Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Working Girl Two and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Interview

Since I started my current job back in May, I've been looking for a new job. There are many reasons for this, but to put it bluntly this is never what I imagined myself doing after college. I've always wanted to write, and if you look at my resume things looked like they were going in that direction. But when I interviewed for my current position, I looked at the salary and all my student loan bills and jumped at the opportunity.

I've been applying for other jobs so that I can get back on the 'editorial is my dream job' path. As you might have guessed (since it's almost February), things have not been going well. So, when I snagged an interview with someone in HR at a bigger magazine corporation, I was thrilled to say the least. The interview went beautifully and I was convinced that some great job would pop up magically within the next few weeks and I'd say 'sayonara' to that bi-weekly meeting with Europe that I hate and the copier that I truly believe is out to get me.

About two weeks later, I received the phone call I had been waiting for. My favorite magazine had an opening for a Sales Assistant. Ok, so it wasn't perfect and it certainly wasn't editorial. But it was better pay, better benefits, oh, and did I mention it was my favorite magazine?

I scheduled the interview for 8 a.m. (they offered to come in early for me) and I arrived at 7:45 a.m. that morning. Security called the contact that had scheduled my interview for me, but there was no answer. So I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Around 9 a.m., the Evil Security Man (that is what I now refer to him as) pointed at me and mouthed 'come here' with a snarl.

"Your contact said you aren't supposed to interview with her, you're supposed to interview with S." He said this as a statement, not a question because obviously this miscommunication is my fault and not S's idiotic assistant’s who set up my interview. I shrug my shoulders and apologize profusely. He continues, "Well, since it isn't the people's fault behind you in line that you made this mistake, you're going to have to wait for my help."

I am now officially on the verge of tears. I am an hour late for my interview because no one told me I was supposed to be interviewing with S and a Security Guard is making me wait in a line that is literally out the door because he deems it my fault. While I am in line waiting, the other Security Guard gets a phone call from C, a woman who works under S. She is apparently supposed to by my interviewer. The nicer Security Guard (who is probably sympathetic because of the tears forming) hands me the phone.

“Is this Working Girl Two? Your interview was at 8,” she says with a tone I can only describe as bitchy. I answer that I thought my interview was with someone else, apologize and she says she will still meet with me. I am now sweating and shaking. Once I get through the doors, C announces that since I am so late that there are no extra conference rooms, so I will have to be interviewed in what appears to be a supply closet. The interview goes from worse to worse. C never smiles and only asks me negative questions. "What are three things you hate about your current job? What are three bad things about your personality? What are three things you hate about being an assistant?"

I cringe and answer with a smile. C then asks me if I have ever met with someone in HR. I answer yes. "Yea, well, it says here on your resume that you're more into editorial than sales. I just want to preface that this is a two-year commitment. Are you ready for something like that? I mean, you might want to ask HR if they have anything available in editorial."

I could not be more livid. If they knew this from the beginning, then they also knew that this interview was a waste of time because they would never hire me if they didn't think I was 100% committed to them. I just wasted time, energy, and two pieces of paper for my extra resumes all for the worst interview of my life for a position that they weren't even seriously considering me for.

C walks me to the door, tells me thanks for coming and practically shoves me back out in the foyer. I stand in stunned silence as a delivery man asks me what floor I want and I can barely open my mouth to utter the word 'lobby' before looking at my cell phone and realize I am now officially an hour late for work. Awesome.

I leave and travel back downtown to my cozy corner cubicle and smiling faces of my co-workers and couldn't be happier to be here. Which is something I never thought I would think or say. Ever. I love the broken fax machine, my Excel sheets, my boss, my manager, and all the stupid things I’ve ever had to do for this company. I feel like I'm five years old again, my company is my security blanket, and I'm going to have trouble letting go.


Anonymous said...

Little miss working girl two,
Aren't you supposed to be at work at 5:18 when your last story was posted??? Hm . . . is someone slacking. Tisk tisk.

Don't you wish you always had a witty remark in those kind of situations like in the movies? Where you throw it right back in your face and walk out having the last word. If only real life were scripted like on MTV!

Anonymous said...

i think the lady who interviewed you should meet with an HR specialist herself and assess her interviewing skills. seriously, some people are so rude and ask the most unnecessary questions during interviews, as if they are doing you a favour or something. don't pull my resume out of the pool if you're not interested in giving me 15 minutes to talk about my experience and what i can bring to your company. and yes, i had a job i wanted to shoot myself after i graduated (this past june). they asked me if i wanted to become permanent and i said "no" and left. it was a good decision because i could focus on a) being unemployed for the first time in ever and b) working on my resume, portfolio and networking.