Tuesday, July 1, 2008

They Really Should Update the Standard Questions

You all know I'm back on the job market, right? Sure you do! I've whined about it a couple of times. Well, its been a month now, so I thought I'd offer up an update on the Great Job Search of 2008.

Still unemployed. Still looking. Still interviewing.

Which leads us to our blogging post topic of the day. Ridiculous interview questions. Specifically those posed by the interviewER, not the interviewEE.

So, why do you want to work for ABC Company?

Let's see. Can't answer this one honestly, and tell them that I've sent my resume to no less than 150 different companies in the last 30 days, so at this point I want to work for any company that will PAY me. Have to make something up about how over the course of my limited years here in this desert hell, I've seen their company name several times, which tells me that they're a stable, well established company, which is definitely something I'm looking for. Blah, blah, blah.

If we were to call your most recent employer, what do you think they'd say about you?

Huh. Well, considering I WAS FIRED, I'm guessing that they wouldn't rave about how indispensable I am. (Somewhat long story behind that, and if you want to know, email me and I'll be happy to tell you. I still believe its not something I should put out there for all the Internet to see.) No, what I have to say is that although I was let go, I was assured by my former employer that they would give me an absolutely glowing reference, as my discharge was in no way connected to my job performance. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

What do you consider your greatest weakness?

See, I really hate this one. What am I supposed to say? That its probably a weakness to be constantly irritated by stupid questions? Should I ask them what specific weakness they are hoping to avoid, and then let them know if I have that one or not? Over my many years of looking for a job in various job markets, this question has always stumped me, and on one occasion I can say with absolute certainty was the SINGLE BIGGEST reason I did not get the job. Something about needing things done my own way, and not being able to get along well with coworkers who disagreed with me on what that way might be. I'm doing my best to block that permanently from my memory.

What are your career goals and/or where do you see yourself in five years?

I know, I know. Sometimes this is a good question. It helps to weed out the underachievers and overly complacent. I get that. However, when faced with an unemployed, desperate mother, let me fill you in on a little secret. Our single biggest career goal is to get a PAYING JOB. One that will allow me to do something crazy for my kids. Like buy them something to eat for dinner that ISN'T ramen noodles. Something with meat in it. Or at least a meat product. As for five years from now? I see myself with only three more years of needing to make sure that grocery cart contains enough protein for an active athlete with a killer metabolism.

What about this position appeals to you?

You mean, aside from the paycheck? You know, the paycheck that you might consider being willing to give me in exchange for my being willing to settle for significantly less than what I know my experience is worth? I'm sorry, was there another aspect to this job that I missed?

Although I have to say that one of my best interviews so far, a recent phone interview, was with a company where I actually admitted to not knowing anything about the company. Not even knowing what position I had actually applied for. When she asked me that question above, I was honest with the interviewer, telling her that over the course of the last few weeks I had sent my resume to more job postings than I could even really count, so I wasn't even clear on which ad her company had posted. She laughed, and that relaxed things so that the rest of the interview felt like it flowed rather smoothly. She went so far as to tell me that I was the only candidate she had even discussed salary with, and assured me that was a good thing.

I suppose she could have been laughing AT me. I'll be sure and let you know.


Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I've got my fingers crossed for you. I wish I could apply and interview for my spouse!

Stella said...

The weakness question always gets me!! My least favorite!

Definitely keeping my fingers crossed for you!!

I may be emailing you...I'm curious about the story...

Flea said...

Here's hoping she's laughing with you. And hoping you found out more about the job - things like days and hours and such. And you KNOW I'll be emailing you. :)

*~*Cece*~* said...

My answer to the greatest weakness question would be "Using the company's high speed internet b/c it loads much quicker than mine at home" lol Think I'd get hired?

Jennifer H said...

I dread the day when I might have to job hunt again. Sounds like you know all the right things to say. I might let you/beg you to go on interview for me!