There is a great deal of interviewing and job hunting happening in my house these days.
Like so many people in the United States, I recently lost my job to company downsizing, so I am looking for my next opportunity. And in some ways, it’s great. I’m doing all the “recommended” things: networking, spending time really thinking about what I want to do with my life, learning new things within the context of my career that I never seem to have time to learn when I’m working.
On the home front, I have been able to get to all those nagging chores and projects that just move on my To Do list from week to week…until five years have gone by. Feels really good to cross them off the list because they are done…not because I just gave up on ever doing them. And the family remembers that I CAN actually cook, although our local take-out places’ profits have dropped.
Personally, I feel more connected to the people in my life. When I’m working, it often gets to a point where I can only get done what HAS to be done, without spending time just being with my husband or chatting nonsense with the kids. And I realize how much I miss that and vow to not lose that connection when I do get a job.
But looking for a job sucks. And I’m seeing the effects for my kids, who are looking for summer jobs. And I feel it myself, when I make it to the final round and they go with the other candidate.
But the interview process itself can be painful…especially the pre-screening questions. Many are worded in such a confusing way that you are not even sure how you WANT to answer, much less what answer you think THEY want. And then in the interview, you can get the weirdest questions, like “If the company was a hamburger, which ingredient would you be?” Now I know that, in theory, these kinds of questions are a way to get some kind of psychological insight into the kind of person you are…but really?? Maybe I’m the kind of person that just eats burgers and doesn’t waste brain power thinking about how I would fit in the burger cosmos. (BTW, a friend actually got this question in an interview…she said “the bun” because it holds everything together, which I thought was an incredibly good answer to a rather dumb question.)
When you are interviewing, you have to play the game, so I give the best answers I can while remaining true to who I am. But I remember which companies ask these questions and I think long and hard about if that’s the kind of company I want to work at. Which I guess makes me an elephant.