Friday, December 9, 2011


The silly rabbit all dolled up for inspection!
Yesterday's interview was interesting.
The first thing I did, upon entering the site
where I hope to work...
was to watch the people who were
performing the task that I hope to do.
I took note of their clothing
and their attitudes.
The more I know in a group interview,
the better.
It also told me how many of my fellow
applicants were overdressed.
The rule I've heard is to dress only
one level above the expected work wear.

I'm not sure why group interviews exist now.
Is it the high number of people out of work
all applying for the same jobs?
Or is it just a new trend thought up
by some HR person eager to show off their creativity?

Whatever the reason,
there I was in a big group interview again.
There were 15 of us,
who were invited by a lead person,
one of 7 on the interview team,
to take a seat.

The chairs were formed in a square
with the team across the top, front.
I took a spot next to the end interviewer.
I wanted to be sure that I could hear what was said.

That made me first
when we were asked to introduce ourselves
and tell why we each wanted this position.
It gave me less time to think,
but this is a question that always comes up.
I had my answer prepared,
then sat quietly listening to the other's voices
and was able to watch their words' affect on the faces of the interviewers.
Each time someone spoke,
interviewers would begin to write things down
on their clip boards.
I looked for smiles, nods or frowns.

We each had a folder on the table in front of us.
We were told to split into groups
according to the color of dot on our folder,
then to read the two instructions...
and follow them.
The interviewers also broke into groups and followed us
with their pens and clip boards.

Cue number one...
was to pick a group leader.
A woman looked at me and said...
"You look like a good presenter."
I said
"Wow!  Okay then."
If I declined, would that be a sign of weakness?
Would accepting be a sign of vanity?
I don't know.
It felt like the right thing to do.

The presenter was to read the scenario given us,
then we were supposed to decide as a group
how to respond to the situation given us.
It was, I think, 
one of those situations where there could be many answers.
When our 5 minutes were over,
we were called back and I was called up to
present our solution.

I think I did okay.
Unusual for me as I tend to get weird in front of people.
But my voice was clear and light,
I laid our plan out with all the points that people
wanted to consider,
then addressed my group to verify it...
showing hopefully that I am a group player and my team's opinion matters.
When they agreed that I had covered all of it, 
I sat down.

After the other groups finished,
we were asked
"What experience have you had in the past
that would apply to this position."
Again I was the first to be given the question...
because I was in the first seat
and it followed around the table.

Not the most advantageous spot.
But far better than being on the end of the line,
where everyone had said just about
everything they could come up with that might apply.
You don't want to be the guy repeating
everyone else.
That feels lame.

Next, they handed out a test.
We were told to do the test and we would be free to go.
The test was a breeze!
Alphabetize nine first and last names.
Gee... that's what a library is all about,
when it comes to filing books on the shelves.
The second question was a math test where we
were asked to find an average number of three numbers.
Add three times and divide by three.

Finally, we were given an essay question...
which happened to be about diversity.
Oh lucky day!
Thinking back to my days at the school...
which were filled with exercises in work shops like
this interview process...
and many actual workshops on diversity.
I know too that part of the reason to have us write by
hand was likely to see if our handwriting was easily read,
and that one can make sense with words.
Reports are part of this job.

I was not the first to finish.
I was the forth.
People were whispering as they handed in their folders
to the lead interviewer, 
who took them quickly and waved them on.
I followed suit, with my soft thank you.

Walking out to the parking lot felt great!
A few of us wished each other luck
and gave compliments on each others participation.
I don't think that I screwed up anywhere.
Nor do I think that any one of us out shown
the others.
There were no other people who talked about
having better qualifications than me...
three with about the same qualifications.
Most were people trying to get out
of low wage situations...
looking for a better life.

All in all, I had good feelings about it.
But this is just the first round in their interview process.
They will continue these group interviews
through next week.
That's 4 group interviews a day!
Those invited to the second round
will be notified by email
in two weeks or so.
If we do not get that email,
we were passed over.

I still think that is wrong...
if you take the time and trouble to interview,
you should at least get a polite
thank you and some explanation.
Even if its only a mass email saying that a more
qualified person was selected.

They will be filling 6 of these positions.
Way better than only 1.
I'm hoping!
Meanwhile... I'll be applying for other jobs.
No sense in sitting on my hands waiting.
But I will write my thank you note
and send a nice card.
It sure can't hurt.



  1. Best of luck to you in getting that email. Sounds like you did wonderful. I agree with you that it would not hurt for them to let people know that they did not get picked to move on in the interview process. Have a good weekend.

  2. wow, that's quite the staffing procedure. best of luck. (don't go hunting, it'll wreck your karma)

  3. Mr. Shife- Thank you. I hope so. You have a wonderful weekend with K and tiny Shife and the lovely Mrs!

    billy pilgrim- The hunting ship has sailed for the year. =:] So my karma should stay in tact.

  4. I have never participated, from the applicant side, in a large group interview. I can see how difficult it would be to balance standing out with being seen as a team player.
    I have to say it sounds like you did an excellent job! Hope you hear from them about a second round. You'd be such an asset to them :)

  5. laura b.- Group interviews are strange creatures. You never know what they will ask or do. At one I went to the only question they asked me was what country outside the US would I want to visit. I have no clue what that had to do with the job. I didn't get the job, so I wonder if I picked the wrong country to visit. lol

    Well, I don't think that I did much better than anyone else really. Its hard to tell. But I am hoping that I can get into the second round at least.

  6. Oh Jeez, I broke out into a cold sweat just reading this. I've only ever attended one group interview, decades ago. Not only did I not get the job, I was asked (with a couple of others) to leave mid-way through, as we'd not be required to go on to the next stage. A complete exercise in humiliation!

    I think you conducted yourself perfectly, and truly deserve this job - I'll be keeping everything crossed for you.

  7. OK, at first I couldn't understand why a "company" would do such a thing. But hiring 6 people at once, now I understand. It sounds a lot better than I would have imagined, but very very odd to answer in front of everyone else. And take a math test??? wow. But sounds like there were some nice people, so that's great. I am crossing my fingers for you, which makes it very hard to type...

  8. I did some group interviews for grad school - hated them! But it sounds like you did an excellent job - very attentive to detail and what they might be looking for. Fingers still crossed for you!

  9. I've never been through a group interview for a job. It sounds like sheer hell to me. I hope it works out for you. It sure sounds like you did fine.

    The job situation has improved in Tampa... both of my girls got hired. Probably seasonal, but they're hard workers and will, no doubt, shine.

  10. Shrinky1- I too have had a group interview where I was invited to leave after the first round of questions. I felt mortified!

    NoRegrets- It was a very strange interview. But not the only one where I have had to answer in front of all the other applicants. These seem to be a big thing in this area.

    secret agent woman- Thank you!

    Cube- I am so glad that your girls both got jobs! Seasonal jobs can turn into long term jobs. I have no doubt that they will shine. Hopefully it will be my turn now. =:]

  11. I've never done a group interview. Interesting concept. Sounds like a money saver for the hirer. Good luck!!

  12. 3GirlKnight- It feels kind of weird. You are very exposed having to answer in front of other applicants on the spot. I'm not a competitive person, so they are hard for me.