Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Interview

It was the first resume I submitted since setting foot in Berkeley. I have been toying with the idea of getting some gainful employment and I was sitting at the dining room table trolling Monster. There are almost never any good jobs listed on Monster. Most of the jobs I have been offered in recent years have come via networking-it's all about who you know. Well out here in California I am at a bit of a disadvantage in that area, so I was on....Monster. I sat at the table a glass of wine by my side, dressed in my pj's and clicked on a posting for an Executive Recruiter with an agency. What the heck? I thought and pressed the submit resume button. Who knows. I can do the job and the downtown Berkeley location means a minimal commute. Will see what happens.

The next morning I received an email requesting a phone call. When was I available? Heck I don't know. Is this a real phone interview, or just a quick five minute call? Do I need to find a babysitter so there is no extraneous kid noise in the background when we have this conversation? Who could I get on short notice? Eventually we settled upon a time, scheduled the call and I warned my interviewer that I have small children and that I would be calling from home with the kids (am I trying to sabotage myself?)

The phone interview was twenty minutes and I was on my game. I know how to interview. Because that's what I do. I interview. The end result- I have an in-person interview next week.

Of course I can't take the kids with me to the interview. That is one of the disadvantages of being a stay at home parent. You cannot call in sick. You cannot say that you'll be in a couple of hours late. You cannot make up a story, so you have to figure something else out. I negotiated with the husband and he is able to cover me. I just have to hope that the interview doesn't go long, because he needs to get back to the office by lunch.

Next-what is a gal to wear? I know, I know a suit. But my only suit is looking a bit, shall we say dated. Yet, I am not ready to invest in a new one. So, I could either go out on a limb and wear a more fashion forward business casual outfit, or be conservative and wear my old sad suit. Seeing as this is executive search, I am opting it is.

Then I look at my nails. Seems silly, but this profession is somewhat superficial. A lot about presentation. I am not all that presentable these days. My nails-short stubby messes. But to get them done would require a sitter, and more money. So I'll try to file them up and hope they will not be too offensive. ( I pray that my interviewers do not have perfectly lacquered acrylic nails, but they more than likely will, I know the game.)

I'll polish off the look with my most expensive jewelry and hope that the glimmer of diamonds can blind the panel of judgment, even just a little.

So how about the meat? The actual interview? I should worry about what I am going to say right? The thing is, because interviewing is at the heart of my profession, I am extremely comfortable with the process. Perhaps too comfortable. I usually (knock on wood, spit three times etc, etc) am a great interview. I have sort of mastered the art. It is too bad that I cannot make millions by simply being interviewed. I do worry that while I am on the other side of the table, I may slip back into the role of interviewer, and thus come across as controlling. It's a reasonable concern. I may also appear over confident. Who knows.

The real question is what am I doing? Do I really want to be successful and "win" a job? Perhaps, if it pays about $100/hour and requires only part time employment... unlikely, but it's okay to dream.

I'll keep you posted....

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