Interview #16

I hesitate to include this one, mostly because it is not nearly so interesting as the others. But I guess they can’t all be rambling and insane. This one was a result of the continued effort to send my resume to every corporate recruiter I could find online. It went thru LinkedIn (Facebook for professionals) and in theory I was applying for an attorney job. This company also had a random legal position and called the job title ‘associate’ but in its own wonderfully backwards logic, it didn’t mean a legal associate attorney … no, no. That would make sense. Instead they wanted a legal associate in more the sense of someone who would do legal style work; and I guess associate with the attorneys. I don’t know. Anyway, I get the call while driving down the road. I talk to the recruiter for half an hour and I hit all the standard buzzwords they are looking for. I honestly have no idea what the company does and when asked I admit that I am not in front of my computer so I don’t have the information at hand about my applications. Then they tell me they are not looking to hire me as an attorney. Huh? But I applied to be an attorney… Well, apparently they want attorneys, but for the associate positions. Which have the potential of someday moving on up to the ‘real’ attorney positions.

What am I going to say. I’m in my car, screw it, I’ll figure this out when I get home. So the recruiter sets up an online video conference with the next level of HR a few days hence. I get home and later that evening decide to do my due diligence on the company before the interview.

Crap. The company is only about 250 people. There are way more than 250 negative reviews about working there, and most of them end with “I quit this horrible gulag”. The churn rate of this company was staggering. The stories told by the reviewers involved managers having tantrums and screaming on a near daily basis. Not one review… no… dozens and dozens. The company fires the bottom performing 10% on a quarterly basis. So every four months, they fire 25 people. I already had decided I didn’t want to work there by the time I got to the news articles talking about Federal investigations, not to mention lawsuits against customers and former employees.

But, of course, I still had the video conference interview. And its always good to keep your skills honed. Plus you never know when you’ll get a good story out of the interview. So ignoring the fact that there was no chance I was going to accept an offer to work there, I logged on to the video conference. I was greeted by a pixie-ish brunette with blonde highlights who said she was just getting the conference setup for the senior HR person. She gets up from in front of the webcam and is replaced by the human incarnation of Roz from Monsters Inc. I mean it was uncanny… it even sounded like her. There was a brief twinge in the back of my mind saying I should take a screenshot but I fought down the smile I could feel starting and soldiered on. It was possibly the shortest ‘interview’ I’ve ever had. It probably would be generous to say it lasted 5 minutes. The senior HR coordinator got on and asked me all of 3 questions before pulling the cord. Somewhere in these questions she seemed to decide I wasn’t a good fit. The questions were:

1. “Did you research the company” – obviously a tricky question, because unless you were quite dense, if you did even a modicum of research you found out what a steaming pile of shit the company was, so I eloquently sidestepped it by saying yes and saying I checked out its historical salary information. Because I wasn’t going to bring up the potential federal probe… seems like it would be a hard conversation starter for an interview.

2. “What does the company do” – once again, pretty easy. There is a whole wikipedia page surrounding what this company and others like it do.

3. “what is your ideal job” – ahh, back to the old standard HR retarded questions. I of course spilled forth a wonderful yarn about a collaborative team based position in which I got to think independently about novel situations and yet I could rely on my team to field opposing viewpoints to what I may be thinking. bullshit bullshit bullshit. My dream job involves being the taste tester for new Ben & Jerrys Ice cream flavors, but I don’t think that plays quite as well with sub-human intelligence HR zombies.

It was at this point that HR lady became more engrossed with something offscreen and she decided she’d heard enough. “Yada yada, pass it on up to senior whomever something something .. we’ll get back to you.” And it was over. They never explained what the job actually was, or what it pays; and I never got to find out why they were apparently interviewing me for a lesser position than I applied to. There’s not a chance I’d take the job, sometime in the not too distant future the company is likely going to be raided by the FBI and upper management will try to claim that some lackey farther down the food chain is the more correct scape goat. Considering the position the first HR phone call mentioned paid about as much as working at Costco… well… I’d rather go work retail than having that on my resume.

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