26 August 2014

Long Form Essay in Pencil

I had another job interview today for a job that I wasn't super excited about.  It's part-time (yea!) but it's in the Human Resources department of a school district so: paperwork. (ugh)

The person that scheduled the interview mentioned on the telephone that it would be a two-part interview but didn't go any further with information.  I'd forgotten this part until I pulled into the parking lot.  This is good, I guess, because I couldn't obsess about it.

The district office is a maze of what appears to be what was intended to be a temporary office. I don't think I could find my way through it again to save my life.  The reason that I know this maze exists is that the first part of the interview was an ESSAY.  Yes, an essay. 

The best part is that I had to sit in what was clearly once a closet.  It had a little workstation but there were storage shelves behind me and the random effluvia that storage closets hold. I was in a room the size of a guest bathroom and they shut the door when they left. Good thing I'm not claustrophobic.
It did make me wonder if that was the best they could offer, after seeing the maze of workstations and empty desks on my way through the labyrinth of rooms.

Anyway.  Essay, yes.

I was given a set of instruction with a space to write below and an attached sheet.  I was also offered a legal pad in case I wanted to use that instead.  And a pencil.  And I had to write my name on the top.  I swear to you this is true.

Well, obviously, writing is not an issue for me.  I wasn't the least bit concerned when I sat down.  She told me that I had thirty-minutes to complete it then she would return to get me.  I nearly asked if I should come out when I was done but I didn't want to appear cocky.

I started at 10:29 and finished at 10:40.  Twenty minutes to sit and wait and contemplate the wonders of the storage closet. As it was a job interview, I didn't bring my phone with me. So regret that choice!  Instead I fidgeted in my chair, I reread my work (three times), and fidgeted some more. 

Oh, I had the choice of two questions:  "What are your professional goals in your career?" and "What communication attributes will you bring to the district when it comes to interacting with the students, parents, staff, and co-workers?"

I hate the Goals question because I never have a good answer.  If I'm being honest, I want an easy job that pays decently and that I can quit in a few years.  This is not a good answer for a potential employer.

So, I answered in proper essay form and in long-hand, with a pencil, question number two.  I had some serious flashbacks to high school. Stuck in a room, writing an essay, just like when I had in-school suspension.

After the requisite twenty minutes passed, I was shuttled back through the maze to the reception area.  I waited just a few minutes then was taken into a conference room and interviewed by FOUR people.  The superintendent, his assistant, the receptionist, and the schools supervisor. Two had a sense of humor and two did not.

I never know how to sit at these things.  I'm not so much tall so most chairs and tables are too tall.  I just leaned forward on the table and did the best that I could.  At least it wasn't a spinny chair, those are impossible to look grown-up in for me.

The interview went well, I think. One never knows with these things.  I tend not to reflect too much on it because it's so utterly out of my control. We'll see.  I never get my hopes up for these things, although it would be nice to go back to work doing something.

So, here I am, it took less than an hour out of my day to momentarily time-travel to high school again. Now I'm back home reading a book and looking forward to the last four episodes of Doctor Who.
*shrug* Life is weird.

1 comment:

Swistle said...

I love "If I'm being honest, I want an easy job that pays decently and that I can quit in a few years. This is not a good answer for a potential employer."

At one of my interviews, it was at a conference table with something like 4-6 people all asking me questions. One asked why I wanted the job, but he phrased it so reverently, as if perhaps all my life I'd been waiting and hoping for this particular $6/hour receptionist job. This led me to answer him very frankly, perhaps TOO frankly: "Well, I need a job. And this is one I'm qualified to do. So I applied for it." I said it cheerfully, though. (I did not get the job.)