Job Interview was Poor--Lessons Learned Are....
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Ok, I thought I was prepared; studied my content area for 3 days but I wasn't prepared at all...this was by far the worst interview I have ever done and here's why:
First off, I got there at 4:00 and stood outside the door while another candidate was interviewing. I peeked in the door and saw a younger lady smiling and sitting very confident and speaking to the group of 10 committee members and they were all smiling back at her laughing with her and all seemed to be having a great time.
Right then, I knew I was in trouble.....then my stupid heart started racing and I begin to get nervous. I tried to focus on my breathing....in-hold, count 1, 2, 3, 4 then out 1, 2, 3, 4...in-hold, count 1, 2, 3, 4 and out...I focused on my heartbeat and did the imagery exercises where I placed my mind in the most relaxing place I could think of--down by the lake watching the ducks move slowly across the water. 4:15 came and then 4:25 and my appointment was for 4:30 so I was close to going on to do my "sell." 4:30 came and went and they were still in there, I hated to interrupt, but I began to wonder if I was going to be late and had just assumed that the person in the chair at the end was interviewing. Maybe she was just part of the committee, I thought. I almost opened the door and interrupted them to check when all of a sudden, a man at the back door knocked for me to let him in. He was in a tie and looked professional so I let him in the building. As it turned out, he was on the committee and went inside the room where he told the others I was outside, I guess. Because right after he went in, the main person came out to greet me and tell me it would be just a minute.
Whew, I thought! That was a close one. I almost interrupted an interview session!
Oh, did I forget to mention that on this day it was in the 30's? We had been having 80 degree weather for weeks and on this one day this? My allergies were driving me crazy too--not only was it extremely cold it was very windy and raining to the point of almost sleeting. Now in Texas in April, we don't usually have that kind of weather---that was a bad sign too, I thought. Because of all the weight I have lost, I didn't even have a coat!! Had to drive to the nearest town and go to Burlington's Coat Factory to get a dang coat!! Would have looked stupid to show up without a coat, I thought.
Lessons learned from the interview:
1. Do not let them ever trip me up with the trick question "tell us a little about yourself." From now on I will have a memorized statement ready to go. It will never include anything personal--just set the stage for the interview with my best strengths and accomplishments. It will be to hook them as to why I am perfect for the job.
2. Never interview in the afternoon/evening if I have a choice to do it in the mornings. I'm tired and my energy is waning--they are tired and want to go home. All anyone is thinking about is "what's for dinner."
3. I will have a better response for the "what is your greatest weakness; what is your greatest strength" next time...I have a good greatest strengths answer but need a better answer for my greatest weakness and how I can take measures to improve in that area.
4. I will be prepared with the "do you have any questions for us" question. I always have a standby I use, but yesterday, it was answered in the main persons response before he got to the end, so I couldn't ask the same question again--I looked silly because I was caught off guard. Next time I will have 3 or 4 ready to pull out and use for that one.
5. Finally, I am done preparing and studying for these interviews. I know my content and have done the jobs and am very familiar with what I would be doing. The questions they asked me were situation type hypothetical question anyway and had nothing to do with the content of my field. Reason? They don't know my field anyway....only someone who is actually in my field knows what I should know and this group of people....clueless.
The positives are:
in 3 months, I have had 2 interviews. I have a friend who has a similar degree as I do that has been sending in applications since 2010 and has yet to get one single interview. That tells me that my paperwork is catching someone's eye and that my background and experiences are intriguing at least enough to want to know more about me.
I am getting experience in the interviews. Just like yesterday, even though it was a disaster from the start from the way I answered the "tell us a little about yourself question" which open all kinds of cans of worms. I will be prepared next time and this will never happen to me again.
I am not in this alone. All the decisions we have made as a couple are shared and I take 50% responsibility and DH takes 50% responsibility and just because he is retiring and will be getting a monthly retirement check, he is still responsible to contribute to our situation since he is partly responsible for it as well. I will no longer try to shoulder the whole responsibility of our finances and feel guilty because I have failed, gotten older, can't get hired, or whatever. It is causing me great stress and because I feel desperate to get a job, I am applying for jobs that I really don't want just because of the money they pay.
Which brings me to my final point. As part contributor and not responsible for our entire financial situation, I will only be applying for jobs that I would really like to have. They pay much less, but I don't care. I would rather be happy than have the money anyway. After all, DH can make a dollar or two as well. We are after all a team, it's we, us....not just me! I!
So there you have it....poor interview, but great lessons learned. I will be prepared next time and it will be for a job that fits me and that I really want!