Sometimes The Universe Will Cut You Some Slack: The Job Hunt
Another contact I have had passed my resume along to some people he used to work with at a small analytical lab in the area. I got a call on the Thursday morning before the meeting with Geoff’s company from a guy at their HQ, asking me to call him back when I had a minute because he wanted to get a better idea of my background so he could keep an eye out for appropriate positions. Mind you, I have just woken up and am not even wearing pants yet, but I figure it’s just basic info so I’ll call him while I’m thinking about it. Fast forward 10 minutes, and the “basic info” session has actually turned into a full on phone interview. I am doing an interview and I’m not even wearing pants. We finished, and he said he would forward his write-up to some people to see what kind of interest he could generate, and he’d be in touch soon. I promptly buried my face in my pillow and resigned myself to the fact that was probably the worst phone interview in the history of phone interviews.
I also decided pants were overrated.
An hour later he calls me back to say he knows it’s really short notice, but the people at the lab were very impressed with his write-up of our interview and wanted me to come in that Monday for an interview if possible. So apparently the way to interview well is to not wear pants.
I do not suggest that method when doing an in-person interview.
So, on Saturday I met with Geoff’s company, and on Monday I went in for this last-minute interview with the small analytical lab. This all also happened on the same weekend where I attended the bachelorette party from hell, but that is a different story…that addition really made it a crazy, CRAZY weekend though.
The Monday morning interview was…terrible. Okay, not terrible. But certainly not good. Maybe icky? It turns out they were interviewing something like 14 people for 3 positions all over the course of 2 days. I actually met 4 of the other people. First observation? I was the youngest by far, so of course that implies I am also the least experienced. Second observation? All of the other interviewees had been schedule for over a week, meaning I really was a last-minute addition to the mix. Third? It wasn’t until I got there that they finally told me what I was interviewing for. A senior scientist position. Senior. What?
To say I felt pretty awful about the interview when I came out of it was an understatement. The lead chemist I met with was fine, maybe even fantastic. The other two people though? Train wreck. The first guy was the current site director, and not a chemist. Do you know what happens when a non-chemist asks you chemistry questions? Bad things. The second guy is the incoming new site director, who apparently has been THE principal chemist for another location for most of his career with the company, and all he wanted to talk about were techniques I know NOTHING about. No good interview has ever sounded like “no, I’m sorry I don’t know how to do that…no I don’t know how to do that either.” It was not good.
So all of these interviews happened within a few days of each other. Considering I had been at a standstill for about 2 months, it was a bit intense. This was all last week mind you. I was feeling good about Geoff’s company and was waiting on the next phone call to continue that path, while waiting for the phone call from the analytical lab saying “thanks but no thanks.” That second call came on Friday.
Friday morning I was excited because Geoff was coming to visit for the long weekend, and he had taken the day off so he was going to be early (there is a related story here that will go up next week). I’m bopping around getting things cleaned and getting myself to look like a respectable human being when my phone rings, and it’s the analytical company. The guy who had done the impromptu phone interview was calling to “give me an update” and did not sound too thrilled about it. He had the same voice going on that the last company did when they called to say “we know you were told to expect an offer, but we actually went with the other guy”. I wasn’t happy about it, but I wasn’t surprised by it.
“Hi Jennifer, this is Joe from that company you want to work for. I just, uh, wanted to call you to give you an update on what’s…going on. We have, um, started making decisions and, uh…”
At this point, with all the stopping and stalling, I was already planning what my pity-cocktail was going to look like when I hung up the phone, until this happened:
“…we are actually very close to being able to make you an offer.”
Wait, what? WHAT?
He went on to say that with the holiday weekend coming up he was having a hard time tracking down all the people he needed to sign off on things so I might not get the formal offer until early the next week, but he wanted to go on and tell me that I could be expecting a call from him soon with the offer details.
That’s right folks, despite me feeling like an absolute loser at the completion of the interview on Monday, I somehow not only snagged one of the 3 positions they had open, but they actually offered me the SENIOR chemist position.
The official paperwork came a few days ago, and unless my poppy seed bagel screwed up my drug test or one of my references has decided they hate me, I have a job! A GOOD job!
IT’S OVER! IT’S FINALLY OVER!