he got killed when a truck hit him."

Well, Jesus H. Christ. That wasn't an awkward moment or anything. FUCK! I stumble out an apology, but the guy was totally cool with the whole thing. [sigh]

After that shining moment passed, he warned me he was going to ask me some "weird questions". Bring it on dude...

TED: "Desribe your perfect work environment."
ME [laughing]: "Oh my god, you're killing me! I hate these open-ended questions..."

Ted just keeps smiling his goofy, geeky smile, waiting for me to answer.

What I was thinking: "Totally naked at my computer, chugging beer and chain smoking."
What I actually said: was some half-bullshit answer about great people to work with and a company I'd enjoy working for, blah, blah, blah.

So it's time for the next question...

TED: "How many tennis balls are in the air right now in New Zealand?"
ME: "What?" [thinking... "What are you smoking, dude? And can I have some?]
TED: "Tennis balls. New Zealand. How many are up in the air right now?"
ME [staring at him blankly]: "OMG! You're serious?" [laughing]

I then started babbling on and on about tennis balls and New Zealand, and do they even play tennis in New Zealand, and is it dark right now in New Zealand, etc. etc. Finally say "zero" with no rhyme or reason behind that answer.

So we're talking and he mentions how his son is an Emmy award winning producer of a news program, his older daughter works with immigrants at a non-profit organization, and his younger daughter is going to school to become a youth minister.

ME: "Oh my god! How'd you manage that? Having three such great kids. My daughters are so going to grow up and be strippers. [sigh]... Not that there's anything wrong with strippers, mind you...."

Seriously. How am I missing that connection between my brain and my mouth? At least he laughed.

So after another half hour consisting more of small talk than actual "interview" questions, he leads me out to the recruiter's office, where I'm supposed to finish up. I figure, "OK. Now I'm good. The recruiter's not going to ask me any actual questions, right?"

Um wrong. [sigh] So among the questions asked...

HER: "In your years of working, have you ever missed a deadline?"
ME [laughing]: "Um, yes. But I swear it wasn't my fault." (Which it wasn't.)


HER: "Describe the perfect manager you want to work for."
ME: [I give some long bullshit answer and say that what I don't work well with is a micro manager. I then go on to tell this story about a guy at my last company that came to me every hour to see what progress I had made.] "Oh my god! He was driving me insane!"
HER [laughing]: "So what did you do? Did you say anything to him?"
ME: "Yeah. I told him to go away and leave me alone." (Which is true.)
HER [eyes getting really big and sort of laughing]: "Did you really? You told him to go away?"
ME [blushing slightly]: "Uh yeah. Is that the wrong answer?"


HER: "So if we hire you when can you start?"
ME: "I'm not doing anything tomorrow. I'll be in around 9:00 if that's OK with you."


HER: "Well, we are interviewing other candidates, but..."
ME [interrupting and totally deadpanning while acting shocked]: "WHAT?! You're kidding right? I thought I was the only one..."
(Luckily she realized I was kidding.)

Finally we wrapped it up and I headed out. So the bottom line is that these people either absolutely hated me, or feel so sorry for what an idiot I am, that the'll hire me out of pity. LOL! I guess I'll know next week...


Kim: The Mom, The Myth said...

The New Zealand thing...

I have a friend who was interviewing for a job at a tech company. The president of the company asked him, "How many ping-pong balls would it take to fill my office?"

Flash forward six years: my friend gets another job and quits. But before he leaves, he gets an office pool together and (I swear this is true) orders 10,000 ping-pong balls from a sporting supply co. And on his last day, he waits until everyone's gone, dumps them in the guy's office, and tapes a note to his chair. "I guess it's more than 10,000."

True story.

mama_tulip said...

Dude. You're a shoe-in!

EE said...

I'm so proud of you! LOL....I think you handled yourself very well. I *suck* at interviews bc I always end up sticking my foot in my mouth saying the absolute *worst* things.

Based off what I read on the board and here, it sounds like an awesome job.

Oh and at any point did you ask them to make you sure you'd have enough time to read blogs and your boards through out the day???? Bc that's important.


Kim said...

Well at least you were honest. If they don't hire you, then it's their loss. ;)

geenalyn said...

can't get better then that LOL

Melissa said...

LOL I would hire you just so I could be assured I wasn't the biggest dork in the office.

Tink said...

LMAO. That's the craziest series of interviews I've ever heard. You poor girl. I think you handled it amazingly well. Although HOLY SHIT about the dead guy's picture. I had to read that twice!

Kim: That's GREAT! If I ever become a manager I'm totally asking that question to interviewees on the hopes that they fill my office.

Alien said...

LOL guys. I should really add that beyond these little tidbits, the interview went amazingly well. I have ALL of the experience they'd need and my last job was extremely similar to this one. So I'm not giving up hope yet... ;)

Susan said...

All in all, sounds like a great interview. Hope you get the job.

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