Thursday, January 11, 2007

"What do you hope to get out of this job?"

Ok, now I have seen it all.

Since being unemployed I have only been able to score a handful of interviews. Five to be exact unless I am missing one which is entirely possible.

Yesterday's interview took the cake. It was a receptionist job. I know what you're all thinking. "Receptionist job, Lisa? I mean, really." The fact of the matter is admin and receptionist jobs are the only jobs currently out there not to mention the only jobs willing to call me back because my resume is so "diverse". I had so many different jobs. It's all over the board, sales, marketing, research, journalism, customer service. One thing is for sure, I certainly dabbled.

So, this particular interview was at a dental practice. I thought my dentist's office was a nice comfortable place to go but this place has it beat. There is a masseuse in the waiting room and ladies can have paraffin waxes while they wait too. There is a fridge stocked with water, a babysitting service and they even give you lipgloss on your way out if your lips took a beating from keeping your mouth open all that time. Swanky.

I walk in and I am all ready for my interview. I have my resume in hand, recommendation letters and references attached and I am red to go. The receptionist handed me an application. An application. What is up with companies still making you fill out applications like a freaking mall job. List your jobs. Your education. Seriously. It is absurd but I'll play along. This is the second time I witnessed this insanity. Finally, I grew tired of repeating myself and just clipped my resume to the application. I flipped through to make sure I got everything and that is when I saw it.

Page 3.

Page 3 of the application was a graphology test. For those of you who didn't work in the autograph biz or don't know anyone in the FBI or CIA, a graphology test is a handwriting analysis test that can determine your personality by your handwriting. And you sillies thought it had something to do with your zodiac sign. Hah! Theses particular questions focused on your past job. I guess that was an added security measure to see if you were lying. Sometimes, they can tell if you are lying by how small or tight you make your letters. Well, wouldn't you know, i was ready to run. I completely forgot how to write cursive. I haven;t done it in so long that almost every letter escaped me. They also requested you not use lined paper but the page happened to be laying right over a lined page so it was impossible not to. Visually, the line was there. My writing will probably deem me a serial killer. But careful, I might be lying that I indeed do know how to answer the phone.

However, I was somewhat prepared for the interview that would follow. When the guy called to pre-screen me he asked what i consider a silly question that makes me want to scream "Duhhhhhh" followed by an air horn. I get it a lot because the jobs I am applying for are not anywhere near what my experience is in. I guess it is valid from their point of view. They want to make sure they aren't going to take the time to train me and I am out the door when something better comes along. But really, in this job market, you should be grateful you have people with half a brain applying for these gigs.

The question: "What do you hope to get out of this job?"

Well, let's see, it's a receptionist job. I'm not quite sure anyone actually seeks these types of jobs and surely you don't want to hear me say "um, a paycheck and some benefits" so what else can I say? I give the standby. I am looking for stability. A job that i don't have to worry how the market is going to affect it because everyone has teeth!

The guys asked me this on the phone and again when he was meeting with me. Honestly, I am sick and tired of this question. I mean anyone who reads a newspaper knows that the job market is not great. Why else would you be getting people who have accounting backgrounds or marketing backgrounds applying for admin jobs. HELLOOOOO!!!!! Ace!

Anyway, I was there for almost 2 hours. I met with the employee coordinator, some chick who i am not sure what her role is and the doctor who owns the joint. They mentioned me coming back for a second interview. I wanted to say, "um, are you hiring me as a dentist because I didn't have two interviews for most jobs I had that didn't require just picking up your phone."

My favorite was that he grilled me on my Excel knowledge and then when I asked if it was software they used, he said no. WTF?

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