posted Fri, 19 May 2006
I had the interviews at Company X this morning. Everyone was very nice. It’s a good company that has performed well over the past several years. Company X’s CEO got a million-dollar bonus for 2005, as did IP’s CEO. The big difference is that IP’s CEO presided over a stock price drop of about 30% while Company X’s CEO took their stock price up about 30%. Interesting how that worked for IP’s CEO.
The company HQs is in a cool old building with wooden floors and marble and steel walls. There is a lovely antique tapestry in the reception area. Beautiful art on the hallway walls. Stunning view of the lake from the east windows. It’s absolutely gorgeous.
Three of the people made sure to tell me about the awful hours they work. Twelve-hour days are the norm. The norm. Sometimes they have to work longer days and then they come in on Saturdays, too. And everyone sits in cubicles.
The men and I hit it off great. So did the lady from HR and I. No one who interviewed me actually knew how to interview, which was frustrating. I was prepared for a structured (behavioral) interview. But they just asked a few random questions and then did most of the talking, which would have been sort of OK, except I had to figure out how to make sure I got in the information I wanted them to know. It’s so much easier when the interviewer knows what he’s doing!
The first woman I spoke to – “Michelle” – didn’t like me very much. She came in with an attitude.
One of the first things she asked me was what my weaknesses were! Please, honey! Slow down! OK, she did ask why I wanted to live in Milwaukee and why would I want to work at Company X, but really, shouldn’t she have been figuring out if I were qualified for the darn job?
She asked me only a few questions after that then asked if I had any questions for her. Then she didn’t like my questions! I asked what she liked about the job and what she didn’t like about it. Then I asked her about the employee gym (which I think she brought up in the first place).
“Why don’t you ask me about the project?” she asked impatiently. Well excuse me! I get sidetracked for one little second! But I think asking her about what she likes and doesn’t like about the job are perfectly legitimate questions!
She told me that she lives in Chicago and commutes to Milwaukee. “Every day?” I gasped.
“No, I have an apartment here for Monday through Friday. I own a place in Chicago,” she answered. “I’m used to being in a much more diverse, liberal city.”
“So you really live in Milwaukee and go to Chicago on the weekends,” I said snidely.
“No, I live in Chicago!” she protested.
I don’t think we liked each other that much. SH and I have picked the conversation apart and we figured out that either Michelle saw me as competition or was threatened by me, which is totally hilarious because I am so not ambitious. Maybe she thought I would challenge her – she kept talking about “visibility” and “high-profile,” stuff I couldn’t care less about. She can be the queen bee as far as I’m concerned. I just want a fun, challenging, interesting job, but the path to the corner office is clear. I am not standing in her way.
SH thinks she was threatened by my femininity. I was wearing a really cute robin’s-egg blue boucle suit with fun heels – they have cutout sections from the midsection to the toe. She was wearing Docker’s with a really wide belt and a jacket with huge shoulder pads and clunky shoes. I don’t know if she just didn’t know how to dress or what, but no woman with any fashion sense would wear a belt that would make her hips look wide like that.
If she reads this, I am dead.