Before I get on with this thought, I’m eager to put to rest the storyline with regards to “Ruthless Roger” – the mgr of my dept at “Fresh Foods” who ushered me into store mgmt offices to let me go. He walked out the office when the axe fell on me admittedly unexpectedly because I though a delay slip from the transit authority was enough for that final tardy to be excused. Anyway having heard three different stories from more former colleagues I learned that he’s no longer there – he was either demoted, quit, or quietly moved to a lesser position at another store. Regardless knowledge of his departure made it easier for me to start applying at my old store once again.
Thus I had an interview to return to the store. While granted I wouldn’t yet have all the bells & whistles I had before the guillotine fell, perhaps I’ll get those back yet. I met once again with the assistant store manager who called me the previous weekend – he was in the office with his boss when they made the call last year. He seemed to sympathize though sadly he and his boss had their own jobs to do unfortunately.
Let me just admit that interviews are often unpredictable affairs. I’ve never done a very good job of anticipation with these interviews. Though it’s rare that I’ve had interviewers who were downright hostile to me because I fell on the wrong side of their personality quirks (for example I was late for interview). Then I’ve had interviews that went pretty well and strangely many of those interviews didn’t result in jobs – especially during the “streak era”.
I’ve had interviews where I was given a timeline of next steps and usually those are signs that I’m in the running if not all but hired for the job though ultimately in most of those cases I didn’t get it. In one case I do remember, it seemed as if the interviewers liked me although I was eager to get the hell out, however no mention of timeline that I recall. Days later I learned of my job offer to “Gotham Bank”.
With the manager who hired me at “Fresh” it took three interviews with him and two other managers before he finally was ready to hire me. So my process lasted into the new year if you recall. He made it clear that he liked me and even then not a clear idea as far as next steps or timeline at least until he hired me.The point I want to make is that unless they hire you on the spot one really doesn’t know how the process will go until it goes.
This is how I’ll characterize this interview at my old store. I was talking with Danny who was filing his paperwork when the assistant store mgr came out to interview me. Felt as if I was waiting a minute to interview but at least it wasn’t entirely obnoxious wait. As he walked up I was letting Danny know when the store mgr arrived at the store. At that point I looked back and saw him walk up.
He said he was going to keep it brief from the jump so basically questions about the company and what they offer. Also my knowledge of most of the products that “Fresh” sells every day. He had to test me once because I had an answer that was vague but I recovered. He had to ask about what would be different about my attendance now and just stated that I would give myself an hour some extra time to arrive to work and mainly manage my time better than I had previously.
After discussing hours and availability, I asked a few questions about his background. It seems to be my strategy of choice as of late. How long has he been with company? How the store had been, which he only answered great. Had he always been at the one previous store he was at – he says he hadn’t been. I knew about his background he previous worked in my area before getting promoted. Then finally did he like it and from where did he start his career. The answer to where he started his career piqued my interest and lets me know that if you’re exception doors will open to you.
So after this, he gave me not a timeline though certainly a heads up as far as next steps, mainly, job wasn’t a guarantee and there were 12 other candidates to interview. Now bear in mind he’s on the store mgmt level so while he may have the power to hire, he still had to cover his bases with the individual dept mgrs. He said as far as next steps or decisions I would hear via e-mail or phone. We shook hands and told him it’s nice meeting him again and he replied in kind. Then thought to myself what bulls**t interview. Though later I had to soften myself…
My worst tendency is to overthink and I still haven’t stopped looking up advice as far as job offers, interviews, and follow-ups. It took me a few days to figure out what I needed to say to him in a follow-up email. I took the advice and just looked up his name online and was able to come up with his email addy. Thankfully it hasn’t come back to me as if it’s a bad address so mission accomplished I think.
My goal to follow-up was really not to nudge the process. I didn’t want to be like my friend Anthony who seems to have the need to obsess over whether or not he’ll get a potential job offer. Just thanked the assistant store mgr for meeting with me, mentioned something about the interview expressed excitement over rejoining my old team at “Fresh” and then moved on. It’s on him if he wants to respond to it, hell it might be the reason why I come back.
Fact of the matter is that right now since I can’t characterize this interview as a knockout punch, all I can do for now is wait. So for the moment this just means that I will keep you all updated on what happens!