Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Let the Games Begin

Today was the first day of interviewing in the lovely process of trying to find a job. It was very simple, since I was only interviewing with a job placement rep.

Simple and lengthy.

If you have never used one of these services before and expect it to take the normal amount of time an interview might take, you would find yourself sorely behind in your plans for the day. So for the benefit of those who may find themselves in a position where they need to avail themselves of such a service, let me walk you through my "appointment".

Arrive early. Not that this gets me started earlier on anything. It just looks good.

Expect to wait a little while before they hand me a very large stack of documents to fill out/read/sign. Upon completion of this stack, wait some more.

Sit down in a really warm room, place some headphones on head, and prepare to be bored for 15 minutes. This is an introduction to the company that is working to place me. They tell me interesting things, like how to lift a heavy box. They also tell me not to lift anything heavy unless you have express permission from them. Here I pretend to be confused for the fun of it. Horseplay, violence, weapons or any other illegal activity are prohibited in the workplace. I begin to wonder when horseplay became illegal, and think back fondly on office horseplay I have been involved in. They flash the number for HR several times. Being sexually harassed? Call this number. Concerned about your benefits? Call this number. Thirsty? Call this number.

After spending 15 minutes wondering how many people have worn these headphones before me, and consequently having the urge to vigorously scratch my scalp, I move on to a computer where I take a safety exam. The safety questions are based on the video. I begin to worry that I should have paid better attention to the video, and not to whether or not I could catch bird flu from a pair of headphones. Then I realize that it is multiple choice, and the wrong answers are ridiculous. I answer one wrong, just for sport. I finish the "test", quicker than was anticipated by the staff, as no one is ready to talk to me yet.

"Would you like to take some more tests?"

I struggle not to answer smartly, and smile pleasantly and nod.

I am set before another computer. The monitor looks similar to one I used when I was in fifth grade. Awesome. I am set up to take a Word, Excel, and typing test.

The Word and Excel tests don't always like my answers, because they are designed to do things the long way. I have to stop thinking like someone who actually knows how to use the program in order to pass. The typing test goes ok, but I am slowed by people talking right next to me as I type. I am slowed to 55 wpm though, so no one questions the results.

Finished with the tests, I sit down in the reception area once again to wait. I have run out of things to look at, as I have read all the OSHA posters on the wall, and the fixed asset barcodes on all the equipment close by.

Finally, I am greeted by the "interviewer" or Account Executive who will be responsible for placing me. She is very bubbly, but not overly so. I am pleased. She looks over my resume and test results. She is pleased.

We discuss my experience, what I would like to do, and then she asks me a question I was not prepared for.

"Give me your Top 5 companies you would like to work for in this area."

Hmmm...I give her my Top 1, as it is the only one that comes to mind. She happens to be meeting with them on Thursday and will talk me up while she is there. Score.

She tells me that I remind her of her best friend who moved to Seattle, so she feels like she must find me something great, and she already has a couple of things in mind. Double score.

So as you can see, these sort of interviews can take much time, and for someone like myself who can, on occasion, be somewhat snarky, much control. But, you never know what the end result may be.

On a sad note, it looks like my days of horseplay may be over.

Listening to: Hey Ya by JD Natasha
Current Mood: Hopeful...and I also feel the need to wash my hands

BONUS!! 10 points to anyone who can figure out who the "Top 1" company was. (My sister is automatically disqualified from guessing)


eden said...

love that you passed the time reading bar codes. Ever the Reader. Bet you have your cereal box memorized too. :)

I'm drawing a bland on your top pick employer. I know you don't want to say "have a magical evening" at the end of every phone conversation, so it's not Disney.

eden said...

drawing a BLANK. sheesh. i should learn to proofread.

amber said...

Well, you guessed correctly as to who WASN'T my top employer, so kudos to you :). I may have to start giving out hints.