A friend and I were discussing jobs recently – more him asking me how the job was being I was a year in. For those of you who read here, you know I love where I’m at and happy how things worked out.
There was that 2.5-year span where I wasn’t employed, sans a summer gig at a local baseball park for one summer. And, for the record, that was a whole heap of fun.
Needless to say, that span was tough. Over that long gap in employment, I had a bunch of interviews, some of which were the phone variety, others in person. And, as always, there’s going to be some that are way funnier or entertaining than others, right?
He reminded me of one interview I had that was mind-blowing in how it was done. I say this only because I expected much more. You see, this was with a national company and one that I had hoped was progressive in its thinking. It was for a position that was very heavy on public relations (at least in the description) and, to be honest, with everything I had done I was a near perfect fit, or so I thought.
- I had impeccable references.
- I had the qualities and experiences they needed.
- I was a member of their organization
- And I had ideas that, I believed, would help the organization.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t go in confident. I don’t think I was cocky, rather hopeful and willing to remain confident in hopes of being a better interviewee.
Because the job was many states away, it was a phone interview. There were certain cuts of the process. The final 10, the final five (if I remember right) and then they brought in the final two or three for face-to-face interviews.
The final 10 was an e-mail-style interview. They asked you a bunch of questions and you responded. I didn’t wait on it and finished it that day and sent it back. This is where it all started, though. The e-mail I got was an obvious cut-and-paste as it had the semi-arrows on the left side at each sentence.
So it looked like this all the way down the e-mail:
> I am pleased to inform you that you’ve been selected to move on to the next
> round of the search process. At this point, I have identified ten
> promising candidates for the position and I am pleased to have you as one
> of that number. In order to proceed, I would like you to please provide
> responses to the questions that appear below.
I was given about a week to fill this out, which was plenty of time. The questions were basic interview questions. Some of the questions were about the organization; some were asking me about reactions or situations etc. Basically, the items people expect to see at an interview. So it was nice they were getting these out of the way.
I sent it in a few days before the deadline and waited. At the beginning, they had given a tentative schedule. Usually, that’s good to follow. But I didn’t receive notice about this until a week after that deadline. That wasn’t anything to worry about, though, as I was selected to be part of the final five, which meant a phone interview with three people.
The phone interview was … well, odd.
This is the part where I really wondered about things. It never seemed to get a flow to it. Some of the questions were off-the-wall. Many of the questions made me wonder if the description of the job was actually what one would be doing.
I actually felt a bit deflated by it.
Then there was one point … one question … where I shook my head and couldn’t help but smirk. It was at that point that I knew there wasn’t any way getting the job. Not that I couldn’t do it, but … because this just threw me off.
How do you feel about dogs?
I was silent for a moment and stumbled for a second. How does one answer this? Was this one of those trick questions designed to see how you react? Was it something else that I was missing?
I responded: “Um.. I guess I like them? As long as they aren’t barking all the time?”
I made sure my voice sounded more like a question … and then I had to do it. I had to ask why that question was pertinent.
Turns out one of the employees sometimes brought dogs to the office and they wanted to know if people had allergies.
Now, I’m pretty sure it would be illegal to not hire somebody because they have animal allergies, especially when the job is not related to anything with animals.
How do you feel about dogs?
That really was asked to me. To this day I still shake my head. I wonder how the others reacted when asked this question. I also wonder if my response had any part of the decision, but who knows.
So in a professional environment, a question was asked my feelings about dogs because somebody brings their pets into work with them.
One day later, I received the e-mail saying I wasn’t moving on to the next round of interviews. And this was midway through my unemployment span, so I really wanted a job. But I almost breathed a sigh of relief because the job seemed to be different than advertised and …
Well, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about sharing an office with a dog.
I’d like to note two other things.
First, this was the second time I applied to this organization because I once believed in what they did. I still think, given the right spot, they can be an amazing organization. I’ll be honest that I’ve kind of fallen away from some of the things it is involved in, so I haven’t watched as closely as I once did.
The first time was for a position, honestly, I would have had no business having. That’s not the point here, though. What is the point is that everybody was supposed to get a response. I had friends who applied and didn’t get to the first cut and got e-mails. Not me. So, of course, I think I’m going to make it go through. Weeks go by and I hear nothing. So I finally contacted the office (via phone). I got an e-mail a few days later saying the e-mail had been sent to me about three weeks earlier, so they pasted it again. The odd part? It came to an e-mail I didn’t use with the organization for my job items.
That being said, at that point, I was still at the newspaper, so I didn’t worry too much. It was just mind-boggling that things like that happened.
The second thing is about the same time I was going for my current job (which I love – and for the record had an amazing interview process etc.), the same organization had a spot for – once again – a PR-type person. I went through the qualifications and was thinking “me, me, me, me.” I figured, what the heck, let’s try it again.
It didn’t reach that far.
I got the letter reach, my resume, and I really sold myself. I showed why I would be the perfect match. Then I got this interview and it looked promising. The package had to be sent the day before I was offered this job (or the day after, I can’t remember).
That package was never sent, though part of me wishes I had – just to see if I could have made it through a few rounds again.
In the end, it all worked out for me. But I need to end with one question to all the readers out there…
How do you feel about dogs?
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!
Krystal @ Krystal's Korner says
Haha… I must say I love dogs and am obsessed with mine but that questions probably would of thrown me off too.
I was once asked on a job interview “If I was a part of a tree, what part of the tree would I want to be?” I looked at the person interviewing me dumbfounded and flat out asked how that was relevant to the position I was interviewing for, it was a computer company. I didn’t get the job either.
Krystal @ Krystal’s Korner recently posted..Goodbye…
Yeah, the question definitely threw me off, too!
As for the question you got… I’m not sure how I would have responded. I would like to think I would have been witty and said something like “A leaf… so when it falls, I can leave… like I want to do from here.”
Alas, I probably would have just stumbled through it.
Paul Myers says
Interesting question. We have had dogs at the school where I work for the past 20 years of so. Our librarian had two labrador retrievers, both of which were rejected by the Guide Dogs of American for various reasons. Both were the sweetest dogs in the world and our librarian brought them to school on Wednesdays and Fridays. There were our library dogs.
Our principal has trained two Labs to be guide dogs and both were rejected for various reasons. I think something like 10% of the dogs who are initially trained actually make it into the program, but don’t quote me on that. As the initial trainer, he had first rights in case the dog “flunked” out of the program.
Quake was at our school for several years, before he passed away and Vinny was at the school for close to 15 years before passing away two years ago. Needless to say, we have a very dog friendly environment and have had only one problem with one of our substitutes who was deathly afraid of dogs. He subbed as little as possible at our school, but we also made it a point to make sure he didn’t have to interact with the dogs either, so it worked out find.
ME? I love dogs. I’ve had a dog for the past 26 years. I surprised my wife with a dog on her birthday the year after we were married and Rocky was with us for 16 years. We also had Shadow, who we rescued from the side of a freeway down here. He lived for 13 years, but died before Rocky passed away. 6 month after Rocky passed away, we adopted Jack, who just had his tenth birthday last Saturday. He’s showing all the signs of aging unfortunately. He’s sleeping more and sometimes has trouble jumping up onto the couch or the bed, things that would be routine to him a couple of years ago.
I shall miss him greatly when he crosses the Rainbow Bridge, but I doubt that I will get another dog. I’m getting too old to be dealing with a constant 2 year old all of the time, because that’s basically what dogs are – a constant two year old.
Paul Myers recently posted..John Muir Camping trip – Part 2
I guess it comes down to how one looks at things.
When I am working in a professional setting, I don’t think pets of any sort (outside of guide animals etc.) should be there. Of course, that’s pending on your business. If the place is open to the public and is a place not usually associated with animals, then I don’t expect to walk in and see animals. Just my thoughts, of course.
That being said, this question was still crazy. Especially when they gave the reason for asking. It makes me wonder how legal something like that is.
I’m definitely not against animals and pets, but in my field — I also try and think of everybody. If there is a chance that one person will come into that business or organization, not like animals and have a negative reaction, they there’s no room for them at that workplace.
Weird question!! I have been I interviewing within my same place of work for a higher position… the last I interview I had was 5 questions you only had 20 min. To answer all of them. Really?! How can you tell if someone if right for the job with that? Ugh. Interview for something g that looks promising next week though. Cross your fingers for me!!
ErikaJean recently posted..Great Grandpa’s Table
Well. five questions in 20 minutes actually seems like it might be a longer time. Of course that depends on how the questions go and what they expect. If they are interviewing you and already know you, they might not need longer. Hope that interview went well for you!
I think the way many companies interview nowadays is all out of wack.
I’d love to work in a place that allowed dogs. Yet, I would probably never get any work done playing with them.
Phil recently posted..Disenchanted! Snow White & her Princess Posse invade NYC!
I fully agree with your thought of things being out of whack. But, with everything else, time and a place.