03/16/2004: "more fun with interviews"
Ah, the lovely sound of someone saying, "We'd like you to come in to meet someone else..." Second interview!! Much to my delight, it happened only two days after my first interview, and the actual appointment was yesterday afternoon. Where the first one was good in a fun way, the second was good, but in a very intense way.
It seemed like it would be a fairly normal 2nd interview; I had passed muster, so someone else slightly higher up the corporate food chain wanted to meet with me to see what I was all about. Fair enough.
Perhaps 25 minutes into the interview someone else comes in to the conference room where my interviewer and I were sitting. I have no idea who this person is, and his manner of dress provides only further confusion. He's wearing a loose t-shirt underneath an open, short-sleeved collared shirt with a rich blue and green paisley print. His pants are loose-fitting and cottony. To my utter shock, his footwear consists of nothing but moccasins - no socks at all. (I'm used to mandated close toe footwear at all times.) It is obvious he's in comfort mode, but who is he? In very short order he introduces himself - it's the owner of the company, come to participate in this interview. Holy cats!
I barely have time to process who he is and how he's dressed when the intensity starts fast and furious. He's a very fun, open, honest person, but at the same time his sense of humour and honesty can be blunt. Thankfully, I wasn't entirely unprepared for such an exchange, and managed to both hold my own and take his comments as they were meant to be. Now that I think of it, I wonder if perhaps his participating wasn't a sort of test - throw me into the deep end and see how I react. Although I came out somewhat winded, I wasn't a nervous wreck or in hysterics, so I'll count it as a success.
One of my friends from church actually knows this person from their previous church. She had been kind enough to give him a call last week and put in a good word for me. This comes up during this meeting, when he informs me matter-of-factly, "The only reason you're getting this interview is because [she] called me and told me you're not a wacko." Um... wha? He then explains that when he read "homesteading" under the Interests section of my resume, he immediately thought back to his college days. Back then, his friends that were interested in homesteading weren't in it for self-sufficiency or environmentally sustainable living - they were in it for the Free Love. He mentioned "multiple wives", too. Boy, talk about the wrong impression! When I got home I immediately changed the wording of that section to preclude such an interpretation.
Clothing, humour, free love, and dealing with the intense presence of The Boss aside, this second meeting only whet my appetite for this company even more. On the surface their industry is necessary but somewhat mundane. From what I know now, however, they are looking to expand in all sorts of extremely interesting directions. If I do manage to get in there, I know my first few projects are not going to be these uber-exciting projects that I have all but dreamed of getting involved in, but the prospect of highly engaging work is at least there. Regardless, it sounds like an attractive place to work, and I want in.
In the last minutes of the interview I think I came across the most difficult question of all, if you're not mentally prepared for it:
Boss: What are your salary expectations?
Boss: Are you worth it?
My answer was a quick and definitive, "Yes!", which I think is the only right answer. If you don't believe you're worth it, why should the company give you that much? I'm just glad in hindsight he didn't continue with, "Why?" That would have been a bit harder.
All in all, things went really well. They have one more person to throw into the fire... er, I mean, interview, so I'm guessing I should hear back within a week, one way or the other. I'm trying not to put any hope into this, but it's really hard after two interview that leave you glowing. Stay tuned.