I recently saw a new job posting at a GREAT company that I have applied to in the past. Yes, I currently have a job. It pays the bills. However, I don’t see myself spending the rest of my career here. So, I filled out the online application and submitted my resume. “WHY?” you ask: Well.. What’s the worst that could happen? They aren’t interested in me, I keep the job I have, and nothing changes? I’m pretty sure the answer is a no brainer!
- Friday (Wk 1) – The beginning: I received a call that HR wanted to do a phone interview with me the following Monday. I printed out the job listing.. reviewed it & my resume, as well as common interview questions (to answer & ask). I wrote down all the things I didn’t want to forget on the spot. You know, when the pressure is on and you can’t even remember your own name.
- Monday – Phone interview: She had a few questions I didn’t ‘prep’ for, but I think I was still graceful. If they were interested she would call to schedule an interview for later that week, if not I would get an email. I have never wished more for new mail alerts to be sales promotions trying to get me to spend money I didn’t have on something I didn’t want!
- Tuesday – HR called to tell me they wanted to do a face to face interview the next day. I was excited, anxious, and stressed.. yet somehow calm. I knew that if I was good enough to get a call back, I would ROCK the interview. I studied myself again, figured out what I wanted to focus on, and decided what questions I wanted to ask them.
- Wednesday – Face to Face: I felt like it went well. The conversation was smooth, and their eyes lit up a few times when I was speaking. When I asked, she told me she had done 7 phone interviews, had 1 other face to face scheduled, and 70 applications she hadn’t reviewed yet. YIKES! That’s a LOT of people!!! *BREATHE* Same deal, if they were interested she would call me to move forward, if not I would get an email. She said I would hear either way within a week. Back to the email anticipation game..
- Thursday – Follow up: Dropped off handwritten Thank You cards for both people I interviewed with. ..and waited.. And I thought the last waiting period was hard! This one was almost as bad as the week after my due dates, waiting for my kiddos to make their grand entrances! It was a reasonable amount of time, but because there was a weekend in the middle, it felt like an ETERNITY. EVERY email made my heart drop, every call gave me butterflies.
This process has been very good for me. In interviews of years past, I would attempt to be the perfect fit for the company. Trying to decipher what I thought THEY wanted me to be, and what THEY wanted me to say. After being through many seasons in life and my career, I have started to view interviews differently. For starters, this time I don’t have anything to lose but have so much to gain. I am not desperate to get a job, which makes a HUGE difference. But mostly, I don’t have to shape myself into their mold. If they don’t think I am the right fit for their company and that position, I’M NOT! ..and it is not where I SHOULD be..
- Tuesday (Wk 2) – Skills test: Finally got a call from someone in HR letting me know I would be receiving an email with tests evaluating my math, grammar/spelling, auditing, analytical, and Excel 2010 skills. GOOD SIGN! That night, while my son was in VBS, I sat in the church office and took the tests. Overall, I felt confident in my scores. However, there were some of the excel tasks i got ‘incorrect’ because I didn’t follow the path the program believed I should. Who doesn’t click across the tabs until they find the icon they need? Who knows immediately whether to choose Format, Design, or Layout to change the look of a chart?? Well, not me! And so I waited..
..and waited.. ..and waited.. ..and waited..
- Monday (Wk 3) – Switch up: HR called to let me know they were still VERY interested in me as a candidate for the position. However, there were some new developments unfolding and wanted make sure I would be okay with a change in the shift schedule, pushing it back by an hour. It still fit within by daycare time frames, and since it is MUCH closer to home I said ‘no problem. that should be fine’. Maybe we’ll all get to eat breakfast together as a family!
- Tuesday – But wait, there’s more: Scheduled a follow-up interview with another manager.
- Wednesday (Wk 4) – 2nd Interview: Negatives of having an interview at the end of your work day. You are worn out physically, mentally, and emotionally. Your appearance (hair, makeup, clothing) is not as fresh as first thing in the morning.. you are WORN! You can touch up your makeup, and fiddle with your hair, but it’s still not the same. Can I remember my key points? By this time of day, I can barely answer the question ‘What’s for dinner?’
- Thursday – Thank You Cards: Feeling confident that the interview went smoothly, I sent another round of cards expressing my growing interest and excitement in the position and company. They said they would contact me by the end of the week. That just leaves today and tomorrow!!!!
- Friday – D-Day: Crickets all day.. then on my drive home from work, I got the call..
After a four week process, it doesn’t feel real. Could everything I have been hoping and praying for actually be happening? Somebody pinch me! I am filled with excitement, anticipation, and joy. Part of me knew that this would be the outcome. Everything just seemed to fit and flow so perfectly. The other part of me did not want to set myself up for disappointment. I have been open to just following the opportunities as they come. It looks like this time it has worked in my favor.
..Now to give notice, and say my goodbyes. There are quite a few people I love working with, and will miss dearly. They are the only reason I feel any sadness or guilt about leaving. I have enjoyed my time with them, and wish I could prevent them from uncomfortable transitions. I don’t know how long it will take them to select someone to fill my position, who it will be, nor their qualifications. I hope my replacement is far better than I ever was, and my co-workers have smooth sailing moving forward. Hopefully the new person will be an excellent fit, and everyone will be saying ‘Heather who?’.