Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Rapid Interviewing

First - Presenting the presentation.  I had assumed that I could run up to Wal-mart and pick up a few of the .25 folder thingies that we used in school.  They are clear plastic, one piece folded that has a clip bar that slides down the left hand side.  I guess I've been out of the do-it-yourself presentation (without a spiral binder on hand) business too long.  They still make the thingies, only now they are much nicer plastic and the clip is attached and swings off.  They run in price (at wal-mart) from .80 to $3.00 each.  They had told me to bring 4 - one for me, and three for the people interviewing me.  So I begrudgingly picked up 4 of the .80 ones.  Then saw a clearance racked and saw what looks like a dou-tang clip folder only plastic and the front page is clear.  Package of 5 on clearance for $1.25, just what I wanted.  They had two packages so I bought them both, I really like the idea of giving them out at interviews.  Since they only have 2 prongs, I took the middle prong out of my 3-hole punch and they fit perfectly.  I bound up four copies and slid in unbound a copy of my resume, reference list, and reference letters.

I also did not take a nap when I could barely keep my eyes open at 8:00 last night.  I figured since nothing was on on Wednesday I could watch all of my Tuesday tapes (Mommies, Comics, and Poker) tonight.  I could watch BB and AR and then go to bed so I could get up early (Ris I felt your pain for the cruise).  No such luck, I did go to bed after AR, read for a while, tried to sleep, finished my book, tossed and turned until 3:30.  Gordon was great and got up at 7:00 so he could keep pestering me until I crawled out of bed at 7:55.  I was professionally dressed (I like the sound of that) and out the door by 8:10.  I was at the interview place by 9:15, since my appointment was not until 9:30 I parked in a MCD to change my shoes and take my key off the ring and put in my portfolio so I did not need to bring my purse in with me.   I called the guy from CAE Tech and let him know I was 5 minutes out as he had asked me to do and he told me he was in the lobby and would meet me there.

In the lobby were two guys talking, neither said anything to me, so I looked around and said "Stan?", the younger of the two (I think he was 12, maybe 12 1/2) said that's me and handed me a CAE Tech company folder while he continued talking to the other guy.  I glanced through the folder quickly - Company profile and benefits.  Catching enough of their conversation to know they were talking about traffic for the Buick Open in Flint this week, I chose to interrupt and ask "Just what is this?"  He said "Company profile and benefits" such a bright guy.  I then started those clarifying questions that came in so handy yesterday when dealing with this company.  "Does this mean that if I get the job, I am actually working for CAE Tech and CAE Tech is (I think that should be are but I hate the way it sounds) subcontracting out my services?"  His reply - something like that you'd actually be working here but we would be the one paying you.  Yes something like subcontracting.  I asked him if I needed to check in at the front desk or if he had already taken care of that - they should do something to make a profit off of me.  The other guy spoke up (apparently he was the 9:00 interview) and told me to check in and then call the guy - did I want his number.  I assumed I had the same information he did - although I felt like he had received the correct job description the first time - which included a name and number of the interviewer.  I told him I was fine and went to check in.  The receptionist called him and told him I was there.  Maybe she like me better than the 9:00? 

Uwe Baxter came to the lobby and greeted me, Uwe is a small guy.  He led me to the interview room, up two flights of stairs and then a marathon run through a maze of cubicles, talking and expecting replies all the way.  I did not make a great impression of a normal breathing adult by the time we got to the room.  I caught my breath quickly though and we started talking - fast.  Apparently this was a 1/2 hour interview and Uwe had them scheduled all morning one after the next.  Again this would have been helpful information to have prior.  I gave him a copy of my presentation and he proceeded to tell me a little about the job.  The title is Value Stream Coordinator - something never mentioned in the Job Description page I received.  His department is responsible for Aftermarket and Service parts, the position he is looking to fill is someone to coordinate all of the different pieces of the department, to make sure things get done, and to put together information in a way that is meaningful and clear.  He talked about scheduling meetings, taking minutes, and following up on Action Items.  But you know "diplomatically".  (No way the period goes in the quotes!) So I said, "just following up that action item is due in a couple of days and I wanted to see how you were coming along and to find out if there is anything I can do to help" - he said "yes", and on we went.  He showed me a book of information that started with about 4 pages of graphs and then follow up information.  Mark would have been drooling all over the table, and so I mentioned that.  "My old boss would be drooling right now, he loved books that started with just the information he needed to see, in a way that he could know what was going on without having to read all the associated back up, that was my job" - he said "Exactly".  This was going good.  As he talked he reviewed my presentation and made several notes as we went along.  The job sounded like something I could do with my eyes closed.  The only maybe part was reading technical drawings.  He explained that the job would require going to the actual plant and working with the people there on the technical drawings, and knowing what the parts were.  I told him that right now I could identify the parts as "the spoon looking thing, the funnel looking thingy, the really long thing", but that I pick up on things quickly and have no problem asking for help with something.  I explained that I would rather ask questions to clarify something than waste my time and effort doing something incorrectly.  And that I would rather ask for help with something then struggle for hours trying to do it myself.  He seemed to like that and wrote something down.  He asked if I had any questions, and not being able to ask the usual benefits and compensation questions, I asked a few about just what was considered aftermarket (additions to vehicles after they have been manufactured - things that make a NASCAR car go really fast, and parts made but not actually put on a car that go to dealers for servicing), I asked about the size of the department (a matrix department with a few people dedicated to the department and a lot of others that work in different departments but report to the Aftermarket) I had no more questions and he seemed fine so we started back down.  He stopped to pick something up, and I said "Good give me a head start you walk faster than me"  he laughed and said that was because he was always in a hurry. 

All in all I think it went well, they will be calling for follow up interviews late next week.  I am not wild about working for CAE Tech and depending on their competence for a paycheck, but will cross that bridge when I get there, and hopefully I will get there.

Oh yeah, when I came down the 12 year old was talking to the 10:00 and asked me if I had any questions, I asked him what the salary range was and he said, "Oh, I didn't bring that with me, I can send you an email when I get back to the office."  Am I the only one that asks that question?  Is that a questions one should not ask?


ez said...

Once again, all fingers and toes are duly crossed (Jackson loves it when I cross his toes). It sounds like it went well, but I understand your trepidation about working for the recruiters, they sound like idiots.

paulette said...

the subcontracting part is really scarry. I hope its not some kind of thing where they keep half the money and you get half. Best case is it would be a toehold in the real company

Stephi said...

The salary question is a good thing to ask, but in all my non-cashier jobs they always told me. Such as at the hospital, and as the editor or the newsletter at Adrian.

KathrynVH said...

Pauvra petite. C'est Domage.