Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Interview

Last Thursday I went on an interview.  I was a bit nervous since I have not been to one of these in quite a while.  Plus the fact that interviews always make me question just how qualified I am anyway.  They always seem to ask the strangest questions and you never are sure what answer they are looking for.

I have been looking for a different job for a while.  It is not that I don't like the job I have, because I do, it is just that I think that a change may be for the best.  Especially since I come to work everyday wondering if it will be my last.  After all, this position is grant funded and with all of the cuts that the state government is making, I feel that if my grant is cut even by $100, I will be out of a job.  Couple that with the fact that I have been told there is no longer a need for me since "your last diabetic is graduating in May" and I figured it was time to start actively looking.

Around the tenth of this month, I received a card in the mail looking for resumes for a job working for the state.  Now, I was a bit worried about applying for that since it is a state position, and like I said before, a lot of states are making cuts. In the end, I decided to apply anyway and see what happened.

I sent in my resume by email, which I have noticed a lot of employers now accepting them this way.  You never know if it gets to where it is going or if it is lost somewhere in cyberspace though.  But I guess it is the same as sending it by snail mail since you are never certain it got where you addressed it.

About a week after I sent it, I was contacted and told that I had been "chosen" for an interview.  First hurdle cleared!  She told me that I needed to get online and fill out an application and then she would mail an application to me also that would need to be filled out.  Why can't they just use the one I fill out online?  Because everything for the state has to be done a dozen different times!

I made it to the interview with just about two minutes to spare before my scheduled appointment time.  Which was actually pretty good since I had forgotten the shoes I needed and had to go back home to get them and then drive through water that was beginning to flood over the road.  Things seemed to be looking good!

When I was called back for the interview itself, there were three women sitting at two tables pushed into an "L" shape.  I am seated at a table with one of the women and the other two are at the other table.

The first lady tells me that the way a state job interview works is that they each have a packet of papers in which there are several questions written on them.  They will go around the group and each ask a question.  As I speak, their job is to "write everything you say".

What?!  Everything I say?  Holy cow.  Now you have just made me even more nervous!  But, I take a deep breath, tell her that is fine and she begins.

Her first question is "Do you have a reliable source of transportation?"  I nearly get up and leave at that.  My answer is 'yes', but what goes through my mind is the conversations that I have had with The Boy.  We have been talking to him about looking for a job and he keeps telling me that he has to "have a reliable source of transportation".  I tell him that as his mom, I am his reliable source of transportation.  He tells me that "moms don't count"!  So, I really have to think before answering this question!

This interview goes on for about 30 minutes with a pass the buck sort of question and answer session.  Each of them asking a question and me answering while they scribble down answers.

At one point, I look at the lady sitting across from me and see that the question is above where she is writing.  Just below that, there are lots of words that seem to be things that need to be either said or implied in my answer and she circles each of those things.  Then there is a scale from one to five that I can only assume means to evaluate how I answered the question with a five being very good.  Now mind you, I couldn't read everything that was typed, let alone what she wrote, but that was what I could make out.

As I watched her write what I had said, I noticed that she was circling mostly fours and fives.  That made me feel a lot better about how the interview was going since a lot of the questions that were being asked I felt like could only be answered if you had held the position before.

Once I left, however, I got to thinking about the whole set up.  Maybe that lady who was seated at the same table as me was a ringer.  Maybe her whole job was to circle those fours and fives to make the person being interviewed feel better about how it was going.  Maybe her scores didn't count at all!  Maybe those other two women were back there circling ones and wishing there were zeros!

The more I think about the whole process, the worse I feel about it all.  Maybe I shouldn't have told them a couple of the things I did in the hopes of clarifying my application.  Or maybe I should have done some more research on the types of questions that were going to be asked.  Or maybe I should have just told them that according to The Boy I am not a reliable source of transportation and gotten up and left right then!

Either way, now all I can do is wait.  I don't know how long it will be before they make a decision one way or the other since I forgot to ask and they didn't offer that up.  Is that because they didn't feel I needed to know since they had already made a decision earlier in the day?  Is that why they didn't tell me when I could expect to hear?

Jeeeez.  Can I just win the Mega Lottery and not have to worry about any more interviews?  Please?

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