What happened on the interview? Thanks again to my guinea pig we have a view from the inside. I actually think our job seeker is enjoying this workplace mating dance of who fits with whom.
Back to our story. Our millennial seeker had found the office after using every minute of the 3.5 hours for a 2 hour commute….
Part II. Unicorns & Scribbles
There is pulsating pop electro remix floating throughout the room. There are 2 other people in the room waiting to be interviewed. One about my age but younger looking. He was wearing black jeans, a button up and nice sneakers with his backpack. Did I wear the right thing? Is that what business casual means in 2018 for a young company? The other is a man is 10 years my senior wearing a professional suit, briefcase included. Is he here for the same interview? Am I in the right place? Nowhere in the room does it say the name of the company; there are no handouts, posters or content or anything with the workplace name. I’m confused and hoping I’m in the right pace.
Me: “Hello, I’m here for an interview at 5:00pm”
Receptionist: “Can you show me your confirmation?”
Receptionist“Okay, now if you have a resume please staple it to the back of this sheet and please fill out the front page”.
Are you currently employed?
When are you available to start?
What qualifications do you have for this role?
What position did you apply for?
Where did you attend college and when did you graduate?
What are your hobbies/interests?
If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
I immediately think: what kind of rèsumès are they receiving that these questions aren’t answered? I fill in my response for the last one: “A unicorn because their blood has healing powers; they are rare and unique, and their associated color is rainbow.” Any answer I write would be ridiculous? The whole point of questions like these is to see how you think, right? Or your personality to assess workplace and culture fit? Here’s to hoping that Unicorns say that I don’t sit in bed and binge netflix like every other 20-something, always pick up my phone on the first ring, am a morning person, and that I always have my projects completed on time.
I sit, finally stop sweating, and chat with the receptionists. I try to fish for information and although the woman’s English is very much rough around the edges I put together that there are 12 offices in the back all renting space, one of them being the company for which I’m interviewing. I try to ask if this is an outsourced recruiting firm? My English is lost on her. While I’m trying to get information both the man in the suit and the kid in jeans have finished their interviews. 10 mins at most. I have a moment to breath and bask in the on timeness of it all.
Although the email said I’d be meeting with the CEO, a young man wearing the suit calls my name at 5:17pm.
Interviewer:: “Nice to meet you. Also, here is our office mascot”
**Interviewer points behind a glass door down to an adorable French Bulldog.**
Me: “ooooooomg that caught me off guard, adorable!”
We go into an office, it’s messy, there aren’t windows, the name on the desk doesn’t match his, and there is no additional explanation about who he is, or the process. He has the page that I filled out along with my rèsumè stapled behind it.
Interviewer: So, what are you looking for?
Me: I spent the last year traveling and freelancing but most currently I’m working as a legal assistant. I’m ready to begin building a career and getting back to the roots of what I studied in college.
Interviewer: Are you currently employed?
Me: Yes…… I’m working as a legal assistant
Interviewer: Right, right, you just said that
***Interviewer writes legal assistance on the top of the page ****
Interviewer:: Right, right. so, what makes you an asset?
Me: I’m able to see the bigger picture as well as the smaller details which makes me excellent as executing tasks on a timeline. I’m able to see each individual tree as well as the overall larger forest.
Interviewer:: Great, great. How soon before you could start?
Me: The normal 2 week’s notice so I can give time for a replacement
***Interviewer writes 2 weeks at the top of the page***
Interviewer: okay, so here’s what we’re doing.
**Interviewer flips my résumé over to use the blank page***
Interviewer: We work with Fortune 500 and blue chip companies in order to support markets we haven’t yet entered. There’s a lot of demand but we don’t have enough people in leadership positions.
***Interviewer begins to furiously scribble boxes and lines and arrows which i’m sure to him represent flourishing markets and prospering management and supply chains. His diagrams couldn’t make LESS sense but his brow looks so furrowed in concentration I didn’t want to break his focus***
Interviewer: so what we’re doing is training people and we’re hoping to do a fast track. Obviously putting people in management positions without training is setting people up for failure so what we’re hoping to do is create a fast track in about 25-40 weeks to management
Me: that’s fast.
***I open my notebook for the first time because it sounds like he’s about the throw some numbers out. He doesn’t. 25-40 weeks is the only number. ***
Interviewer: Yes, uh because companies need management and we’re training for that. Like Um back office as well as client meetings and projects and management. So basically we fast track you to management and then you’re able to take on a client waiting to be serviced because we have more business than we do teams.
My mind is racing. Am I in the right interview? They have my name down but does this man work for an events company? What is this company? Are they a training company that provides candidates to other companies? Should I tell him i’m confused? He drew scribbles? He’s rushing? The e-mail said the interview would be 25 minutes long? Would those scribbles mean ANYTHING to me if I was a business major? I really don’t think so?
Interviewer: does any of this sound exciting to you?
Me:**Panics and takes the easy route** Yes, very much so. I chose my major to enjoy a career that is centered on critical thinking and I especially like that what you’ve talked about. It sounds exciting because it’s variation and an escape from mundane or ritual work, I like to exercise my brain and I think it’s exciting to build your own career.
Interviewer: totally; that’s really cool. Okay so we’d actually like to train as quickly as possible. Are you available on Monday?
Me: I’m very flexible but actually unavailable on Monday
Me: Tuesday works
Interviewer: Great, so when you hear from us and hopefully that’s good news the second round will be on Tuesday and it will be a full day from 9:30am to 3pm. This will include clients, and training and it will also be at this location. We will have more information about the corporate structure and the salary. You’re actually the last person we’re interviewing and we are making all of our decisions in the next half hour by 6pm.
Me: wow that sounds like a crazy half hour! Sorry to keep you so late on a Friday in that case haha…
Interviewer: Oh no no, and yeah, we have a lot of decisions to make
Me: good thing you have the dog!
Interviewer: yeah, she’ll definitely help
Me: should I let her like smell me to make a decision?
Interviewer: hahahah, exactly, exactly. So we’ll be in touch. Is this the best email to reach you at and phone number?
I say yes. He walks me out and I shake his hand again and thank him for meeting me.
As I walk across the street, maybe 6 minutes after I got out of the interview MAXIMUM, I hang up abruptly on my friend to pick up on an unknown caller who turned out to be the receptionist from the front desk wishing me a congratulations and in finding out that the company “is very excited about you as a candidate.”
They send me an email with follow up information for my second round interview. I have less idea what this company does than I did when I applied because then at least I had the word Events as guidance for the services provided. Glad I shlepped 3 hours out of my way to meet a cute bulldog.
What will happen next? Has this ever happened to you? Write in with your interview experiences and predictions about the outcome of what the second interview has in store for our guest blogger!