Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I think I dodged a bullet.

I went on a job interview last week. I was really excited about it because it was my dream job (if I HAVE to work, that is) but I had some reservations because it was a global role for a company that is significantly larger than the huge company I already work for. If I had my druthers, I'd prefer something smaller (more direct impact) and domestic (YOU try scheduling conference calls with France and Singapore), but I'd also prefer to quit contracting (the benefits and the uncertainty suck) so if I got it I'd be thrilled for the opportunity.

My friend Dave, a man I respect very much and who is crazy smart in the world of the biz-nass, told me that when I look at a job description, I should totally have 1/3 of the required skills, be able to pretty much figure out 1/3 of the required skills, and that the last 1/3 should be stuff I'd have to stretch in order to figure out. I'm sure recruiters and hiring managers of the world might disagree, but Dave was looking at it from the personal and career development perspectives and I'm on board with that, so the 1/3 of this particular job that would have been a stretch didn't scare me.

I had three phone interviews with remote team members and nailed them all and then I had three in-person interviews last week. I was feeling very confident about the first two and everyone told me GLOWING things about the Director (to whom this position reports) and I was excited to knock her socks off during my third in-person interview.

Except then I fell flat on my face.

We didn't have a great rapport, which was a huge red flag because I can talk to just about anyone, but to make things worse, she asked me questions that, in retrospect, were kind of unfair. More specifically, I think they were trick questions. What I should have done was answered them in a "Defining exactly what an engaged employee looks like is very specific to the project, the organization, the company..." kind of way instead of trying to figure out what I thought an engaged employee at this particular company might look like because there's a 0% chance that I'd be able to guess.d

Blah blah blah, but I missed the boat on this question. I should have explained how I'd propose we go about defining it instead of trying to define it on the fly.

And boy howdy, I could tell the moment I screwed it up and my immediate instinct was to just get up and leave right then and there, but maybe I could salvage it? Except in order to salvage it, I needed to have a rapport with this lady and I just really DID NOT.

I left the interview totally knowing I wasn't going to get this job and I was really bummed about it for like 15 minutes and wishing I could have a do-over. Ultimately, I managed to talk myself into being okay with it and when I got my rejection e-mail yesterday I just deleted it and was appreciative that I had already mourned and recovered.

Kind of like when you're already OVER a man and by the time he finally gets around to saying "I'm just not that into you" you're like "Yeah, whatever Molasses...I cared a week ago but today I think you probably shouldn't let the door hit you on the ass."

Bonus Story:

One of the chicks who interviewed me told me that she just moved to San Francisco from Oregon and:

1. She just bought an apartment in The Infinity and told me that they've only sold like 20 units so far so she has the entire 31st floor to herself. She asked my opinion on buying a couch and dining table for her balcony and is the fall in SF really as nice as people say because at this point, she can't imagine having dinner parties out there with the weather as it has been? I suggested that she bite the bullet and go for it because even if she just has cocktail hour outside, it'll be worth it and if it's too cold, the dinners themselves could be held inside. Plus, just for kicks, why not buy a heat lamp too?

She thought I was very smart. Obvs, duh.

2. Her Oregon friends said that she couldn't wear her leather coat here and I was like "Uhh, I don't think the hippies are really going to give you trouble for a leather coat" and then she was like "Well, what if it has a fur collar and fur cuffs?" I didn't know what to tell her about that but lucky for me, she switched the subject to announce that "You know, living in California is like living in a foreign country, what with all that SPANISH that people are speaking." And then she rolled her eyes to accentuate her point.



Instead of telling her that YOU DO REALIZE THAT CALIFORNIA IS NEXT TO MEXICO AND, IN FACT, USED TO BE PART OF MEXICO, RIGHT? I was like "Well I'm a native so I guess I don't notice it, hey, I really like your necklace."

This woman was in HR, by the way.

In Summary:

1. I learned a lesson.

2. I'm pleased with how I processed it all.

3. I'm glad I don't have to work with the lady who clearly has an opinion on living so close to the Mexican border.


Sarah said...

You dodged a bullet indeed. However I could see some very interesting blog posts coming from that job.

Sara said...

Um, yeah. You didn't want to work there.