On the Interview

The job interview was basically what I’d thought it would be — a long-ish interview with a high-class job placement/HR outsourcing firm. I wasn’t expecting a two-hour long test of my Word, Excel, and Powerpoint skills.

(Powerpoint skills? What Powerpoint skills? Does anyone have Powerpoint skills? I mean, I can put together something that looks decent in Powerpoint, but I’ve never spent any time learning the quick-and-easy way of doing things in Powerpoint.)

I had no trouble finding the place — the building is right off I-83, on Padonia Road, a twelve-storey brick building. I’d been in the neighborhood a few times — there’s a deli right down the street I hit a few years ago during Shore Leave when I wanted a decent, and relatively inexpensive, lunch (and before they tore down the old shopping center by the Wal-Mart in Hunt Valley), and a sports bar where I boosted one of their beer glasses when the waitress wasn’t looking (and yes, I still use it, thanks for asking). So, it wasn’t unfamiliar to me, the interviewer offered me directions for getting back to the Beltway, and seemed pleased that I didn’t need them. I didn’t even need my holistic navigation skills.

It was quite odd, being the one being interviewed. For six years I’ve been the one to grill people, and it was quite a different experience. I would like to think I didn’t come across as being prepared, even though my answers were both quick and thoughtful on a vast array of questions. But when you’ve been the one to ask those questions, you know the right way to answer them, you know what’s being looked for, and you know how to link your job experience and resume to what the interviewer is looking for. The tricky part for me — I didn’t get a good feel for the position they were interviewing for — the questions were all too general, too broad.

Yes, children, there are right ways and wrong ways to answer job interview questions. An interview is a sales presentation, and the product you’re selling is yourself.

All in all, I think it went well. The process, as I understand it, is that they do the first interview, submit my resume to various firms, and then the firms will conduct a second interview. With luck, I’ll hear something in a few days.

After House, though, I’ll still make a pass through Monster and CareerBuilder.

And there were some ads in Sunday’s newspaper to follow up with. But that can wait until tomorrow.

Tomorrow? The satellite installer comes tomorrow. Oh, if installing a new phone jack in the basement was bad, I can only wonder at what will happen tomorrow….

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