In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The agony of Interviewing

Before you read another word you need to know that this is a post for me to process. I'll most likely ramble and vent.

I'm tired of interviewing for jobs!

Interviewing sucks!

I've never been much of a self salesperson. I basically try to just give the interviewer and accurate picture of who I am, strengths and weaknesses. I figure that then they know exactly who they will be getting if they hire me, and they will never be disappointed.

I will grudgingly admit that I learn something from each interview. So in that sense I was OK with yesterday's interview; I didn't feel like I did anything wrong. But the set up had me off balance; it was my second interview for this job and it was with the boss of the first interviewer, who was the director of operations. I didn't really catch her boss' name or position. The interview was in a coffee house and between the music being piped in over head (I think it was right above my chair) and the noise of the place, it was a bit difficult for me to hear clearly and to fully focus.

He was on the phone when I came in because, apparently my predecessor had a short interview so he'd made some calls while waiting for me. He caught my attention, I wasn't looking at him since I didn't want to seem like I was listening in, and made an apologetic gesture to which I made the oh-it's-all-right sign back (although this was not any where close to the location I was applying for and a long drive for me to get there and find the place. But that's what you get with these management companies that manage facilities in the greater, and I mean much greater, LA area). My problem is that, although I have the required state license to be a nursing home administrator, I've only ever ran psychiatric facilities, so I'm really weak on the AR side. He started out the interview by bringing this up and I didn't try to tell him any different. By the end of the interview he told me that it was obvious I could do the job, that he just needed to figure out if I was their best applicant for the position.

My friend told me when I talked with her about the interview as I drove home (a long drive home) that perhaps that was my opportunity to state why I'm the best. But I didn't, I basically just made some sort of gesture that indicated that yep that's what he needed to do. I'm just not gonna try to sell me; I'm really good at what I do, I'm conscientious and hardworking, have integrity, and am all heart for the patients, staff, and families. I figure that either he picks up on that through our conversation or he doesn't, it's really not something you can tell someone.

Today I'm just mulling over how difficult and intrinsically disgruntling the whole interviewing process can be. I mean, I am happy at my current job because I enjoy the clients, super like my boss and her boss, and like the people with whom I work. I'm trying to keep it positive there and do my very best. Yet...the bottom line is that I'm over qualified, can do more, and it pays really low compared to what I've made for the past ten years. Interviewing makes it difficult to stay focused where I'm at and to consistently choose to dwell on the good things about the job and be creative and do more where I'm at. Yet if I don't keep trying for a better job I feel like I'm not being true to myself.

OK, so I'm being a whiner. I know it. I don't like to whine in my daily life so I'm here doing it.

This isn't a terrible interview story but I've certainly got some from this past year. What about you, do you have any awful interview stories?


David-FireAndGrace said...

Wow, there are always things that you could do better - don' be so hard on yourself.

Me, I am professional interviewer. In fact I have gotten jobs that i was not qualified for and been let go shortly after the bubble burst. It is not always best to get the job. ;)

I am sort of in the same place. I really want to move on, but I don't want to trade seats on the Titanic. There is a company that is hiring 450 employees over the next year. They are a good company, a short commute, and I knew a few folks who work there. I am just praying.

I am praying for you!

Tracy said...

David - Had to laugh at your past burst bubbles.

I'll start praying with you about your job situation. Long commutes really do affect the quality of life. I figure that less time on the road would give you more time for your family and the ministry to which you're so deeply committed.

Whateverman said...

I remember interviewing for a software development position, and the guy I interviewed with did not like software developers.

It was odd, to say the least.

For example, when he asked why I was looking for a new job, I told him I was looking for more advancement opportunities and better money. He then went into a tirade (literally) about developers quitting because they wanted $5K more per year, or how he couldn't keep people around because they didn't value "loyalty". He then went on to criticize or be skeptical of nearly everything I said.

It was very antagonistic, though I think I handled myself pretty well. Needless to say, I didn't get the job.

Tracy said...

Whateverman - I'm kind of laughing as I read about that interview of yours because I had a similar experience and these kinds of antagonistic interviews end up being almost absurd! Your account is also kind of funny because it's so reasonable to want a job where you can do more and make more money; its basically a prevalent, accepted, thought process. My most recent antagonistic interview was with a health care company that owned several Methadone maintenance clinics and I was interviewing for a clinic manager position. I'd had a great interview with 2 of the 4 people I needed to interview with and then had my interview with their program director that turned antagonistic. I was never really sure what turned it that way; I do know that he seemed to get really defensive when I asked what the turnover rate was for their clinic managers (seemed like a really reasonable question to me), and that I wasn't comfortable with the fact that he kept asking personality inventory type questions.

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

Tracy, I agree: I hate interviewing.

I used to be uncomfortable with "selling" myself. But then I learned to be brutally honest (after bragging myself up a bit): "If you REALLY want to know who I am and how I work," I would say, "then you might like to talk to those people I currently work for and with."

But then, my situation is a bit different than yours, since all my interviews are within the same police department, trying to get into different positions within.

A person I admire once told me: "Go into the interview with the intent to interview the interviewer, to determine whether or not it's a place you want to work. I've found it makes my interviewing much easier, cuz it takes a lot of stress out of the equation.

But then, you weren't looking for advice. Sorry. Keep plugging away. God knows your needs and will supply!

Whateverman said...

What throws me is that often the companies that hire me are more interested in my personality/demeanor than they are my resume. If I end up getting along with the person and being able to laugh a few times as well as being both practical and sincere, I tend to get hired.

Or at least, that's the way it seems...

My interview style is now to be myself. While I wont pretend to be having a beer with the person, I try to both talk about myself as well as ask the person how *they* solve tricky problems. Software development can be technical, and when I don't have the right technical answer, I explain how I'd approach the problem - to show that I know how to solve issues I'm uncertain of.

That sorta matches up a bit with what your friend suggested, Tracy. Interviewing the interviewer (a bit).

Have a nice Sunday, everyone...

Victor S E Moubarak said...

I have interviewed many people over the years. It is very difficult for an interviewer to be objective and to choose the right person from many candidates. He has to decide whether the person is qualified for the job, has relevant experience for the job and, most important, will fit in the company, and with its other employees, as well as encompassing the firms values and objectives.

It costs a lot to recruit an employee - advertising, interviewing, selection, training etc ... until the new member of staff is ready to make a contribution to the company. If the employee leaves early all this effort is wasted and the recruitment process is started again.

Just as important, an interviewer with a track record of recruiting many wrong people, or people who leave early, will himself not last long !!!

I'm praying for you Tracy. Best wishes and God bless.

John Cowart said...

Hi Tracy,

Reading your post this morning was painful for me. Makes my skin crawl to even think of interviewing for a job. God bless you!

One interviewer I talked with years ago kept pressing a chunk of quartz to her forehead as we talked.

When I asked, she explained that the spirit of a Cherokee Indian medicine man spoke to her through the crystal and gave her directions about the people she interviewed.

At least your guy was just talking on a cell phone.


The Experience said...

I've never had a "bad" interview...thank God! I have had those interviews where I've said to myself afterwards "Why did I say that? Why didn't I say that?"

However, I'm always calmed by the thought that What God has for me is for me! It's nothing that I can say or do to prevent God's provision for my life. The interview process is the formal process, but it does not interrupt God's destined plan for out lives.

Don't worry or fret...If it's for you, you will get the job. If you don't get the job, that means that God is preparing to send an even better job your way!

JD Curtis said...

Always remeber to breath through your nose. Alot of people forget to do this in the interview process and wind up sounding nasaly.

Andrea said...

Praying for you!
Blessings, andrea

jenny said...

This one time that i was applying for a job, i was with a panel. And the worse that that they could ask me was about my failed relationships!It sucked bigtime. And then i needed to explain everything of how it didn't work. I can't totally say no since I'm trying so much for them to like. Interviews suck. Hope you get the job miss tracy :)

Tracy said...

John - Thanks for your sympathy, it's a good feeling to know someone understands my misery.

Mike - You sound like one of those really good interviewers. I agree with your point about I'm interviewing them just as much as they're interviewing me; that's just the truth. Of course I've researched them before I get to the interview so in a sense I already know I want to work for them or I wouldn't be there.

Victor - I understand what you're saying since I've interviewed lots of people for openings I've had at various jobs. But I've always been more of the intuitive type and hired the people I clicked with in terms of what I could see about why they do the work they do. Fortunately I've only been wrong a couple of times out of lots of hires.

The Experience - It is so wonderful to know that God has every situation in His hands and that I can trust in His plan for my life!

Jenny - I can't believe they even asked about such a thing! It seems really inappropriate and how could anyone be OK with that?! I've had interviewers ask about work failures and I've always been OK with that question because of course I haven't always been successful and I've learned from each mistake. But personal stuff, definitely not a topic I want to be discussing in a work setting!

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