Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm Ba-a-ack!

Whew! What a long week! I was so exhausted every day I (seriously) never even opened my laptop at night to check my email, let alone check and see what you all have been up to. For the next couple days I guess I'm going to be doing some serious catch up!

"So," you ask, all a quiver with anticipation, "what have you been doing all week?"
(Yah, I know, no one really cares, but I'm going to tell you anyway...See, it's my blog. It works like that.)

I was doing interviews.
No, I'm not looking for a new job. Our department is one of the few in our County, in fact, probably one of the few in the State, that is actually hiring right now. (I feel very fortunate most days, no matter how much I sometimes bitch about my job...
Seriously, I would have to kill someone really screw up to get fired and I do appreciate that.)
Anyway, one of my newer co-workers and I, along with one of our supervisors, comprised an interview panel for potential new-hires this past week. Five 10-hour days of interviews, 9 people a day. We thought it was going to be "fun." A "nice change of pace." Ha!
It was, I guess, but holy cow! It was really tiring asking the same questions over and over and over and over again and basically getting the same answers from a really wide variety of people.

We met some really neat people, some really smart people, some funny people and some that just made us shake our heads. It seems strange that such a variety would answer almost almost every question exactly the same way.

So I have come away from the experience with some tips for all of you who may be in the market for a new job, or who maybe are forced to be looking for a new job (I am so sorry) after having been away from the application process for a while.
*the story you are about to read is true; only the names have been deleted to protect the innocent.

* Do not come to your interview right after you have eaten lunch in your car. Or fed your child lunch in the car. Or whatever caused you to have what appear to be fresh ketchup and mustard stains on your shirt.

* You don't have to wear a tie, but it is a good idea NOT to have said ketchup and mustard shirt be a rock band souvenir from 1987.

* You don't have to tell me you are nervous. Chances are good I've picked up on that already.

* And while I get that you may be nervous, when the interviewer tells you that they will be taking notes for every applicant so we can keep you separated, it's not a good idea to start singing this under your breath.

* When we're asking you questions, don't start every single answer with "Um. Yah..."

* I realize that you can't be prepared for every question we are going to ask. But don't pause for two minutes while you figure out your answer. Seriously... Two. Full. Minutes.

* Don't try to figure out what it is you think we want to hear. You will be wrong.

* When asked why you want this job, don't say, "Because I want to help people." It's really okay, and more honest, for you to say you like the wages and the benefits. Point of fact: I will respect you more.

* If you are not in the first day of interviews, don't say, "Because I want to help people". I probably will tune out for the rest of your interview. Seriously.

* If I've already asked you why you want this job, and then I ask you what aspects of the job are most appealing to you, do not repeat yourself and say you like that you will be "helping people."

* If we've covered why you want the job and what aspects of the job are appealing to you, and I ask you to list what you think some pros and cons of the job will be, for God's sake do NOT answer "helping people"! Especially if it is Friday. My head will explode and it will be messy.
Not that you'll notice it in with the ketchup and mustard.

* Sometimes I roll my eyes and I am not aware of it. I am sorry.

* Be funny. Especially if you are not in the first day.

* Don't tell me that you are a multi-tasker, and that multi-tasking is part of your job if it isn't. I type while I talk on the phone while I listen to my co-workers to see if anyone else has an accident call while looking up the address in a map book. All at the same time.
So I know that answering the phone, then helping a customer, then finding a product on a shelf, then answering the phone again is not multi-tasking, even if you do it all in the space of five minutes. It's serial mono-tasking, and that's fine. Just be honest.

* If you don't know what multi-tasking is, ask.

* If I ask you what your least promising job is, and you've had more than 2 jobs, but you can't think of something, make one up. (You were a floor scrubber at Arby's or anything.) Otherwise I will think you are lying. Real people hate their jobs. Every friggin' day.

* If I ask you who the most difficult person you ever worked with is and why- if you tell me you get along with everyone, I will think you are lying. Real people hate their co-workers. Every friggin' day. (Especially if they were a floor scrubber at Arby's.)

* Don't fart. Even if you can do it without making a sound. Ever.

* We want people who will most likely stick around for a while. If we ask you what your career goals are, it's probably not a good idea to answer, "Finish my Bachelor's Degree, write a book, travel to Europe, get into foreign politics and start an orphanage." Even if you intend to do just that.

* I can probably tell in the first 2 minutes how you are going to answer the drug and criminal history part of the questions. While it is important to be honest on those questions, my advice is this: if you have an extensive drug and/or criminal history, don't apply for a job in law enforcement.

* And last, but not least, if you know that a polygraph is going to be the next part of the deal, don't lie on the hard questions. I do this for a living, I will probably know.
The polygraph guy will definitely know.

And to all you out there looking for work in these hard times, I wish you the best of luck.

Just make sure you're wearing a clean shirt.


  1. I HATE the days they send me to law schools and ask me to interview those kids all day long. By the end of the day I'm brain dead, I can't remember any of them, my notes are incoherent and all I can think is, "Was I really this ridiculous in law school?"

  2. Oh, Tera you poor thing. But that it too funny. I really hate interviewing people. The people in my office know that their job is secure because I HATE to hire new people. LOL

  3. The reason I started my blog is because I just want to help somebody. *wink*

    Poor thing. I can't imagine doing that for five straight days. I be rolling my eyes too and I wouldn't be trying to hide it either.

    p.s. I've been AWOL too. Must be something in the air.

  4. Love this suggestions, especially the lie detector test! Glad to see you back!

  5. The interviews were kinda funny a lot of the time. Sometimes, though, you had to wonder how some of these people ever got jobs. A few I would have hired on the spot if it was up to me.
    The polygraph is actually real for our job...if you've never had to take one for employment be glad. It was one of the weirdest experiences I've ever gone through!

  6. After digesting the blog and the following comments I offer you a silent fart might be acceptable depending upon it's odiforousness (word??). And, the inspection of one's lower colon (not a colonoscopy) is probably less pleasant than the lie detector test. Thank the Germans of preWWII for developing asscessment interviews to screen it's choices for SS officers.

  7. Thanks for the comment on my Gotta B1tich blog. Oh, man, what a day!

    I'm glad I found your blog - I like how you write. I'll be back! :-)


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