Saturday, November 13, 2004

Job Interviews

Yesterday I had an interview for a job. The job was a telemarketing position. However it was selling to businesses, not interupting people during dinner, so I wouldn't have had to forsake my whole soul. Just a small bit of it. It did mean having to wear a monkey suit, ie good shirt and tie. First worrying thing: it took about 5 minutes for me to do up the top button around my neck. First good thing: I tied my tie first time.

So I go in and talk to the lady from the recruiting agency. She seemed much more keen on selling the job to me than making sure I could do the job. She also gave me a bunch of banking forms and employment stuff to fill in which struck me as slightly optimistic. After a 10-15 minute chat with her, she sent me over to the actual company to have an interview with their guy.

The guy at the company seemed a bit sceptical as to why I wanted to be a telemarketer. Apparently it's not the first choice career of people with degrees in physics and maths and good IT skills. I explained that I wanted to do something different to what I ahd been doing before, and that I had tried for other jobs that are more skilled, but was hampered by a lack of experience, which could partly be rectified by doing some sort of work involving regular contact with people. Motivation and the ability to deal with rejection were factors also brought up.

In the end I didn't get the job. The two spots available went to other people with experience. Ah well. I only really applied because it was something I could do and Centerlink make me apply for 10 jobs a fortnight.

Now the thing that really confused me was the lady from the recruiting agency's reaction to part of my CV. The thing that really impressed her was my career objective. Now, when I was updating my CV, I refered to How to be a Man. This is a well written and honest reference guide to many of the things that are useful to know in regular life. Now, when it comes to putting in a career objective for a resume, aside from saying to keep it short and simple, the authors say "This is the section of your CV which would be called 'fiction' if you were being honest'. Keeping this in mind then, my career objective read

"To become the best telemarker that I can, and to rise through the ranks to team leader and eventually into management".

Now if you saw something like that in a CV, having no other knowledge of the person, just how sincere do you think a statement like that would be? It's just as well that I haven't applied for any other jobs through the agency, or they'd have noticed I want to become the best data entry operator, collections agent, help desk operator and others that I can be. And so I wonder about people who are impressed by this sort of thing. I mean, I have a first class honors degree in physics. I'm half way through a PhD. Surely there is something in what I've previously done that is slightly more impressive than one very insincere sentence intended to curry favor.

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