Again, gained an experience

Today I had two interview with recruiters. The first meeting, at eleven this morning went, in my opinion wonderful 🙂 We were both well prepared and the recruiter showed a genuine interest in what I was looking for. He’s going to see if he can get me an interview as well, with a company near Eindhoven that developes front- and back-end web-based products (websites, CMS, etc.) for a certain group of companies in the market. Not much to say there, it was a nice interview and although it is a bit less technical, based on 26 years of experience I have with being me, I think the job he has in mind may suit me quite well. If he can arrange an interview, I can find out if that’s true.

The second meeting, just now, was … bleh. Not that everything went wrong. On the surface everything went quite well, and at the end of the interview the recruiter indicated that he thought it was a pleasant interview and hoped to speak me soon. Then what went wrong? Well, for starters, I discovered that an old CV of mine is floating around somewhere and people seem to think that I’m almost done with my graduation project. That’s not a big deal. The real problem was that I felt no connection with this recruiter… and he was unaware of it! He just kept on talking, like a bulldozer, unaware that he struck totally the wrong chords with me. Most importantly: He tried to sell of a loan-job as if it wasn’t a loan-job. At some point, I seriously considered thanking him for the opportunity but that I felt this wasn’t for me. Maybe I should have done just that, this was a waste of our time… and he didn’t even realize it… Instead, I opted for the more subtle method and indicated that I had my doubts on their core values (four values that were purely objective measures that an employee should adhere to that were explained in terms of “if you show dedication you get more money!!!!!111oneone”) and that, in essence, it was still a loan-job. His approach for the rest of the conversation was the same as before and I left feeling quite … cheated. He had spent an entire conversation with a metaphorical crowbar between my teeth trying to map out the creature known as Diana on some objective grid he had in his mind. Bleh

Edit: Oh yes, also, when he asked me why I wanted to work 32 hours and I replied that that fits me best, he replied that it may well be harder to work 32 hours. For a second there, I thought he meant that it was harder on a personal level, to work 32 hours than to work 40 hours, and when I asked him if he had any experience with it, he replied “Companies don’t want people for 32 hours”. In short, I’m a robot and my needs don’t matter as long as I make money for the company. Oh, bugger off, will ya?

On the bright side, the interview I had yesterday went good enough for them to invite me for the second round. There is a third, but the third is only a formality, that’s when they make an offer. I’m pretty pleased that they also found the conversation went well. It was a relaxed atmosphere and during the interview I felt I gave an accurate impression of my strengths and weaknesses. The most important thing they did: They listened. They repeated what I had said, something everyone should do (I should be more aware of it, too). Also, they asked me some technical questions about J2EE and stuff (never worked with it but I did my best to read a bunch of stuff this weekend) and I feel that that went okay. In any case, I wasn’t afraid to say “[blabla answer question]. This it the impression I have, does that correspond with reality?”, and they took the time to go into detail on the topic we were discussing.

I’m seriously not going to blindly go for the first job I see; I’m continuing my search, but so far I’m pretty pleased that this company is going to invite me for a second round (officially I don’t know it yet, but my mediator already called me 😉 ). The atmosphere was good, they seem to have a realistic view of what I, as a starter, know and what they want me to study/learn (10% of working time is for studying) and, two things I find important / convenient: They seem okay with 32 hours once they heard that from my side, there is some flexibility on how to divide the time and that this is not forever: We can review this again in half a year. What really helps here is that they’re at 15-20 minutes by bike from my house, so I’m not bothered by it should they prefer 36 hours instead of 32.

In short, I’m being more upfront on what I want and need in a job and what I have to offer and I find that two times out of three ( 😉 ) this is met with a calm, understanding attitude.

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