Monday, July 11, 2011

Job Interviews Part 2 of 3

Next, I found a job posting that screamed for my application.

Hmm, it seems they might be trying to tell me something.

Naturally, I was excited.  So I applied.

Rectangles clearly represent the back of a netbook monitor.
Also, I forgot to draw my large beard again. 

Less than one hour after I emailed my cover letter and resume, I got a call from a woman that sounded excited about setting up an interview.  I've never had someone respond so quickly to an application and only the people that have actually hired me in the past have been so upbeat.

Why are we using phones when we're nearly touching?

I scheduled an interview with the woman who called, who works as the Office Manager, and the General Manager, the man who would ultimately be making the decision about hiring me or not.

Thinking that my Tom-Hanks-In-Castaway-Before-Rescue-Beard had perhaps cost me the previous job and because this is a full-time job that I would really love to have, I decided to shave.  

With the beard gone, I rediscovered my mouth.

On the day of the interview, I load my car with a simple navy blue folder with pockets that hold three extra copies of my resume and a typed sheet of questions designed to make sure I'm covering all my bases during the interview and to prevent me from drawing a total blank when the interviewer asks if I have any questions for them.  I remember when I was interviewing people at my first real job, I would knock them down a point or two for not being inquisitive when presented with a great deal of new information.  I've compiled these questions from a number of articles that provide tips about the interview process.  I tailor these questions and things that need to be covered to each interview but the points that are common to most interviews are:

General Conditions
  • Who would I report to?
  • Who would I be working with?
  • Would anyone else have the same/ similar job functions?
  • What are the typical hours?
  • How many people work in the office where I would be working?
Past Performance
  • Why is this position available?
  • What have been the primary reasons for people leaving this role?
  • What are some of the difficult problems one will face in this position?  How do you think these could best be handled?
  • How is one judged?  What accounts for success?
Interviewing the Interviewer
  • What do you like most about working here?
Before Agreeing to Start Working
  • Salaried or hourly?
  • Agree to an hourly or annual rate of pay before agreeing to start
  • Agree to start date, time and location
  • Optional - Ask for a business card (It's always wise to put important agreements in black and white, i.e. the start date and time so that you're covering your ass right from the start)
  • 100% commitment (especially for full-time positions, I usually like to mention something about how I really dedicate myself to the work I have been hired to do and will exceed expectations.  There must be a way to say this without sounding lame.)     

Usually most of these questions, except for the one about what the interviewer likes about working at that company, have been discussed during the interview and before the Q and A at the end.  This question doesn't really apply when the person conducting the interview is also the owner of the business, so it's a good idea to come up with a few job specific questions to have ready to go so that you have something intelligent to ask about before the end of the interview.

I also have a list of interview questions to be prepared to answer, which, if you're good, I'll touch on next time.

On the scheduled Friday, I drove about 45 minutes to their office.  I sat in my car with my blue folder and felt nervous and anxious despite the fact that my bank statements have been increasing insistent about the necessity of income and the fact that in the past I've convinced myself that I'm not in the least afraid of contacting anyone.  I thought about driving away and getting a cup of coffee instead of going into the interview at all. I thought back to a time when I actually had a full-time job and was not hesitant about meeting with strangers in unfamiliar and uncomfortable settings to discuss problematic and uncomfortable things.  For a few minutes, I felt just how extraordinarily awful and small it makes one feel to not have a well defined role in the world.  Finally, mastering my anxiety and mustering the same courage that has sent men off to do far more bizarre and dangerous things throughout history, I stood up and marched into the office reassuring myself with the notion that "It can't be that bad."

Unfortunately, right at the beginning of the interview, something told me that this experience might be that bad.

I suppose I would be upset too if someone had neglected to include
two simple vertical lines that would allow for breathing and eating.

The Office Manager was convinced that I would do well.  The General Manager apparently hadn't bothered to look at either my resume or cover letter until I was standing right in front of him.  The Office Manager and I tried to convince the General Manager that I was the best person for the position, which is an odd thing in an interview.  Occasionally the Office Manager would answer questions posed by the General Manager before I could respond.  Still, I did manage to project myself in as positive a light as I know how and was able to answer all the questions posed to me reasonably well.

Sadly, the interview was short, about fifteen minutes, which gave me the impression that I won't be hearing back with positive news.  Please keep your fingers crossed that I do!

After it was over and I had returned to the familiar environment of my car, I thought about practicing answering common interview questions with another person to get their feedback on my responses and body language.  I also thought about filming myself answering such questions so that I could make adjustments before I go into another interview.  Then, I thought to myself that I'm not applying to be the CEO of Coke and that this seems like a helluva lotta effort to get a job suitable for someone with 4-5 years of experience.

Will I get the job?  Can my anxieties be better managed?  Will Batman foil the Joker in time to save Gotham?  Did anyone else watch Dharma and Greg specifically because they found Dharma's above average height, face and figure attractive?  Tune in next time to hear the thrilling mundane yet hopefully informative conclusion to this exciting space-filling three part series about the fascinating world of job hunting!

TL;DR: I interviewed for a job that I am very well suited for doing and share my Questions for Interviewer sheet.


  1. yeah u can do it :D

    nice post ;p

  2. I hope you get it o_o you're very very well prepared. Very. I'm almost envious. Have I mentioned this before? I might have.

  3. good luck buddy, nice art btw :p

  4. Part of important advices :)

  5. Good luck! I hope I never have to go through this process again.

  6. very good post. 15 minutes isn't too good for an interview, but if you said what needed to be said then I guess all is well.

  7. Good luck. I'm looking to go into a completely different field myself, so I've got my work cut out for me.

    This was a well-crafted post and you have my respect for that.

  8. dude, just relax on the job interview and do not perform sudden gestures, immediately people will begin to see you differently;)

  9. best wishes man. WisYou will get the job ,keep us posted.

  10. I think Batman will trip on his own shoelaces and the Joker will take over Gotham.

  11. Good luck with your interview. Cute cartoons. :D

  12. Nice work. Most people feel they might have done okay if their handshake wasn't clammy.

    Sounded like an odd interview in the end.
    Have to wonder if the office manager would have been as keen with a beardy you.

  13. well for what you have posted it seems that you were the actor who played dumbledor. Dumbledor can get any job so you need no luck!

  14. Sounds promising for you. Best of luck!

  15. good stuff. its times like these i wish i didnt sell crack

  16. you are a great artist... following :P

  17. haha very informative and funny too!

    added u bro, add me back

  18. Hope you get it man, followed!

  19. Good luck, and thanks for sharing your questions sheet, I'm going to have to refer to that later myself.

  20. Part of me says F-them if they can't see your creative talent which is evident from your posts. The other part of me, "Do you remember how much more difficult your life was when you chucked a secure job and went into business for yourself or when you quit teaching and moved to the country to live in a tent?"

  21. Good luck man :>

  22. I like the questions you ask. I usually don't ask any and then end up hating a place, when a simple question or two might have prevented a problem.