When you have a hard time interviewing because the person who is interviewing you don’t know geography, which should not matter but it does
I’ve been looking for a new job, a task that might be even more demoralizing than trying on bathing suits in a dressing room fitted out with fluorescent light and a five-dollar mirror.
I have applied for about 50 positions in the past six weeks.
I have gotten five phone interviews.
I have gotten no in-person interviews. Yet. I hope that’s just a “yet.”
But this morning, I got a rejection from one of the places where I had a phone interview.
I have to admit that I don’t seem to do well interviewing with young men in their 20s. Maybe it’s me? Maybe it’s them? I don’t know, but my attempts to establish rapport fall flat.
[The women I have spoken to – the other phone interviews – have been fabulous. They made the experience nice and easy and they were absolutely lovely. They represented their organizations well.]
This guy who rejected me got on the phone last week and pretty much jumped straight into his prepared questions. Barely any “Hi how are you doing? Isn’t this weather awful? Do you think spring will ever come?”
Just straight to his questions.
Which I guess I answered wrong.
He is my second data point for interviewing with young men.
The first time was years ago when I had an in-person interview on site.
I got to the place and was waiting in reception, which was a two-story atrium. Recruiter came down the stairs to get me – and stopped on the landing midway between the first and second floors.
“Texan?” he called as he looked around reception.
“Hi!” I said as I walked toward the stairs, waiting for him to descend completely.
Which he did not.
On the landing.
So – I climbed up to him.
He shook my hand and turned to lead me upstairs.
We went into a meeting room.
He did not say, “Would you like something to drink? Do you need to use the restroom?”
These are always my first words to anyone visiting me at work.
The “Would you like something to drink?” are the first words to anyone who crosses my threshold at home. I also ask if guests to my home want something to eat.
It is my intention that nobody ever leave my house hungry or thirsty and I certainly don’t want them hungry or thirsty while they are in my house.
It gets better.
He did try to establish some rapport with me.
He asked, “Where did you go to high school?”
Well OK. High school was before college and college was before grad school, but whatever. He was trying.
“My dad was in the military,” I answered. “I went to high school in the Panama Canal Zone.”
I didn’t expect a detailed conversation about it, but – that is kind of unusual for someone in the upper Midwest to have gone to high school in Panama, I think. Isn’t it?
“Oh!” he answered brightly. “I love Florida, but I usually go to Tampa!”
What do you even say to that?
What do you say to that when the person who makes such a statement is the gatekeeper between you and possibly employment?
You don’t say what I wanted to say, which was, “How do you even have a job?”
I swallowed, took a breath, and said, “Yeah! Tampa’s great!”
But. I did not get another interview.
I hate this process.