Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Most Insane Job Interview I've Ever Been On

This is a post I put on my Facebook page last week after taking a very strange job interview. I didn't want to post it on my public blog until I found out if I'd been called back for a second live interview. I wasn't, btw, in case you were curious. This post is really long, but I literally could not make the weirdness any shorter.

Just so you know, I embarked on the single weirdest job interview ever yesterday. I received a phone call at the end of the day asking me if I had applied for a job as an administrative assistant with a company called Alaska Structures. I responded that I had and in the course of a 10-15 minute conversation, she proceeded to put me on hold half a dozen times. After the second of which, she asked me if I could hear the hold music. Following a manic conversation in which she heard only half of my answers and dogs barked maniacally in the background, she asked me to come in for an interview. At 7am the next morning (today).

She also used the word professional about 50 times. How professional they were, what high level executives were in their office and these were the Michael Jordans of their industry. She re-iterated after telling me about the interview that they were professional. I assured her I would wear a suit. And then she reminded me that if I chose not to come for any reason (that should have been a warning) or was running late, to call because that is a professional courtesy. I told her that I am aware of how to conduct myself in an interview.

Fast forward to this morning. I arrived about 15 minutes early to an office with several people bustling around. After a minute, a woman flung open the door wearing jeans, sweats and flip flops with her hair back like she's getting ready to have a facial. I asked her if I was in the right place. She told me I was fine and escorted me to fill out some paperwork. Another girl arrived and by 5 til, there were 5 of us and it was obvious we were going to have a group interview.

I noted the security camera pointed directly at us and pointed it out to one of the girls I'd been talking to. I realized they were probably watching out reactions to everything, including the four dogs that were running around the office. After making us wait til nearly 7:45, we were finally ushered into a plush conference room with 3 people at the table, with laptops in front of each. They made no introductions between the candidates or themselves (and, coincidentally, none of the bustling staff walking back and forth while we waited spoke to each other OR us).
After answering some basic questions about why we'd left our last jobs, or why we were looking to leave our jobs, another man came in and joined us. He sat back and asked a couple of questions himself, and then asked us on a scale of 1-10 what kind of manager he was (1=laid back, 10=dictatorial, and we couldn't pick 5). He then made us all jump when, after guessing, he stated adamantly that he was a 10, a big 10 and he trained all his managers to be 10s.

The interview went on with them asking us to ask questions and then not answering them, or being vague about the answers. They grilled the two girls giving generic answers (I'm looking for growth, I haven't reached my full potential) and when asked about the duties of the job, the 4th man (who turned out to be the CEO), told us we needed to think outside the box because no two days would be the same at this company.

Some of the examples he gave were finding 500 goats in Pakistan a month before Eid (sp?), where they slaughter millions of goats and sheep (two assistants quit over that), finding a way to sneak them into Myanmar (but they weren't breaking any laws in the US-just Myanmar, to which I replied that as long as I didn't get arrested as an accessory to whatever he was doing, I supposed that was fine). This request also lost him two adminstrators. The final example he gave was when he asked them to find a DC-10 cargo plane to ship supplies into Haiti following the quake (also illegal, btw).

They finished up the interview by practically bragging about their turnover rate and telling us to go read all the bad things people say about them in the blog and let them know by the end of the day whether we are interested in continuing in the interview process. Then they would let us know by the end of business Monday if we had been selected for a second interview.

I know for a fact I will not pursue a job working for them, even if I am offered one. I knew that before I left the interview. This post will eventually move to my blog, but until I am finished with them, I do not want it posted publicly. I read the blog and it was pretty condemning but I called to tell them I am still interested in learning about their company if they choose me for the next round of interviews. So I want to see if I get another interview with them, which I'll attend mostly out of boredom. And partly to find out if some of the more ridiculous stuff I read is true.

If you want to read for yourself, visit:

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a crazy interview. For some reason group interviews always make me nervous.