Friday, September 23, 2011

I gotta be me!

Earlier this week I had a 3.5-plus-hour interview. with six different people (separately), which far surpasses my previous interview record.

Up until I met with person number 6, I was able to think on my feet and answer whatever question or scenario put before me with relative ease. I felt pretty confident during the interviews. And I felt comfortable enough that I even joked with one person that I was hoping she was not going to ask me what I would do with a brick, as I had read online about someone being asked that very thing.

Based on what a few people said, it appeared that my confidence and outgoing personality were tipping the scales in my favor (since I was, quite frankly, lacking some of the qualifications). In fact, one person told me that the other interviewee he talked to, despite being more qualified, seemed timid; another person said I could be taught what was necessary, but personality, which he indicated was a good fit, could not be changed.

As I was reflecting back on my interview while walking in the parking lot of the seventh circle of hell (i.e., Walmart) yesterday, I flashed back to my first interview with my last full-time job, the one I had for 13 years. I was really nervous because I was in the "big city," and I was applying for a position that was so unlike what I was currently doing. I probably did not have a lot to say, and I am sure I did not exactly seem poised. At work the following week, I found out from my reference/coworker that my interviewer was concerned I was introverted. My coworker said it was all she could do not to laugh or drop the phone, and she assured my interviewer that I must have just been nervous.

When I thought about it, I realized that I have about 10 in-person job interviews (I am not counting second interviews) in my adult life. And yet despite my dearth of experience in that area, I have come a long way. Sure, I was really nervous going into Monday's interview, probably the most nervous I had been for awhile, due mostly to the length. But I think deep down I realized I had a lot to offer, and unlike some other people, my personality just might be able to tip the scales in my favor. As Brian said just before my interview, "You will do fine. Everyone loves you. Well, everyone except most of the moms in Jordan's school." ;-)

When my interview was over, I was delivered back to the woman in HR, who said the team thought I was a good fit. She then asked me if I would be interested in doing a three-month contract position to start off (the position was supposed to be full time/permanent). She said she needed to talk with a few people, and then she gave me a few details, including what it would be like on my first day. As I left, she said she would call me the next day. Unfortunately, the next day came and went, and I received an email the following morning informing me that the company decided to pursue other candidates who more closely match their requirements.

Of course, I was extremely disappointed. And confused. I assumed her talking about the contract position meant it was going to happen. But you know what people say about assuming. Regardless, if a similar situation arises, you can bet that I will say something like, "To confirm, you are offering me a contract position, but you just need to work out the details. Is that correct?" Nonetheless, I completely understand and respect their decision to find someone who is more qualified. And, hey, at least I can add marathon interview to my mental list of experiences!

So I am back to the drawing board. I am hopeful that a technical writing class that I had signed up for a few weeks ago will be beneficial. And maybe I will figure out which computer class is the right one for me, so I can advance my skills.

In the meantime, I will hold my head up high and be proud of what I did and who I am. Because I gotta be me. Who else would do it?!

6 comments:

LaLa said...

First of all, good for you for getting through the interviews so well. I'm afraid that lengthy interviews are more the norm nowadays, particularly in larger companies.

Secondly, loved the brick reference. You really must have felt comfortable!

Thirdly, if you were not qualified, why would they bring you in? Sounds like their issue, not yours.

A lot of companies are going the contract route but it is a little odd that the position was full-time and then HR mentioned the contract thing. She might really have been gauging your interest but based on what you said, she probably could have been more explicit.

Hang in there!

Facie said...

LaLa:
1. Yes, I have heard from a number of people that these marathon interviews are pretty common.
2. Yeah!
3. I actually found out about the job via a semi-regular blog reader. If he had not personally submitted my resume, I may not have gotten an interview (or at least maybe not that second, looong one).
4.My guess (and this is only speculation) is that they liked me more than they thought/had hoped and wanted to make it work in the least risky way, which was doing a contract position. Maybe there was a snag with it, since they were doing if after the fact. Or maybe the last interviewer, the one that did not go as well, talked them out of hiring me. I will probably never know.

But, really, I am fine. :-)

Anonymous said...

The HR person never should have brought up the contract position unless it was a done deal. And it seem unprofessional to tell you that you were a good fit and talk about your first day. She led you on. Instead she should have thanked you for coming, said she would call you in the next few days to let you know. That phone call is when she should have brought up the contract position. The blunder is hers, not yours.

Facie said...

Anonymous: I can second guess myself and keep replaying what happened over and over. I certainly don't remember every word HR said verbatim. Perhaps she was simply finding out if I was interested in doing a contract position, and in case I said no, then maybe she would have told me that was the end of the road right then and there.

Sure, I wish she had not said some of the things she did, because it led to my getting my hopes up. But she may have never considered that. Or, as I said, maybe it was her intention that I was to be hired as a contract person, and for whatever reason, it did not happen.

What can you do, but move on.

Mel said...

Facie, sounds like that company mistreated you and then made a poor decision (not to bring you on board). Keep doing what you're doing--you already sound much more upbeat than a couple of months ago! You're on the right track. Sadly, the poor economy seems to be leading to less professionalism in the work world... as evidenced here. At least they let you know; can't tell you how many times I just never heard a word.

Facie said...

Mel: I have since found out that they went with a much more qualified candidate, for which I cannot blame them. That was also the reason I did not get a job that you told me about earlier this year. They too liked me, but they wanted someone who had graphic design experience. I know I have a lot to offer, but just not enough of the things that different people want!

As for what HR said, Bri seems to think I just got my hopes up since she never promised anything; he believes she was just seeing if I would be willing to do it. But hopefully this person will now realize that the things she said led to a misunderstanding. Can't worry about it. Have to move on.