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Quarter Lifer

Quarter Lifer: Got Job?

10/21/2005

Got Job?

It finally happened. My first blogger's block experience.
However, no worries I am not dead. Though I might as well be considering my week. I have been bouncing around interviewing at various places in hopes one of them will grant me the privilege of being one of the underpaid masses again & save me from my unemployment.
For those who aren't big into reading long, yet interesting posts I will start with the pictorial version of my week:
I actually don't mind unemployment most of the time. I also don't mind going to a job most of the time either. However, the part in between jobs where you constantly have to whore yourself out drives me insane.
I happen to be in IT so changing jobs is somewhat the norm. Plus I'm all of 26 and have by no means found my place in the world yet. That does not mean I in anyway enjoy this process. I can't imagine anyone does. If you do please seek psychological help immediately.

The process is the horribly impersonal email & pray system. Fuck, I'm still an Atheist. So email only for me. There is also the neurotic posting of a resume which has to be done. Though I have had the most success at Monster I still feel like a piece bullshit on the internet competing with everyone else's piece of bullshit. Through this tedious process I have managed to get a handful of in person interviews. The three I have had in the last 7 days have nearly put me in the looney bin. Let's recap shall we?

Interview #1: Schiavo Inc
The position was a generic deskside support position. The chance to interview came through the dreaded recruiter grapevine. After agreeing to an interview I was told to go to the recruiter's office where a pregnant woman was going to drive me to the interview at the company. I'm not kidding they warned me she was pregnant. As if I wasn't going to notice? or In case maybe I had a deep seated fear of being near those with child? As if it wasn't strange enough to chauffeured in the first place I was in fact chauffeured by a pregnant woman in a very dilapidated Mercury to said interview.
I had been told the company was laid back. In fact the job was only 32 hours a week, but the pay was so much better it wouldn't have effected my life (aside from more free time). Laid back was probably the understatement of the year. I think comatose would have been a good description of the place. The company might as well have advertised itself as Schiavo Inc. I was extremely overqualified. Overqualified to the point where I think halfway through the interview I was already bored. It's hard to get bored in a room with for people in under an hour, but I did. The manager was in love with me, but his 2 cohorts were not. There was a crappy excuse to why they didn't like me, though I honestly believe they were looking for a more obedient bitch boy type employee to do whatever they didn't want to do. Not really my style.
Speaking of groups, the trend of panel interviewing is obnoxious. I can't get the 3 people in my house to agree on who left the butter out. How can you expect 3 or more people to all like the same person for a single job. Good fucking luck with that. Which leads us to...

Interview #2: Crucifixion Corp
The recruiter mentioned earlier made sure to call and tell me that Schiavo Inc was not interested in me right BEFORE my Monday interview. With my self esteem somewhere around the fourth ring of hell I have to head to an interview for a job I actually wanted. Crucifixion Corp was much more my speed. A newer company chock full of driven people. The position was more of an IT analyst role. A job where I could utilize my project management & IT skills together.
A week prior to my in person interview I had the irritating phone interview. Are they trying to make sure I don't slip into old habits from my time as a phone sex operator or what? I think phone interviews are pointless. How uncomfortable can I be chilling at home smoking a cigarette (discretely of course) & shooing the cat off my keyboard? On the upside I apparently aced my phone interview. The IT manager had recently taken the position, but ironically came from the same company I did. So we phone bonded & I was in the door.
My in person interview consisted of meeting with 5 people, filling out an application & was just shy of three hours long.
Duo #1 Tubby & Anal:These 2 guys think I'm an idiot. Tubby wrote me off as soon as he realized I had breasts. In case you don't know being of the fair sex implies that I can't fix a computer. Anal drilled me on things that were so far out of the scope of the job I wanted to kick him in the balls & run. The position is designed for someone with a broad base of IT knowledge. Except I was getting drilled like I was an IT genius who has never had sex because I have been reading programming & network manuals since birth. If anyone who reads this post can identify the 7 layers of the OSI model off the top of their head let me know. There may be a million bucks in it for you.
Duo #2 Manager & Pressure Cooker:The manger pretty much took a strong silent approach during this portion. However Pressure Cooker was as prepared as Anal to drill me on obscure technical knowledge. On the upside he asked open ended questions like 'How do you feel about subnetting?". I know what it is, but it's not exactly something you can expound on. PC also seemed far more like a salesman than a network guy. Though his preppie geek attire made it hard to discern which he was.
The Finale, HR:I actually got along smashingly with the HR woman. Most likely because it was not possible she would have a question I couldn't answer. She walks into the conference room and announces she has some behavioral questions for me. With the way the interview had been going I honestly expected her to start asking me things like 'If you were a fruit, what fruit would you be?' or possibly hurling pictures of inkblots at me. I even had an answer ready for the fruit question. Alas, it was not nearly that bad just generic crap.
Needless to say I have never wanted out of any place so bad in my life. The HR woman said something about a second round of interviews. I'm not expecting an invite.
Thanks for the dose of humility I will be on my way to the next ring of hell now...

Interview #3: Alright Inc
By Thursday I had pretty much recovered from Monday's fiasco and was ready to dive back into the search. I got a handful of emails & a phone call. The most promising was the phone call. Yet another IT analyst position at a growing company. It is a newly created position some IT support, some project management. The way it was described it sounded perfect for me. Of course I said that about Crucifixion Corp too. I sucked it up and dragged myself to the first single person interview I've had this week. This actually didn't go horribly. Though I was somewhat convinced the IT manager was on quaaludes. However, he seemed to have a similar personality to mine.
The best part was the how did you get fired portion though (& for once I'm not being sarcastic). I explained how my company was purchased by a holding corp & mushed in with another one of their recent acquisitions, I went from hero to zero overnight & was written up frivolously for being unapproachable (even though management never could give me an example), etc....He went through a nearly identical situation at his previous job! Had the guy not been a foot shorter than me in heels I probably would have hugged him.
I feel it went well, but alas I got the dreaded second round of interviews speech again. Why can't decision makers make decisions about employees in one round? I don't get more or less charming if you let me age for 2 weeks. I am not vintage wine, but I play it on TV.

So that is what I have been up to this week. Well, and spending a lot of time under my covers hoping I will never have to come out into the light of day again. Sympathetic comments only please. I can't take any more rejection right now.

11 Comments:

Aw, poor baby (he says with all sincerity). You need some CSI time without your mom (not that mom isn't cool or anything).

12:20 AM  

All of us have been through some form of this, so we can tell you--it DOES get better. And your memories of these interview experiences will fade as you gain better ones.

One good trick in the meantime--keep the names and work addresses of the jackasses who fak ebeing interested during the interview and say they will call, but never do. Then fill out a few dozen magazine subscription cards ("bill me later") for these special few ass-clowns and watch the hilarity ensue.

(That's the kind of karma-flouting that will have a piano fall from the sky and crush you like a grape. But you'll be chuckling with Palpatinian glee as you are flattened into a Poe Pancake.)

And smile. We can tell when you are frowning ... and we have ways of making you smile.

-- d.a.

1:42 PM  

Sorry to hear that. Being actively involved in interviewing new hires, I've realized that most people are not qualified to be Interviewers. Whenever you get a bad Interviewer, your chances are weak, so don't be so hard on yourself.

You probably already know this, but here are some things that you must demonstrate when showcasing your talents:
- Technical proficiency in the required areas
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Enthusiasm and interest in the position
- Intelligence and aptitude/interest in acquiring new skills
- Honesty, integrity and a good work ethic(from performance at past jobs)
- Confidence and self esteem

The most important of these is confidence and enthusiasm. We once hired a young inexperienced programmer because I was floored by his enthusiam and self confidence. He was so inexperienced that he did not know what he did not know. Our database programmers ripped him to shreds and gave him a big thumbs down, but he kept his spirits up and said that he had learnt a lot from the interview. He did OK in a programming test I administered, but was very enthusiastic and quick to pick up things as he listened to my critical evaluation. And he always asked me questions when he did not understand something. My Manager and I decided to give him a chance and after we hired him we found out that he was very sharp and a quick learner.

Keep your spirits up and keep going at it. 

Posted by Raj

2:37 PM  

Oh, it was you? I think I recognize myself from your post. Thanks for NOT kicking my nuts and run.

P.S Is that dinner still on?

Chin up. They not worth of you.

4:01 PM  

I'd get out and 'network' some. I know it sounds cliche, but the majority of hires come from some sort of 'network' connection.

This is especially important in IT. I had about a year and a half's worth of looking before I finally found a gig.

The most promising leads were the ones I got because someone was close to the job opening, and they knew me. So be sure to get out and let people know who you are, what your skills are and that you are actively looking for a position. Just those little bits of info might have someone mention your name to the right people when something comes open.

5:02 PM  

Shit, next time kick him in the nuts. You will have to keep looking for a job, but you'll have a great story.

8:40 PM  

The only thing worse than being unemployed is interviewing with companies you wouldn't even give a second look to if you weren't unemployed.

5:20 AM  

Thanks all. I've done the networking thing, I've tried to be optimistic.

If I had my way it'd be nut kicking & magazine subscriptions galore (Dave that is brilliant).

I'm sure I'll let everyone know how the next round of suffering goes.

1:46 AM  

I completely understand hon. Get comfy under those covers, it doesn't get easier. :)

8:33 AM  

Lest I lose out on a possible million dollar piece of advice... :)

The layers are: physical (ie the cable), data link (e.g. the thing with a mac address), network (this is where IP lives), transport (this is where TCP gets it on with IP), session, presentation and application.

2:05 PM  

Kothz...What do you do for a living and/ or why do you know this?

2:24 PM  

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