Interview #33 – Nap Time

So I scored an interview at a government agency. The downside was that it was about 3 hours away from where I am now…  Hey I’m happy to relocate if they want me.

I got a phone call setting up the interview and as the secretary was trying to get off the phone I reminded her she didn’t tell me where the interview was… as in the address or office… or anything. So she seemed bemused at forgetting and relays the address to me and says ‘head up to the 3rd floor once you are there and they will direct you where you need to go.”

Seemed simple enough. Well, first off, I show up and it turns out the secretary actually gave me the wrong address… but it wasn’t a big issue because there were enough signs along the road to direct me to the right place, not the best first impression though. I wander in and am confronted by the security desk who wants to know who I am meeting. I say I wasn’t given a specific name.. merely an interview with the legal department on the 3rd floor. This doesn’t seem to go over well but after a minute he begrudgingly hands me a visitors badge and lets me pass muttering that I really should know who I am supposed to see (well thanks for the helpful info!). I head up to the 3rd floor and the elevator opens into.. well basically a maze of cubicles. I look around and wander over to what I assume is a secretary since their cubicle is more open than others and ask who I am supposed to see for the interview. They give me a name X and send me to another secretary on the opposite side.

I talk to the second secretary and tell her “I am here to see X for the job interview.” The secretary turns to look at me, and quite literally looks me up and down, and says ‘I don’t think so… what are you supposed to be here to interview for?’ I respond the attorney position…

Ah, she says. ‘X is interviewing for legal secretaries, and you,’ (with a wave of her hand) ‘don’t look like a secretary.’ I suppose that’s a point in my favor.. I guess. So I finally get routed to the correct people and I am ushered into a conference room with 2 other attorneys in it.

One attorney introduced himself and told me the other one was there to basically transcribe my answers. The second attorney introduced himself and thereafter never spoke a word during the interview. The first attorney started off by asking a few quick standard questions before asking more pointed and specific ones. This is where it got fun… the attorney asking the questions… I guess was tired (or something) so he would ask a question, wait a beat or two for me to start talking, and then he’d just close his eyes and seemingly doze off.

I’d continue talking to the half asleep attorney and directing the answer moreso at the silent one writing everything down, and once I’d reached an end point and silence would fall on the room, the first one would re-animate and ask the next question, only to once again start to doze once he was done.

I really don’t know what the point of the interview was considering the complete lack of interaction and impersonality of it. I could have just written answers to the questions and emailed them considering the level of conversation that went on. (later, a friend of mine helpfully suggested maybe the interviewer was mentally imagining my answers… about litigation.)

At the end, the interviewer woke up enough to walk me back to the elevator and confirm my fear that I would be working in one of the cubicles if I were hired. (shit). Then as it happened, they knew the city from where I had driven up from and mentioned he hoped I had a good drive back. So, maybe bonus points for driving a really long time to have a shitty interview? Dunno.

Got back into my car and drove the 3 hours back annoyed at how unprofessional the interview had been conducted. Par for the course I suppose. There are so few normal, decent people in this profession it is astounding.

3 thoughts on “Interview #33 – Nap Time”

  1. This is exactly what happens when attorneys are a dime a dozen. Look at the registration numbers in your State or pull open the Yellow pages. As late as 2000 it was difficult to find attorneys for gub’mint jobs. Those jobs are now the golden ticket and they are just tired of going through the motions to interview somebody when they already have their guy or gal. I once interviewed with the Attorney General’s office. Like you, I drove 2 hours and gas was over 3 dollars a gallon. During the middle of the interview, they proceeded to show me a row of gray filing cabinets and opened up a drawer to show me all of the resumes on file from applicants. They asked me why they should consider me among the thousands. I was about to say that I am “good looking.” You are not alone.

    1. I feel you on that. One of the government ‘jobs’ I interviewed for wasn’t for a job at all. They advertised for a job, but were only collecting resumes (and conducting interviews?!) on the off chance someone in the office got sick or pregnant. Even then, they said it would only be a temporary position until the other person came back. That was literally their explanation… I drove 2 hours each way on that one and they were ‘interviewing’ a new attorney every 15 minutes for 2 whole days. One of the more worthless interviews.

      1. We are surplus and even gub’mint employers know that. Even as late as the turn of century, gub’mints couldn’t get enough attorneys to apply. I once received a job offer while riding a court house elevator. The agency was aware of my work. I turned them down. As a solo in 2000 I could easily earn what they were offering and I was home by 3:00 everyday and took Fridays off and vacationed on a whim. I also had an intellectually interesting practice, not some monotonous pigeon hole job. They have the last laugh. Those Unionized gub’mint lawyers earn 90-100K and I am stuck with a 37K schedule C and crappy Obama Care Bronze level. Oh yes, I now have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off.

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