Cafe Hitch-hike


Confessions of a stripper on her interviews

I just finished a telephone interview for a lucrative job. I prepared well for it. I researched the place, I prepared my responses to potential questions, and brainstormed my approach with my big boss at work. I even meditated and did a little yoga and prayer to relax myself.

Hmm, so what else could I had done?

It was the HR head and 4 others who were on the search committee. I loved the HR head's oh-so-not-forthright answers:

HR: "We choose our candidates based on our university's needs."
ME: "What do you look for in your candidates?"
HR: "Uh, it depends."

ME: "I understand your big project is digitization. What other areas are accepting candidates?"
HR: "Uh, well, we've got things going on all over this place all the time in all areas. Everyone expressed a desire to have someone working in their area."

(My thoughts: ooh, aren't you clear?)

I'm tinkering on this municipality computer once more. I tried calling my work friends but no one answered. Now, I'm meeting Greaseball the Landlord and we're going to MexicanTown for some brews and tacos. At least he's willing to listen. I just need to go calm down, let someone listen to me rant, have a brew, and have someone tell me, "oh, it's gonna be alright."

I guess what threw me off about the interview was that this felt more like an interrogation to me. The HR director and a couple of others had such direct, probing questions! I felt like they were evaluating what I was saying and how I was saying every word I uttered. The HR director was a royal pain because she was asking me to explain my damn resume and seemed almost argumentative about what I wrote.

HR: "You should have your prior jobs listed here that weren't in the library profession. Why didn't you?"
ME: "I consulted with people and they were split down the middle about what I should do (very true story)."
HR: "Is that right? (Tone of not interested in my answer) It's just a suggestion."

Well, it's a high-caliber school so I suppose they're gonna ask high-caliber questions. In retrospect, everyone was nice expect for Miss HR.

Hmmm, I think I came across polished. It's just that I really hope what I had to say matches whatever the hell they think or decide they may be looking for!

I loved the response time answer, that is, about when they'd call back candidates:

HR: "Hmmm, we'll be calling final candidates to campus in December or January, depending on weather and holidays" (and their moods and schedules, I suppose)

Okay, I really should chill on the bad attitude!

One relatively amusing answer to a question:

HR: "What did you do between the time you finished your undergraduate and went to library school."
ME: "I worked in law, and then had a floor stripping and refinishing business on the side."

One peculiar thing I learned about interviews is to give one interesting point about your life that is loosely related to the job at hand and has the potential for being amusing. Say something that will stand out, makes sense, and is loosely related to the job at hand.

Here are a couple of one-peculiar-thing hits from previous interviews:

"Why do you want to work here?"

(1) "...I want to be able to tell people that 'I-work-here'!"
(2) (mind blanks on what word to use) "...I talked with Timmy and he didn't say the atmosphere was, uh, lazy, (the people laugh) but that it was more relaxed."

I brainstormed why I wanted that position:

My crazy-ass ex-boyfriend went to school there
'Cause it's Cornfed University for Christ's sakes
'Cause Cornfed University rocks!
'Cause I like working in college libraries

And why do I like it?

Keeps me young
Work with technology
Work with plenty of subject areas, like I did as an undergrad


And why do I want this position?

(and it gets more intelligible) I heard about it two years ago
I've made well on these programs
Like the program I was in as graduate assistant, I love my job and the folks I work with, word to the motha'
I've learned alot and know this is so-for me...
(and then provided details)

I had all my notes scribbed out and easily assessible if I blanked out. Ooh, boy.

So that was the interview for a job I'd love to have oh-so-badly.

*I want you to want me, by Cheap Trick
*What you gonna do when she says goodbye? by Pablo Cruise

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