I Met the President!

Ok, I didn’t meet THE president. But I met a president. Let me explain.

This weekend, I traveled to the DC area for an interview. Yes, an interview!! I haven’t had one in some months. The college shall remain nameless, but it’s pretty much an unknown school. I shall refer to it as Random College to make this easier to discuss.

The interview had been about a month in the making. Why? Well, let me go back for a second. I had applied for a position at Random College last year, in August sometime. I received a call about the job from their HR and was told I didn’t have the necessary background for it. (I didn’t have the degree they wanted, but I met all the other qualifications.)

Fortunately, there was another position open that they wanted me to interview for. Sweet! But when I found out what it was, I was disappointed. I didn’t meet any of the qualifications. Yes, are you confused as to why they thought I’d be a good fit? Me too. Still, I went ahead and interviewed. It wasn’t a great interview, but that wasn’t my fault. I didn’t apply for the job in the first place!

Time passed and clearly I didn’t get the job. But check this out: as time went by, the original job I applied for with Random College was reposted THREE times! If you’re job hunting, you’ve seen this happen. It sucks! It’s like, you passed me up, but now you can’t find anyone for this job. Stupid.

Ok, let me fast forward to a month ago.

I posted my resume on a popular job site and allowed it to be searchable. I had never done that before, but I decided, what the heck. Well, wouldn’t ya know, I was contacted about a job in two days! Awesome! But here’s the kicker: it was for the SAME job I had applied for at Random School!! What was this sorcery!?

A senior-level person at the college emailed and said they saw my resume on the job site and thought I’d be a good fit for the position. Then, they instructed me to contact them if I was interested. So, I did. And then I waited. And waited. And I waited for a few days. No response. Ok, so I emailed again. And I waited. And waited some more. No response for days! Days turned into weeks. Grrrr, what was going on?? I was so upset. Why contact me in the first place?!

Then, after three weeks, I get an email. The man apologized and explained (in a nutshell) that they needed to work out some things with HR. He essentially explained that he found out I interviewed for another position (the one I didn’t even qualify for) and wanted to get info about what was going to happen with that. Clearly nothing was going to happen, as I had interviewed for that position back in August! Anyway, he ended the email saying he’d call. And he did, later that day. We chatted for about 10 minutes. He asked some simple questions about my experience/background. Then said he wanted me to come in for an interview. Awesome!

Interview Time

I go for the interview. HR set up the interview for me to meet with the senior-level person and a professor in the school where I would work. [Random College has various schools, like a School of Ed, a School of Nursing, etc.] The senior-level person would be my boss and the professor would be someone I’d work closely with. The interview went well. I think I answered everything great and they seemed into my responses. Good. Great. After this, I had to take a skills test on Word & Excel. It was simple. I think I did well. Finally, a few hours later, I had to meet with the PRESIDENT of the college. I know! Big time! But this is when things got weird.

I met with the president (and FOUNDER) of the college, and with their VP of Academic Affairs. Again, big deal! But, remember, this is a small, small, unknown school. Soooo, it wasn’t that big of deal for me. I know, that sounds mean, but it wasn’t. And I’m glad I didn’t psych myself out because it was the WEIRDEST interview I’ve ever had in my life. While the VP asked perfectly reasonable questions about my experience, etc, the president asked the following array of questions.

(In no particular order…)

“What time of day do you like to work? Mornings? Evenings? For how long?”

“Do you use social media? How many Twitter followers do you have? How many Facebook friends do you have?” (I answered these questions. When I said I had about 200 FB friends, his response, “OH! You need more friends!” and proceeds to laugh!

“You studied anthropology? Why? Why not sociology? So, what is the difference between sociology and anthropology?” (I was completely thrown with this question. Well, not with the why did I study anthro part, but with the rest of it!)

“Have you taught before? (Me: No.) “Why not? You should go back to school and become a teacher.” (????)

“So, you don’t have your Ph.D.? Why not?” (Um, dude, read my resume! Second, that sh*t takes time and money! You don’t just do a Ph.D. for the hell of it!)

“You should get your Ph.D. in anthropology, then you can teach here.” Proceeds to laugh. (Huh??!)

“You say you love students very much, so that makes me nervous. You must talk a lot with them. How long do you spend with a student in your last job? An hour?” (Me: No, I spend typically 20-30 minutes, but it depends on the situation.) “That’s too long. You can’t talk and talk with them. They only need, maybe 15 minutes.” At this point, the VP speaks up and disagrees with him. They go back and forth on the length of time students should be advised. I’m sitting there, looking on. In disbelief. That this is an interview. *sigh*

“You studied higher education. Why not anthropology?” (He kept harping on anthro.)

“You haven’t found a job, so if you don’t get this one, what will you do?” (Way to make me feel super awkward, dude.)

Let me pause and say, this barrage of questioning went on for an HOUR! The VP jumped in and asked her questions, which were normal questions. But this guy… I didn’t know how to handle his questions and statements. I answered everything, but felt incredibly awkward/weird/unsure when I did. I didn’t know/get the sense if he was really taking my answers to heart or not. It was SO weird! I must also mention that the president had an extremely thick accent and mumbled. I’m not saying this to be racist, I’m just stating it because on top of the questions being odd, it was very hard for me to understand him. So, this was a very difficult interview, to say the least!

After that, I honestly didn’t know what to think. I had no clear sense after I left if I would get this job or not. To be honest, I don’t know if I even want it! I was told by HR earlier that day, that the president is VERY involved with everything! It’s a small school. He’s the founder! So of course he’s involved. During both interviews, they impressed upon me that the position would be tons of work. Everyone said I’d be wearing several hats and would be extremely busy. I wasn’t worried about that, I’ve worked in busy offices before. I can’t imagine how busy it would be though, given the number of students and staff. It can’t be nearly as busy as when I worked at UMich. Or even at my last college for that matter, which had significantly less students than UMich. Random College is even smaller than the size of my intro psych class in undergrad, which was about 1,600 people.  So, I’ll just take their word for it.

Anyway, that was it. Another crazy interview. I’m tired of people not knowing how to properly interview. Out of all of the interviews I’ve had, there have been so many where people were just so inept at asking appropriate questions. I “love” the ones where they ask me about experiences I clearly have not stated on my resume/cover letter. I don’t know what’s up with that. I spent one interview several months ago, not answering questions regarding my nonexistent management/supervisory experience. Seriously, if I had that kind of experience, I would DEFINITELY list it! That’s great experience to have, why would I leave that off my resume or not put it in my cover? I felt like such an idiot because I kept responding that I didn’t have that experience. And I couldn’t I pull something out of my head that was even close to management experience. That to me is just poor interview skills. If I answer negatively to one question regarding managerial skills, don’t you think I’ll answer negatively to the rest? More than likely, I will.

*sigh*

Well, friends, the search continues. I’ll keep you posted.

-t

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