Thursday, April 20, 2006

Feedback

So I had a job interview. It was going really well, like really well, the interviewer was laughing and carrying on and such. I was certain the job was mine. Then I diplomatically told him to grab his ankles and think of England.

As a preamble I have to say that I have no idea when it comes to the labour market. Have I written this before. I have said it many times. Not only this, but I have never heard anybody talk about the labour market in a way that made me think they had any better idea than me (though they may have said it very forcefully). I say the problem is a lack of differentiated feedback. For every application submitted you either get a call or you don't. This is a very hard to learn anything with this limited information. It would be like trying to learn calculus from morse code bips and beeps, though not knowing morse code. And now the story:

I'm pretty sure most of us have experienced the demoralization of applying for an entery level job. This one involved my resume, copying the information on to their standard application, a personality profiling, an IQ and a CSQ (Customer Service Qutient) test. I was certain the personality profiling part would trip me up, but I guess I played the character of a subservient authoritarian better than I thought I had. Or for whatever reason I was called in for an interview.

Things were going well. He stopped in the middle of a speech and asked if I had any questions. I refered to my list and we agreed most of them, including what about my file had appealed to him, could wait til later. Now, with the promise of actual, real life feedback I went into full extrovert mode. I became animated, used vivid language and images, and probably disclosed a little more than I normally would have.

Then came my turn. What about my application had appealed to him? He told me that I had retail experience and I wasn't in school.. and stopped. And kept a straight face. Apparently there was nothing in my testing, personal history, animation or images that appealed to him. Wow, did that feel like a waste of time and effort. He then countered with 'Why should I offer the job to you?' Rather than telling him that I had retail experience and I wasn't in school I told him I wasn't certain he should. I shook the man's hand, excused myself and walked out.

On the plus side I had two more jobs as a teaching substitute.

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