Friday, April 15, 2005

The post-mortem

Ok, I've found another job that I want so badly I can taste it. We're talking dream job, here. Things that I've been interested in for years. The position I interviewed for today was that of an analyst at Siegel & Gale. I would would work in research, project management, contribute to brand strategic planning and ultimately help put together the client presentation. Basically, what I did in grad school a bunch of times.

And I so did not get it.

I interviewed with two senior level people in the brand strategy department, and was scheduled for an hour with each. I talked with the first person for about 45 minutes and thought it went really well. I was able to describe relevant experiences, give satisfactory answers to questions, and felt we just generally hit it off. At the end, I felt like I'd earned her stamp of approval.

Not so with my second interviewer. I thought it started off ok... he had done work with the market research firm where I used to intern, and I was able to speak well about some of my grad school and work experiences. But then I felt like it started to go downhill. I couldn't articulate my answers very well, and some answers that I'd just made up weren't very well-supported (it turns out that thinking on my feet is something that I cannot do. Talk, yes... reason, no.) I couldn't even define the essence of the Starbucks brand. I work there. It's probably in our training manual. List attributes, yes, but articulate that distinctive and unique thing that only Starbucks has, no. You know those computer tests where you get different questions based on whether you answer one right or wrong? It was like I was answering all the questions wrong, so he kept making them easier and eventually gave up altogether. My first interviewer had warned me that he would ask me a couple of case questions. Those never came. In fact, I was only there for about 20 of the 60 minutes that had been scheduled, and at the end he they were interviewing lots of people for these positions and were hiring all the time and said that if a position came open that they thought was a good fit for me, I'd get a call. Implying about as overtly as possible that neither of the two positions that are currently open will be filled by me. Nice to meet you. Have a nice life.

Deep breath. Be philosophical about this. If they don't like you, or don't think that your skills are a match with the job (which, after all, they know better than you do), or even think that you lack skills entirely, then chances are the job is not for you. However powerful your conviction is, however many times you make that wish over and over at 11:11, or however much that you complain to your parents that you were robbed, you're wrong. Y'know, the mature man's sour grapes.

But that doesn't mean you can't be pissed off about it.

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