Job interview updates

Hey everybody! It’s Thursday! Just kidding. Even better. It’s Friday! There was no way I could blog yesterday so here it is for the week!

I think last week I probably told you I had a job interview. It was for a pet health insurance place and I felt like it went stellar. The people were nice, the chatting was open and free-flowing, I was there an inordinate amount of time just because I hit it off so well with everyone. It felt great. I found out Friday I did not get the job. This week on Tuesday (why is it always Tuesday I wonder?) I had an interview with Zillow. They are a cool company and I love the hell out of their app. My phone screening seemed to go well and I went into the interview with high hopes. Unfortunately, it was not a great morning for me. I drove the van to work that day and that thing is not easy to park downtown. In fact, nothing is easy to park downtown. Parking sucks a lot downtown. And I had trouble finding the place. I had been sent the address but the name of the building was not mentioned, and that would have helped immensely in finding the place. It’s not at all easy to find an address when you’re on the street in downtown Seattle and running late and all you know for sure is it’s a tall building and they’re all tall and what the hell. And of course I had carefully turned off my ringer before I started out of my car and didn’t hear when the recruiter called to see why I was late. So eventually I made it but I was late (and if you don’t know me well, let me tell you this: being late is not okay. It makes me anxious and freaked out and miserable.) So obviously this was all going swimmingly (sarcasm, in case you didn’t hear it.) But I made it and apologized for being late and was led to a cute little room with a bitchin’ view and I waited. And while I waited I realized every possible thing wrong with me, my situation, my job history, my goals and dreams and my clothes (what the hell? I’m not sitting at a table like expected but on a couch-type seat and it’s obvious that my black socks are faded!) And then the guy came in to interview me. I think I came off okay, starting out telling him why I love his company’s app and how excited I was to work with them. He asked me what I knew about the position and I tried to tell him what the recruiter had explained on the phone and it turns out I had missed it completely. It was similar work, but it didn’t work the way I had understood. While I thought that I was helping real estate agents deal with their presence on the Zillow website, what I would actually be doing was much more like a secretary for the agents, letting them know who had emailed for information, screening the people to make sure they were really interested and not robots, and helping the agents in general. To be honest, this new job description sounded better than what I had thought I was going for, but I did feel rather like an ass trying to cover the fact that I was interviewing for a position I obviously didn’t understand. Then he tells me that this is a new team (which I did actually know before this) and that there are about 60 people doing this job already. He wanted to know what I had that was bringing to the position that was different than those other sixty people. Oh. Well, um. I am not super tech savvy, I don’t have a background in real estate, I already don’t appear to be able to park or find anything in Seattle, and I can’t be on time. (Thankfully, that part all happened in my head. Sometimes I just burst out with whatever I’m thinking but luckily this wasn’t one of those times.) So I said I was passionate about people buying houses. I had already mentioned that we are looking and dreaming of buying a house out in the middle of nowhere and farming (and luckily my brain did not dwell on the fact that that was like a big, loud DO NOT HIRE ME to a tech company in Seattle) and that I could really understand where people were coming from. That when someone contacted a real estate agent through me, I had a great understanding of what they were going though and could really feel for them. That I dream of buying a house and I can understand what it feels like to dream of buying a house. Or some bullshit that should have sounded like that and probably didn’t. The interviewer seemed to accept that as an actual asset of some sort and finished up with me. The next interviewer, who is in charge of the team, was not expecting to come in until 10:30 (why did I kill myself thinking I was so late when part of the interview wasn’t even scheduled until 45 minutes after I was supposed to be there? Oh shit. Did THIS part of the interview go so badly that we were done early and now I had to wait while he decided whether to come in at all?) I waited the few minutes and the next guy came in and it seemed fine, if by fine I mean I have no idea but get the distinct feeling that no one I’ve met today as well as myself actually believes I fit in here in any way. We finished up and I was walked out by the recruiter who told me that they were going to wrap up interviews tomorrow, and then they would have the debriefing and decide and she’d let me know tomorrow. Awesome. That isn’t very long, and I think we all know that I’m not getting it anyways, but it will be nice to hear it so soon. (Again, that was headtalk, not facetalk.) So I should hear on Wednesday. It is now Friday and I have not heard. I did not remember to ask her whether they let you know either way, yes or no. I should. I usually do remember to ask that. Maybe they don’t send out thanx but no thanx notes. I am getting more and more sure that that is the case. Oh well. Maybe I’m wrong and there’s an email right now. Nope. I checked.

Job interviews. How much do they suck? There are only a couple of good things about job interviews. Number one, eventually some of them actually lead to a job. Number two, they let you know that your email and resume aren’t completely broken or horrific and someone is actually getting what you’re sending out there. I sometimes think that getting interviews means that the job search is actually making progress. This is a mistake I think. I think sometimes people just want to hear about how great they are and so they give some poor job searcher a chance to grovel and beg, and then they send them on their way. Yes, that is a little joking, but not completely. I think part of what is so hard about job interviews is that the two sides are inherently not on common ground. For most of us, the outcome of this interview means drastically more to us than it does to them. Unless the job is desperately trying to get you and courting you, they don’t need you. They have a line of people behind you that want them too. You are not on equal footing. They want the best of what there is to offer, you want whatever they are willing to toss you. And then there’s the personal side of it. You as the job seeker are trying to sell yourself. You are hoping that everything about you makes you worthy of their attention: your past work history, your education, your ability to write a cover letter, what your friends and family and former bosses have to say about you, your goals and dreams, you skills. Everything. Yourself personally. The person (or people) interviewing you are not trying to sell you anything at all. You’re already willing to buy, you just need them to let you. But not only that. The interview is not trying to get you to like them personally. Even if they are trying to sell you something, trying to talk you into wanting this job even more (why do they do that? I’m here, aren’t I? I want it.) they are selling the company. The company’s values, goals, work ethic, beliefs, office culture, benefits, products, desires. This is the person as a mouthpiece for a job, for a company, for a lifestyle. They’re not trying to impress you with their background or work history or references. They are judging yours to be sure, but they’re not impressing you with theirs. It is inherently unbalanced and therefore really hard. I mean, it’s hard for plenty of other reasons, too (like parking in downtown Seattle and faded socks) but the obvious unbalance I think is part of what can be really hard to deal with.

So that’s my diatribe on job interviews and why they suck. I am still searching, and the one job I’m really hoping to hear back from just closed Tuesday so I am hopeful I will be called for an interview maybe (isn’t it a sick system? I really really want to do this again and again until I get it right!) In the meantime, I am still searching but I’m finding it a bit harder. After the interview with Zillow, I realize that maybe I am not a good fit for the startup/tech/downtown Seattle type of job, so now what do I apply for? This week, pretty much nothing. It has been kind of a tough week in general and I am not up for talking nicely about myself to perspective employers right now. I did get some good news yesterday, tho. It looks like (I use a web-based service to check and so don’t know if it’s 100% accurate) my credit has gone up quite a bit and we may be moving into the able-to-buy-a-house-soon category! This is good and exciting for a multitude of reasons of course, not least of which being that we do not have enough damn space for all our damn stuff and eventually they’re gonna tear the house down. We would like to get moved before we get too much farther in the certification of the house for the foster system because we’re not sure the house we’re in will pass. I have an email in to a lender person who is supposed to be checking it all out and getting back to me about whether I really am high up as I think and what we need to do next. Fingers crossed that the app I didn’t appear to get a job working for will be used for finding our next home soon! Have a great week and I’ll hopefully talk to you next week. I say hopefully because it is November next week and I may not have anything left after working on my novel. I plan to try, tho. Thanks for stopping by!

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