being on the other side of an interview

i did my interviewing today. i can’t really talk about the interview, but just draw upon my own experiences interviewing with for a management position. a difficult process but to be in the hot seat.

my first management interview as hinted here was for a management position at a locally owned movie house. while at first my observation was that it went well i was floored when it didn’t go my way. for a long time it was hard understanding what happened. it never occurred to me that i won’t get it.

then with today’s experience i know why. my second opportunity was with a national movie theater chain and i’ll just say that i blew it. i somewhat know why it didn’t happen for me, but it’s acceptable to me now that it didn’t happen. perhaps it wasn’t meant to considering the experience i was hoping to leave behind at “the show”.

finally, i consider my experience seeking a supervisor position at my current company in grocery. i didn’t do a very good job preparing although my understanding of the job is somewhat strong even if not entirely. i consider the fact that i came back from a vacation and the interview came so soon (a day) after returning to chicago that left little room to prepare.

so with the movie theater – even if i worked with people who questioned everything i did managers and colleagues – i knew that business. i worked for almost five years in a theater so surely something has sunk in even if i know nothing about financials i have an idea about operations. perhaps the leadership skills are untested, but it’s possible to learn them.

most of my interviews for manager or not was largely improvised, i “winged” it. most of the time i didn’t do me much good, but most of the time i relied on my own experience. if my experience is in retail or theaters that’s what i relied on to get through the interview.

on the other hand, what i’ve realized i failed to do in a few interviews is that i didn’t know what a particular company offered. i at two different points interviewed with two grocery stores. one of them was the company i currently work for – we’ll just call them “fresh foods”. the other company we’ll just call “finer foods”.

a few months after graduating from mission i interviewed with “fresh foods” and crashed and burned. years later i figured out why, i had no idea what that company had to offer. the first time i heard of them was on tv with news stories advertising their health care plans. essentially that’s all i knew and while i did attempt to talk of their product offerings i had little clue about them.

in other words i could’ve know the goodness of this company years before i joined and  i would’ve had good benefits and good pay long before joining “the show”. if this was a sure thing i only talked myself out of it. i talked and the manager i spoke to chose not to hire me.

after my recent experience now i know how to approach future interviews as a job seeker. regardless of whether or not i’m staying with my current company whom i hope to last 5 years or i choose another. preparation will be key and no more winging it. have some semblance of a plan.

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