Trusting my Vonnegut feeling.

I can’t remember the last time I was so ready for the week to be done. A horrendously busy week both socially and at the office, culminating in a job interview towards the end of the afternoon. I applied before I went on vacation and was told it’d be held on Wednesday at 1pm. Fine. I was prepared to go straight from a job interview into a performance evaluation in my current position. Because that’s the time of year it is, when everything backlogged comes back to haunt you. Instead I was informed that the interview would be shifted to 3pm Friday. Then the performance evaluation was shifted to 4pm Thursday. What this meant was a build up of nervous energy at a time where work is stupidly busy. Any excuse I can to leave my desk, I take. Or make. Could I use another coffee? Sure, what’s five coffees in a day? Is my water bottle half full? Well perhaps I should freshen it up. Is my bladder facing pressure from all this additional liquid traffic? I’d be silly not to go to the toilet three times an hour.

I’ve also stumbled along a new benign mutant power of mine. I already had mass static electricity powers (exemplified today by accidentally shocking a co-worker who gave me a piece of gum) that make Winter time unbearable. I seem to possess dance floor magnetism, with people trying to move through me instead of around me (even if there’s space). Now though? There’s a new power in my stable of abilities. I have a natural talent for Right Place Right Time. If food or assorted swag is being given away, somehow I’m there. If they’re touring an exotic animal around the building I’ll cross its path. If I’m idly and amicably chatting away with someone and they ask for my name, you can be sure they’ll manage a department I’m interesting in moving towards. It may just be the first useful benign mutant power I’ve developed, a potential sign that I’ve levelled up. Fingers crossed lycanthropy is next.

Which brings me to the inevitable crux of the entry. How did the interview go? I was nervous going in. It’s been a while since I last did an in person interview. The previous job I applied for (also internally) had me go through two phone interviews (both just under an hour long) before going for another applicant. So it goes. A good friend of mine is in a management position within our company (different department) and offered to run me through a trial interview. While I didn’t have the time (aforementioned busy busy busy schedule), we at least managed (no pun intended. Truly) to do lunch. He asked how I was feeling going in and offered suggestions as to the type of questions they’d likely ask and what they were really asking for. Most importantly, he helped me step by step through how to ask questions of my interviewer(s). I went home, did research on the department, payscale, former employee reviews and got a good idea of what I was walking into. On my friend’s suggestion I entered the room with a notepad full of questions.

Nervous as I was, having the physical assurance helped. I listened to the questions they asked and, thanks to my friend’s guidance, understood what they were asking. While they didn’t stick to the tried and true formula (“what’s a time you went out of a way for a client?” “What big challenge did you face and how did you overcome it?” “How do you deal with conflict?” “What is your weakness?”), it was the same basic idea, asking me to outline why I was suitable, why I was worth picking over the multitudes and giving me a good impression of what the job would actually entail. The fact that my interviewers were two people directly involved in the day to day operations (rather than a random departmental head) emboldened me, because I felt like I’d be getting straight answers. I was open and honest in my responses. I didn’t bother trying to sugarcoat things or lionise myself, but I wasn’t afraid of admitting to competence. The longer the interview went (and we went over time), the more I felt like it’d be a great place for me. I’m always wary of getting excited, but if things work out I’ll be quite chuffed.

So here’s to the week that was, brought to you by a nice white chocolate white stout from Toronto’s own Blood Brothers Brewing.


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