April 02, 2004

Yes, actually I am hot shit.

My return call to the chocolate-loving architecture office resulted in a telephone interview, which just ended. My recollection is less than totally clear, but I think I must have remembered to say "yes" instead of "yep" because they asked me to come in for an in-person interview on Monday (either that, or a tendency to say "yep" is secretly another of their required qualifications).

Interview! Monday! Fear and excitement with a healthy dose of esteem-boosting thrown in there!

I think after my last job interview I may have commented on the several things that people do during job interviews that should be punishable by severe civil and criminal penalties, for instance, four-on-one interviews, duh-questions like "how do you feel about working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds?", and two-hour-long interviews in general. I'm going to have to add another thing to the list, namely asking the interviewee to "tell me a little bit about yourself". It's appallingly unspecific; you may as well just say, "Please feel free to flounder at this point."

Actually, I'd really like to hear someone say that during an interview. It would be even better than chocolate in a job posting. Maybe they'll do it!

Posted by dianna at April 2, 2004 10:01 AM

"Tell me about yourself" is not only flounder-inducing, it's just plain lazy. They're basically saying, "Even though I called you in for this interview, I didn't actually think of my own questions to ask. So, could you please ask yourself a question, and then answer it?"

I think you should talk about robots if you get the chance. *Everybody* loves robots. Except maybe these people. But if they don't like robots, I don't think you want to work for them anyway.

Posted by: sean at April 2, 2004 10:43 AM

my least favorite the sneak attack: "tell us about a problem you've had with a co-worker in the past, and how you resolved it." seemingly inviting you to bash an officemate, for which you will then be judged gossipy and difficult.

Posted by: didofoot at April 2, 2004 11:07 AM

I have managed to avoid all unbelievably stupid questions about myself by turning the tables and asking them all sorts of questions about their organization. First they're impressed that you're so interested in the company, then they're so happy talking about themselves that they forget to bother you as much...and that my friends is one of my many manipulative skills put to good use.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 2, 2004 11:52 AM

That's brilliant!

I was on the bus probably a year ago now, sitting next to someone who was studying a bunch of interviewing tips printed out from monster.com or some such thing. It had the questions you're guaranteed to get and a big long discussion of how you should answer them. I glanced over at one point and saw one of the sections that looked, in its entirety, like this.

"So, do you have any questions to ask me?"

Yes, yes you do.

It's like a holy mantra. Short, simple, important, and only useful once in a blue moon.

Posted by: dianna at April 2, 2004 12:23 PM

the worst question i got in an interview was: what would you do if you were assigned one task for a client and the owner of the company asked you to do another task and you couldn't complete both at the same time?

what a dumb question. there are so many variables involved, like relative urgence/importance of said tasks, personality of owner and client, my mood, etc. knowing me, i'd just work overtime and get both bloody things done 2 hours before deadline. but they wouldn't accept that option, so i think i went with the task for the client cuz the client is what makes the company money at the end of the day. or i'd tell the owner what i have on my plate and let him decide for me.

i could tell they didn't like that response either, so don't look to me for interview tips.

Posted by: jade at April 2, 2004 01:09 PM

Oh, good lord. That's a terrible question, and it strongly reminds me of another one which should be completely illegal.

"Let's say you're on the phone with a client, who's explaining a complicated situation in a long-winded fashion and you can't get a word in edgewise. Then you get another call on another line, and one client and the FedEx delivery man walk into the office at the same time. What do you do?"

Scream at everybody to get the hell out of my office, obviously. What, that wasn't what you were looking for?

Posted by: dianna at April 2, 2004 01:13 PM

why do they give us such questions? i mean, honestly, how often does all that happen? besides, we're female. born with the innate ability to multi-task.

client on phone goes on hold (they're so busy talking they won't notice anyway), other line goes to voicemail, client in person gets taken care of, and FedEx guy can wait cuz he knows me and takes hershey kisses from the candy bowl anyway. unless i'm on deadline. then of course i start screaming and throwing breakable objects like any rational person would.

Posted by: jade at April 2, 2004 01:22 PM

I expect to see a full report tomorrow of how the interview went. Good luck!

Posted by: Chris at April 4, 2004 07:56 PM

did you have the interview yet? did they give you chocolate? how did it go?

Posted by: michele at April 5, 2004 09:21 AM

She's being interviewed EVEN AS WE SPEAK. Dun-dun-duuunnnnnnn!

Posted by: Jacob at April 5, 2004 10:29 AM

Ha. Not quite.

You see, I walked in and said, "Good morning, I have a job interview with Christina." Between my lack of speaking volume and their failure to have my interview on the calendar, what I wound up with was, in fact, an interview with Dina. Since I'd already had one of those and it had been by phone, a) I wasn't able to recognize Dina and point out the mistake, and b) I still need to go back and have my interview with Christina.

Dude. I hope they give me chocolate. They're about to owe me for $11.60 worth of BART tickets and $2.50 worth of MUNI rides, unless the interview takes a long time in which case they'll owe me for $3.75 worth of MUNI. Chocolate is the least they can do.

Posted by: dianna at April 5, 2004 10:36 AM

if you don't get it can i have it? (job not chocolate. actually, chocolate too.)

Posted by: didofoot at April 5, 2004 10:41 AM

kristen, repeat after me, "i want to work in san francisco. not berkeley. san francisco."

Posted by: michele at April 5, 2004 10:49 AM

anywhere but here, baby! (especially as i am using all the funding for my salary to fix my big financial misstep.)

Posted by: didofoot at April 5, 2004 10:52 AM

er...but i am a great worker. great. and reliable.

Posted by: didofoot at April 5, 2004 10:52 AM

And extremely fiscally dependable, too.

Posted by: dianna at April 5, 2004 11:02 AM

I thought I commented earlier, but apparently it didn't go though...

I wanted to make mention of your utter failure to satisfy the mounting suspense. So get to it! Satisfy!

(I am launching a preemptive strike against sexual innuendo. Any percieved in the above is in the mind of the reader, not the writer.)

Posted by: Chris at April 5, 2004 12:00 PM

uh, chris, the very fact that you commented on the supposedly nonexistent sexual innuendo suggests that it was in your mind, as the writer. whether it was your intention to have the demand to 'Satisfy!' taken in *that way* is, of course, still up to you.

and btw, 'the demand to satisfy taken in that way' was intentional sexual innuendo. see? it's not hard to admit! my name is erik and i have a dirty mind.

Posted by: Erik at April 5, 2004 02:11 PM

I'm sorry Erik, I had hoped it was clear that it was absolutely intentional. My 'preemptive attack' was an attempt at irony. I was seeking to offend and confound in a single blow.

Heh heh. Blow.

Posted by: Chris at April 5, 2004 02:26 PM

Ahem. Are you gentlemen done there? Are you satisfied with your puerile sidetracking of my blog comments?

Heheh... satisfied.


Posted by: dianna at April 5, 2004 03:11 PM

Damn, see...that's the problem with printed sarcasm...the effect can be difficult to detect. I've gotten fucked by this very problem plenty of times in the past.

Huh huh huh, fucked.

pueri non; viri sumus. Right Chris?

Posted by: Erik at April 5, 2004 07:17 PM

Right Erik. Whatever you say.

Posted by: Chris at April 6, 2004 07:55 AM

That's the great thing about random Latin phrases...it's the language of Philosophers, Popes, and Romans (and Roman Philosopher-Popes), and everyone assumes that anything in Latin is lofty, full of wisdom (since, indeed, those Romans were a lofty-ass people). In this case, I was being fairly serious (compare puerile to virile and you get my meaning...) but I can only imagine what havoc one could wreak using Latin for evil. Latin pick-up lines. Latin road rage. Latin engineering project presentations. Latin anywhere one wants the general response to be 'whatever you say.' Awesome.

Posted by: Erik at April 6, 2004 10:43 AM

My lab's official motto is:
"Temptamus, simile, ultra dure."

Dorks R Us.

Posted by: Jacob at April 6, 2004 11:19 AM

I know three latin words: Sic Semper Tyrannis.

Posted by: Chris at April 6, 2004 09:52 PM

You know more than that: pro bono, status quo, semper fidelis, anno domini, and so on. And who in their right mind would make an ambiguous statement about tyrants into a state motto anyway? Virginia is hereby declared wack.

Temptamus, simile, ultra dure, by the way, means "We try, like, super hard".

Posted by: dianna at April 6, 2004 09:58 PM