Sunday, September 2, 2007

Assignment Two---Interview Report

I paired up with someone at work who humored me with this assignment. We interviewed each other for about five minutes each; however, I went over as the interviewee because I strayed off topic and was not as concise as I should have been.

Most of the interview questions were taken from the following website:

What did you learn? I used to be very succinct in interviews but I have discovered that I socialize too much when interviewing. When people ask why are you trying to get back into the writing profession or why are you making a switch from working in the hospital to information science or whatever question they ask, I give a long-winded explanation of the last six years of my life. I have tried to explain I never left. I had a bad car accident and there were massive layoffs in the park and I needed a job. I was able to find hospital work after a ten-year absence. I have had many people calling about writing jobs but I am not interested in short-term contract work because of the medical insurance issues. Since I knew the person I was interviewing with, I found I was able to be more concise and not feel I need to explain so much. I really need to work at addressing the question professionally and succinctly and to concentrate and not be distracted.

This leads me to ask: What is too much information and what is just enough? I think sometimes you and the interviewer are comfortable talking and well you start talking about life. And stuff happens. I didn’t use to be informal or casual in interviews. I think I have used this information to test the interviewer. Do I want to work for people who do not get it? I hopefully am to the point that it is just a sentence or two about why I didn’t work for a year and why I ended up working at the hospital.

I also use humor more than I should so the interviews become delightful discussions about the job and my experience and of course graduate school. However, I think I need to minimize the humor to make the interviews more professional.

I also learned that I would answer a question not asked as I am answering a question about other information. The interviewer then takes this question off of the list.

How much interviewing experience have you had already? I have had a fair amount of interviewing experience in the past but not a lot for the last five years. However, I have had three interviews in the last six months. It was interesting to read some of the interview information listed at the various web sites provided and to see how I used to interview versus how I interview now.

For example: One of the references I read mentioned something about trying to interview at a time of day for which you are used to functioning. I work 330 to midnight and so I told the interviewer during the phone interview that I am typically up until 4 am. So she schedules me for an 830 am interview that includes a presentation of my web pages in a conference room in front of a group of five people. I asked her if we could change it to later in the day and she said that was the only time she had. So I went into this interview for the experience and not with a plan to get this job. I knew no matter how much coffee I had it would not be my best.

Another reference mentioned the interviewer decides within the first five minutes if you are the one they will hire and after that the interview is just pleasant discussion about the job. How do you know if you are having a pleasant discussion about the job with charming people or that you are not even being considered?

If you have not interviewed someone else before this, how was it different from being the interview-ee?When I interviewed my coworker, I was probably too casual because I knew her. I took some of the general questions from the following web site listed on page 1. I kept the questions general and open-ended. I found as I listened to my coworker, I found myself asking questions out of the order listed because she would say something that answered an unasked question. In addition, at the end I had to go through my list and make sure I didn’t miss any questions because the interview path did not follow the list of questions.

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