I didn’t want to jinx it, so I stopped blogging and kept my mouth shut. Last week, having found three exciting job posts to apply to I felt confident that:
This could be the end of my long-run with unemployment.
As of now, two of the positions I have yet to hear back from. As these days have mounted since, time has extinguished my initial excitement and my previous hope that these prospects would result in interviews followed by job offers.
However, it is the one posting that I did get a response to that I should be focusing on. First, we a successful ping-pong back and forth via email before for our telephone interview. It left me feeling confident:
I had sparked her interest. Whoo-hoo!
This wasn’t a typical job and my cover letter wasn’t typical either. After speaking with her I learned that she would have just passed up my resume otherwise. So, there are lessons to be learned:
Cover letters should be enthusiastic and maybe I should re-write my resume so it sparkles instead of reading like an application.
But like I said: this wasn’t the typical job. So, should I really move away from the ‘business-like’ approach when applying for a job?
I suppose if your reading this far you want to know how the interview went. I’d have to say it went great that is until she pulled out those interview questions and began asking me questions that I already answered in casual conversation.
She asked me why I wanted to work in this field as opposed to what I have been doing. What did she really want to know?
- Why do I no longer wish to be unemployed? (No, that can’t be it.)
- Will I miss my garden? (I told her if my garden means that much to me I will get up earlier in the morning.) She seemed jealous that I have been working in the garden while she has been busy trying to start-up this business.
- Do I miss my clients that I haven’t served in the past year and a half? Well, yes I have. I miss helping people and I miss feeling useful. (But it is not like I’m leaving them to come to work for you.)
I then had to explain to her how in my prior position: working in a psychiatric residence engaging those clients in activities or my position before that in an educational setting engaging youth in activities is similar to the position she is looking to fill: engaging her prospective clients.
She had mentioned my location being a great distance from her and I didn’t think this to be a negative as she was looking to expand in area and the position included meeting with clients. As the job posting was also listed under ‘work from home‘ why would I have thought she expected the team to be meeting at ‘her home office’?
Then, she asked the question that always ‘knocks me out of the game’, what kind of salary was I expecting? And it became clear to me that it was time to clarify her expectations.
- Quick calculations: 1 hour drive to work, 1 hour’s pay in the gas tank, and 1 hour driving home = 3 hours of my time x 5 work days, 15 hours a week work without pay and a 10 hour work-day. (Been there, done that), but not for a business that may or may not get off the ground and couldn’t guarantee any salary we might possibly come to agree on.
What’s with these ‘interview questions’? Before them getting a job was so easy. It use to be a conversation, followed by a job offer, concluded with a handshake.