Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pessimistic Me

The thought that what if there are two candidates coming in to meet the staff and the other one is the one they really want . . .

Still, I have no control over that, even if it is true, seeing as I doubt my lack of dazzling charisma to change anyone's mind.

So, moving beyond that . . . has anyone done a meet and greet with prospective co-workers? From either side of the table (the employed or the pre-employed)? What would my prospective co-workers want to know about me? What should I expect?

My only previous experience with this was when a professor did a trial class in one of my existing classes as part of her interview process. She is now employed at my university. Also, my spouse and his coworkers "interviewed" their prospective boss, only to find out that he was already hired and no one really cared whether they liked him or not. He was the reason my husband became miserable at work and eventually quit under pressure. (Irrelevant fact: That boss left/was fired around six months later.)

Neither of those examples really help me much. I am not anyone's boss, although there are administrative/secretarial support staff. There are five other people in the office at my level (total number of employees in the office is around 15, including bosses [3?] and secretaries), doing the same job I will be doing with different cases. What will they want to know about me? Should I just ask them questions about how they got their jobs? Their experiences in the job?

Lurkers (you know who you are, brother and brother's girlfriend, friend from the university) and faithful commenters (all one of you) alike, what do you think?


JG said...

We get to meet a lot of prospective co-workers at my office. I would want to see a person who was friendly and seemed interesting. Not necessarily cool in the dark-sunglasses-and-super-hip sense -- that's not a prerequisite where I work! -- but get-to-knowable. My workplace relies on people being adaptable, interested, positive, so I'd look to see that they seemed open and interested and cheerful, but not TOO eager to please.

I'd also want them to be dressed in the nice-but-not-over-the-top kind of interview clothes for a second interview (unless it were a super dressed-to-the-nines kind of place) because it always makes us feel a little embarrassed for prospective hirees when they're sitting there stiffly in their fancy 3-piece suits and perfectly knotted ties, and we're leaning back in our jeans, chatting. Like, I guess, dressy slacks and blouse? Unless, as I said, it's a pretty dressy office.

Basically, I think I'd act the way I would if you were already hired and you were meeting them.

Jared says that in addition to you worrying about the interview I've made it so you need to read the Great American Novel this afternoon too, so I'll sign out.

Karen said...

Don't worry about it being too long. I need all the help I can get. I'm glad for the advice about clothing, because I was debating about going a bit more casual than for the first interview. It's a state job and although the director had a tie on, it was a rumpled one, the asst. director (female) had on a nice suit, but the two office staff I saw were dressed much more casually.

I have not been worrying about it (although, all bets are off for the middle of the night tonight, my worry hours), and I always enjoy your comments (as I would a novel written by you :))

estewartm said...

When I interviewed for my current job, I sat with the vice president and his girlfriend (her because we would be working on a project together). Several months after I was hired, she told me that I got the job because I was the first interviewee whom they wouldn't be embarrassed to feature in the company photo.