Posts Tagged ‘interview’

After the interview

March 21, 2010

The interview in Boston I thought went well.  If all goes well next week will be the 2nd interviews. 

A few thoughts regarding the day:

I had a full tank of gas Friday morning,  by Saturday night I was on E.

Parking at the Alewife Subway Station is now $7, it used to be $4.  Had I known that I could have taken the commuter rail train & subway for under $20 round trip.  I’d still have a full tank of gas.

I wore a fedora with my suit.  If it works for Datechguy perhaps it works for me.

A light at the end of the unemployment tunnel?

March 18, 2010

I spent 8 hours the other day on craigslist, monster.com, careerbuilder, and many other job search websites filling out applications, emailing resumes, and completing online assessments.

Well yesterday I got a call back.  I spoke briefly about my experience and was asked to come in Friday afternoon at their location in Boston.

I’ve got my suit at the cleaners, my car is full of gas, and I’m ready to go!

Finally a call

March 11, 2010

Its been a while since I got a phone call for a job.  I had responded to job postings on craigslist yesterday and got one call back this morning.

I talked with the person regarding the position for a few minutes and he asked me to email him my resume.  I did so and he said he’d call me again tomorrow to discuss the position further.

So we wait…

My interview at the downtown Minneapolis hotel

March 5, 2010

I interviewed with for an assistant front office supervisor position at a downtown Minneapolis hotel.  This hotel is very well known for being the leader in guest satisfaction.   Being that I was a Guest Services Supervisor as well as a former restaurant manager I felt I was well qualified for the position.

I was dressed in my recently dry cleaned suit.  My shirt was pressed.  I wore the tie and cuff links that my brother had given me as a gift for being the best man at his wedding the previous year.

I greeted the Assistant General Manager, introduced myself, shook his hand, and placed my resume on the desk in front of him.  He introduced the front office manager who was sitting to his left and stated she would be part of the interview and sat down.  I greeted her and took my seat.

I sat in the chair opposite the Assistant General Manager’s desk.  The chair was rather uncomfortable.  You know those wooden chairs with minimal cushioning that hotels keep in the guest rooms?  That was what I was sitting on in this guy’s office.  Then again, what else would you expect to find in a hotel?

He asked the usual questions, tell me about yourself, your experience, etc.  I answered with the stories of working at a downtown Minneapolis extended stay property, supervising the front desk and assisting the other departments.  I also went in detail about my experience managing a pizza restaurant in the northern suburbs, what I brought to the business, what procedures I developed and implemented successfully, and how I drove customer satisfaction results and increased sales.

My hotel supervisory experience was verified by the current front office manager who was sitting to the side of him.   She had worked previously for the same hospitality group.   The company had two hotels in the same complex; one extended stay property and the other a full service hotel.  They were separated by an indoor water park and arcade.  I had seen her before.  It was common for me to walk through the water park to the full service hotel for the purpose of making deposits and checking the mail.  I would always spend a few minutes speaking to the front desk personnel over there.

At the end of the interview the Assistant General Manager asked, ‘why should I hire you?’

I confidently stood up, shook his hand firmly and stated, ‘my resume, experience, and proven results speak for itself’, then turned around and walked out of the office. 

A felt a pit in my stomach.  I had just done something that I had never done before.  It felt good. 

Once I got outside I called my other brother, a software QA engineer.  I told him what I had just done.  He quickly responded, ‘Wow!’ There was a pause. Then he continued, ‘you have got some extra-large balls.  If anyone ever did that to me during an interview, I would hire that person right there on the spot’.

That was a great feeling.

A week later I got the generic rejection postcard in the mail.  I guess I was the only person who had the balls to take a chance in that interview room.

An interview story

March 5, 2010

Last March the interviews in Minneapolis were starting to settle down.  After a two week span of sending out resumes and getting no response I tried applying for jobs online in Massachusetts.  If I could set up a few interviews who knows what could happen.

 I ended up getting a few responses and since I had nothing set up in Minneapolis I booked a flight for Boston.  As soon as I landed in Massachusetts I called and confirmed my interview with a well-known family pizza restaurant in New England.  I was meeting with the management recruiter the next morning in Leominster.

I arrived for my 8:00 am interview at 7:45.  I waited in my rental car until the employees started to arrive.  At 8:00 I knocked on the locked door and the staff let me in.  The recruiter had not yet arrived but the morning manager said I could wait for her in the dining room area.  I took a seat and prepared my things.  I took out my portfolio and looked over my resume.

After a few minutes I was greeted by the recruiter.  She offered me a fountain drink and I accepted.  She walked behind the counter took a cup and filled it with ice and soda.  She placed it in front of me with a straw beside it.  Then sat down.  I thanked her for the drink then offered her my resume.  Then we began talking.  As expected she asked what I thought about Massachusetts, what I liked best about managing a family pizza restaurant in Minneapolis, you know the usual questions.

I answered all the questions she had and pointed out that I had only been in Minneapolis for the last four years; but I was originally from Massachusetts. I actually grew up in the neighboring city.  I felt that she was quite impressed with my responses and since I was familiar with the area, she wanted me to have a second interview the next day with the district manager in Framingham, a city thirty five miles away.  I said that would work out fine for me.  She checked her district manager’s schedule in her Blackberry and confirmed a nine o’clock interview.

I went to Framingham the next day, Saturday, and interviewed with the District Manager.  He was new to the area and was also new to the position.  As usual,  I provided him with my resume and we discussed my experience.  I told him about  managing the pizza restaurant in Minneapolis from the beginning, the challenges I faced, and what I did to drive sales and consistently lead the market in customer count, ticket average, and sales.  I told stories about putting on the mascot costume prior to leaving and dancing out on the street to bring in extra business.  I also informed him how I had developed and improved measures in the area of inventory, labor control, and other daily tracking that were later implemented company wide.

Everything I answered was right on the money.  I could tell by his expressions that he was impressed.  When we finished up he shook my hand and let me know that I would be hearing from him again.  I left the interview knowing that I just had one of the best interviews I could ever have.  To use a local baseball cliché, I hit one over the monstah onto Lansdowne street.

The 60 minute drive home didn’t feel long at all.  I was thinking how great it would be that most likely within the next week I would be back to work again.  Nothing could ruin this day, it was going so well.  I hadn’t had a day like this in a long time and boy could I really use it.

When I got home the mailman was just leaving.  I went to the mailbox, opened it took everything and walked inside.  I scanned through the letters and there was one addressed to me and put it to the side.  It was from the pizza restaurant dated yesterday;  it’s probably one of those optional diversity questionnaires that companies send out, I thought. 

I turned the letter around and inserted my finger under the sealing flap and slid down to the middle.  I did the same on the other side until the envelope flap flipped up.  I gripped the letter with my thumb and index finger and took it out,  unfolded it and began reading:

Thank you for taking the time to meet with us.  While your experience is impressive we have decided to pursue other candidates.   Good luck in your continued job search.

 

I had just got home from my second interview and the rejection letter has already arrived in the mail; if the recruiter didn’t want me why did she waste my time and have me meet with the district manager today?  It didn’t come as a surprise; after nine months of rejection you kind of just get used to it and just move on. 

On the brighter side I had another interview scheduled for Monday so it wasn’t like I didn’t have another chance to find suitable employment.

On a side note: I was  impressed with the efficiency of the United States Postal Service.