Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Interview Round II
Monday morning I showed up to what I was hoping would be a job offer. It actually ended up being another interview. Let me tell you, they are very careful about who they are hiring for this position. In a way, I have a great respect for how seriously they are taking this position. It also makes it that much more challenging for me. But I want this job. Soon. Now. Give it to me!

I came in, sat down at the desk and watched as my interviewer grabbed her head and shook her hair around. "I have a terrible headache" she finally said. There were a few moments of uncomfortable silence. "I'm sorry, I'm having trouble thinking right now ... the pain is terrible". She lifted a half empty diet Mountain Dew can and shook it around. "Usually by this time I have had three of these". "Oh yeah", I said, "you should take down some aspirin and a lot of caffeine to chase that out. Sounds like a migraine". She nodded, not really listening to me, and got on the phone. "Hello doctor, can I still take you up on that offer for some ibuprofen? Thank you."

She excused herself and stepped out to meet with the doctor down the hall. She came back a few minutes later, and began to tell me about her style of management. Her accent is very thick. She went on to say that when she speaks, people really listen to her. Partly, because she holds everyone accountable to what she asks of them ... and partly because her broken English is sometimes hard to put together which she joked is probably why people really pay attention to her. But I could tell that she is a tough lady, and she wanted me to know it. In her words, her style of management is very "direct".

She said that the reason she brought me back out was because she was unsure of how I might handle customer service. We talked a bit. She asked some interesting questions which were more to put me on the spot than to illicit feedback. They were along the lines of "tell me about your strengths" and "tell me about your weaknesses". She was not really interested in my answers. Often she interrupted me as I was delivering them. This was a test of speech and mind. "Tell me what you do to relieve stress". "I talk to my wife ... I try to meditate now and then ... and I take karate classes and punch things ... that helps". She immediately asked, "which of those is most helpful". "Talking to my wife". She smiled.

"What have you learned from interviewing?"
"I guess you learn a lot about yourself. You asked what my weakness is. Nobody else would ask me something off the wall like that. Kind of makes you think about yourself, which you wouldn't normally sit around doing. And you can try to prepare for a question like that ... but you're never really prepared"
She agreed.
I added, "or were you really asking me about what I have learned about the job market and IT?"
"No, that was a good answer. But tell me what you have learned about IT over the years"
"Everyone has the same miserable problems, and uses the same miserable products. As different as every environment is, we all know one another grief in this field"
She agreed.

It was going very well. Here's where it got better.

"Here's what I think about you. You have looked for a good job that you really like for a long time and never found it. You liked your job of 7 years, but you have been trying to replace that ever since. I think if you found just the right position with just the right people to work with, you would stay there and be happy"
I agreed, completely.
"So I want to give you this opportunity"

That's where she is offering me the job. I said "great!". I waited. She continued.

"I will get with HR and get this moving. We should be in touch very soon"

Shit. I have the job. But I really wanted to walk out of there with my offer in hand. Another grueling interview, and no job. Still it was fantastic news.

Exploring the Land
This past weekend we headed out to Mount Vernon to explore the area. I printed out a big map of the town (it only took one sheet of paper) and then we just drove around. We found that we could get a mansion of a home for the 100 to 115's which would not be out of our league ... but out of our interest. In other areas of town, we could get a very decent looking smaller home for 70 something. As we drove around we scribbled down the names of several Realtors, agencies, etc. I also penciled in the prices of the homes (the ones that were listed) right onto the map. So later we can see what neighborhood a home is in before checking it out. All in all, the whole town looked like a nice place to live. Even the few trailer parks scattered around the outskirts of town were very neat and well kept.

There are difficult, yet exciting times ahead. We will be cleaning up this house, trying to get the kids through the rest of the school year, buying a new home, and moving into it all in a relatively short period of time.

And I still don't have that job offer in hand. What's keeping these people?

Historic Comments
Woo-hoo. Just been catching up on your (mis)adventures of late and was genuinely excited and relieved to read about your interview with this IT Director. I won't say congrats yet, but good luck instead.
Ty | 02.16.07 - 4:00 pm | #

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