Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Spreadsheet and Folio: Part Two

Ok everyone, where was I?  I had survived my two phone interviews and had been asked to come in for two different face-to-face interviews the week I returned from visiting California.  Fast-forward to this past Monday (July 22nd) evening.  After work, I went and helped out with my friends' kids and got home around 9:00ish.  I was exhausted, but I had to do my interview homework.  Homework? Yes, homework.  The sales job wanted me to bring in a typed-up research assignment.  This particular company is a logistics company that is essentially the middleman between trucking companies and the companies that make whatever products.  It wanted me to find three different carriers (one each that was primarily flatbed, dry goods, and refrigeration) with more than 50 trucks, headquarters address, and phone number.  Not terribly hard, but still a pain when I was super tired, and had to get up early to get ready for my other interview.

I found everything I needed and eventually got to bed pretty late (~midnight) when I had to get up at 5.  Not fun at all.  I was worried I was going to get up late or leave the house late, but I was fine.  I got down to Pasadena for the first interview of the day 40 minutes before my scheduled interview time.  Since I didn't want to be "that" person, I drove around and found a gas station parking lot to kill some time on my phone waiting.  I figured 15 minutes early was good.  I was so nervous.  The drive down was fine (about 45 minutes from my house) and the gas station waiting was fine, but once I pulled into the parking lot and started gathering my purse and folio (which, by the way, Andrew's awesome sister and brother-in-law gave me for Christmas, and was perfect!), I was inwardly a nervous wreck.  I could feel my hands starting to shake as I took the keys out of the ignition.

Don't forget, this is the job I really wanted.  I wanted this job because I felt like I could do a really great job at it.  At Irelan Hargis, I created and implemented their entire closed file network system, helping them go from storing physical documents in storage rooms to (almost) completely digital.  The job I wanted was similar, but also drastically different.  Not a law firm and I wasn't doing the actual scanning.  The company is an engineering consulting company that does inspections of and creates risk management plans for assets at oil and engineering companies around the world.  The job I was applying for looks at the scanned documents from the inspectors, extracts important data from each doc, compiles the data into a streamlined fashion, names and organizes the documents.  I was intrigued.  It sounded like it was something I could reasonably do, but also, was foreign enough to where I wasn't going to get bored anytime soon.  I wanted a challenge.  I love learning and this sounded like the next step I wanted to take.

When I first got there, I was taken into a conference room for preliminary testing before I had my interview.  I took an abbreviated Wonderlic test (only 15 questions, 7 minutes) and stumbled on the last math question.  I hate math, but whatever.  I figured I got everything else right, so I didn't worry about that part.  After the Wonderlic test, I was given a laptop with a Word doc open that was a set of instructions.  I had 20 minutes to finish the tasks.  It was super easy.  Copy some folders to the desktop, in folder 1, make a new folder, move file "aiudgf982etrksjf" into it (there were about 50 files with all similar gibberish file names and I had to pick the right one), open the file and rename it with the revision date found in the doc, open folder 2, make 3 new folders (receipts/invoices, inspection reports, drawings), open the 3 docs in folder 2 and place them in the corresponding new folders.  The last task was to recreate a simple table in Excel that was on the Word Doc.  Thinking back and I literally just now as I'm typing this, I realize I probably could have copy and pasted it...oh well.  I legitimately recreated it to a T with time to spare, even with the battery dying on the old ass laptop I was using.

Then came the interview.  Even though I was nervous, I wasn't as nervous as when I first walked in...if that makes any sense.  As I was waiting after the testing, I managed not to psych myself out, which, honestly, is a massive improvement for me.  The interview was pretty standard.  He asked me open-ended questions that specifically pertained to me, which allowed me to kind of ramble (in a good way) and not have to give boring stock interview question answers.  I was able to describe the work I do at Irelan Hargis, how I started the closed filing system, and what I'm doing right now as a file clerk.  

Like I said in my previous post, I was able to use my Kappa Delta leadership experience in my interview.  The interviewer asked me questions about my various experiences on my resume and I got to talk extensively about KD.  Between talking about how I became treasurer and VP - Standards and all my various duties (including being everyone's favorite person before and after events), I think he was pretty impressed.  For everyone out there doubting right now, you try being the Standards chair of a frat or sorority at a dry college campus and then try to tell me it's not that hard.  
After the interview, I asked what the next step was and they said I should I hear from someone in the next few days.  As I walked back to my car, I instantly started second guessing everything I had said in the interview.  Crap, I didn't ask enough questions, did me rambling about KD hurt my chances, did I seem too nervous?  All I could do was go home.  There was nothing else in my power to help me get that job.  It was a waiting game from then on.
Then came the next interview.  Well...

It wasn't enough time.  I woke up nauseous and even more tired than I was before.  I made the executive decision not to go to the second interview.  I didn't want that job.  I'm not a sales oriented person.  I don't want to work a job based solely on commission.  So I didn't go.  
It turns out.  I made the right choice :)  Typically, I don't like being woken up from naps.  I mean, seriously, who does?  So when my phone started ringing AND it was a weird number, I was pissed.  After my eyes came back into focus, I realized the number was from the area of my first job interview.  I cleared my throat and answered.  It was the awesome woman who had phone interviewed me!  I didn't get a chance to meet her during my face-to-face that morning so she was calling to touch base with me and see how I felt the interview went.  I told her that I thought that it went well.  I like Taylore and Pedro and really enjoyed the young vibe of the company in general.  She said she was glad that I liked the company and thought the interview went well because she had spoken with Pedro (the person who interviewed me) and he thought the interview went well too and the company wanted to extend the job to me.

I got a job.  I got a job!  I GOT A JOB!!!! I was happy and excited.  I still am happy and excited!  My last day at my old job is August 9th.  It's going to be extremely bittersweet.  I have learned so much and gained invaluable skills from working there over the years.  I'm going to miss everyone too :(  
But, more than anything, I'm excited!  I have a job!  I know that most people wouldn't spend two giant blog posts breaking down their quest for a particular job, but I'm not most people.  I have had a really rough year and, if I get down to the nitty-gritty, a rough few years.  I've felt a few times like I hit rock bottom, felt so bad that nothing ever seemed like it would ever be good again.  This past spring, as I fell my furthest and decided to leave grad school, I realized that "rock bottom" didn't have to such a bad thing.  Life could only get better from where I was.  My awesome counselor helped me get to that point.  Leaving school was the best decision for me and it's only going up from here.  THAT'S why me getting a job is such a big deal. 
Of course, now I just have everything else to worry, I'll just enjoy this while I can :)