I promised I’d tell you a little about my job interview last wednesday, so here goes. I do have to warn you, it’s going to be a long post!
I had the appointment at 9:30am, and since it was close to where I used to live, finding the place wasn’t hard at all – think that’s worth some bonus points. Since I was early, I had to wait at the reception for a little bit. They had a couch there, so I took a seat… And almost immediately regretted it. The couch was so soft that I felt like my butt had hit the floor, and despite my lack of height, my legs were hovering above the floor. I felt a panic coming up; how the hell was I supposed to get up without looking like a turtle on its back?
After a little while, a tall, older-looking man came up to me (we’ll call him W. for now), and I tried to get up as elegantly as possible
and hopelessly failed. He led me into a small, dark-ish meeting room, and left again to get us something to drink. The wallpaper in the room immediately caught my eye, it was a dusty rose colour and it looked velvety, and it took me all my willpower to stop myself from getting up and touching it. It was sheer torture!
I was obviously glad when W. finally came back with our drinks, and after he put them on the table he said “You’re probably wondering where I got this tan?”. In all honesty, I hadn’t really thought about his tan (else I’d described him as tall, tanned older-looking man), but now that he pointed it out, well, he did have a nice tan! “I’ve spent the weekend sailing. Look, this is my boat!”, and he pointed to one of the boats on a company poster. I knew from my “research” that they were involved in sailing, but I didn’t expect that employees would be on the boats too!
He talked a little more about the sailing, then sat down, gave me his card and said “I’m not from Human Resources, I have no idea how a job interview is supposed to go, so let’s just exchange some info”. I glanced at the card, and saw that he was the vice president of the company, so I decided to share my opinion with him and said “Well, HR people usually don’t have any clue on what the job is and which requirements are really needed, so I guess you’ll do a better job at it anyway”. This could’ve gone completely wrong, I know, but I had decided to just be myself all the way and luckily he could appreciate my way of thinking.
W. started off by drawing an organization chart for me, after which he told me a little bit about every department. The “big boss” P. was 67 years old, and owned two villas. The next “layer” were three main departments; Administration, Realization and Sales. W. himself was in charge of the Sales department, R. was the main man in Administration, and I’d fall under Realization, led by G. The organization isn’t too hierarchic, which I liked a lot.
Of course, since I came on interview for the Purchase Department, the rest of the story mostly focussed on that. W. told me that they used to have a real Purchase Department, but it had “fallen apart” and basically, the Sales people were just ordering things with the suppliers. I could hardly believe it! Don’t get me wrong here, Sales people are fun. But they just have very different skills from Purchase folk. So the whole administration part of the Purchase Department was a shitmess, and that’s where R. comes into the picture. R., being Main Admin Man and accountant, doesn’t like administrational mess at all. And I can’t blame him; everything has to be right before he can and will pay the bills. Inconsistencies are a huge no-no, and have to be solved. Which is not a forte of Sales Departments, obviously.
I told W. how I always worked very closely to the accountant in my previous job, just to show that I knew the importance of “check, check, triple check” and proper agreements with the suppliers. He seemed to be very impressed, and started telling me a little about R. You see, R. is a little… Special. He’s very sceptical about everybody, and thinks he knows everything better. Some might call him an asshole (pardon my French), but I decided to call him a challenge instead. Especially after W. told me that their previous Purchase guy left after 8 years because of R., and the replacement they had left after one day with R..
W. thought I might have some trouble with R. too, because I came across very confident of my skills, and R. doesn’t like know-it-alls, despite being the king of them. I was actually very pleased he said that, because I’m usually not that confident at all. It’s just that I know the job, and I figured that there’s a snowball’s chance in hell I’d make their non-existent department even worse. Add to that that R. has been working there for approximately 25 years (which is all my life!), and I have next to no knowledge of their company and the products, and voilà; I have no reason at all to be arrogant. Plus, my parents have raised me very well; I wouldn’t dare disrespect an elder, no matter what. I am, however, confident enough to think that I might even be able to impress R. at some point in time.
There was another problem W. predicted I’d have: the Front Desk girls. Every time there’s a job opening “upstairs”, they want to apply, so they probably won’t be all too pleased with me. That actually scared me more than R.’s attitude; I really don’t like mean girls, that’s a huge weak spot for me. I do understand why they’d dislike me; I’m around their age and they get surpassed despite doing a great job downstairs (although there was one ramming on her iPhone and sighing really hard whenever the office phone rang, I’d surpass that unmotivated mess too). I really hope I’ll be able to make them see that it’s just my experience with the work, and that I didn’t mean to screw anybody over.
After an hour or so of talking and laughing a lot, W. asked me if I maybe had the time to stay a little longer because he wanted me to meet R. and G. too. I told him I had all the time in the world, so he went to get them and… Left me alone with ’em! That scared the shit out of me, because I’d had to win them over now, too, and knowing R.’s problem with people… I lost all the confidence I had. Luckily, they were just asking a lot of questions, on how I got to my previous job, and why I’d left, and why I didn’t end up working in the field of Psychology and all that. I did have the idea they were more sceptical, but I made them laugh a few times so I figured maybe I had a chance anyway.
R.’s main concern was that I might be too “commercial”, and easily bored with the job there because it’s not as dynamic as my previous one. Personally, I liked that “boring” aspect because that would mean it’s less easy to make a huge mess, especially when there’s a lot of cleaning up to do in the first place. There are a lot of things that I wouldn’t have to do any more, but I don’t mind that at all. And it doesn’t have to be boring; I know I’ll have a blast learning about all their stuff, and since they have over 20.000 products that should keep me busy for a while :) In a way, a job is not unlike life; it’s just what you make of it.
Another hour later, we were finished. W. came over, and I asked if they’d maybe have an indication on when they’ll know if it’s yes or no. G. answered: “Well, it’s Wednesday today, so you’ll know by Friday”, and I told them that I was impressed because some companies need 2 weeks to figure that stuff out, which made them laugh again. I thanked R. and G. for their time, and said something silly like “maybe until next time”. W. said he’d walk me out, and on our way downstairs he mentioned that he’d heard us laugh a lot. I figured that was a good thing, and decided to tell him that this was the longest, but by far most fun job interview I’ve ever had. I thanked him for his time as well, and went on my way.
When I finally got home (after taking a little detour through town), I called my mom to tell her about the interview. I had the feeling it had gone very well, but of course you never know. So I guess you can imagine my surprise when I got the phone call the same day! I went to sign the contract on Thursday, and I’m still super excited, and really looking forward to Monday. Let the games begin!
I hope I haven’t bored y’all too much with this lengthy post ;) Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend! -I know I will :)