Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Hunt

From Sweet.


If you have been reading the Riverbank this week, most of you knew I was doing a writing sample for my job interview yesterday.

Well let me tell you how it went;
my allotted interview time 9:00 a.m. I did what most women do the night before struggled over what to wear; should I wear slacks, a suit, dress/blouse with a little cleavage. At that moment, I thought here I go again, stressing over a job I don’t even have yet, so I decided to wear what made me feel the most comfortable (not my PJ’s even though I wanted too).

I arrived on time and met with the Senior Paralegal…we all know there are certain questions an employer cannot ask potential employees; however, employers go ahead and ask the questions anyway. I decided, on my way there I was just going to answer the questions regardless of their legality, let’s face it I am slightly over 50-years old and have done just about everything I have wanted…why do I care if they ask a few illegal questions….

Question One: Sweet, tell me about yourself; I don’t mean your work experience, I mean what do you do for fun? Needless to say, I was shocked, no one has ever cared what I like to do for fun (but telling the truth on this one would have ended the interview) so “I like fishing, boating,” all the things I really enjoy.

Question Two: Do you drink? Okay now I am starting to think what’s up with this place do they want me to tell them the questions are inappropriate? However, I refrained and answered the question, “yes on occasion” Good we don’t want someone who condemns drinking or won’t have a beer/wine at the multiply company BBQ we have out on the veranda during the summer months or when we have business retreats away from the office. I will show you the veranda later.

Question Three: Do you have children? “Yes, I have two” what are their ages, okay now we all know this is a no-no question. “I simply stated they are grown, and my husband has one minor child left at home with her mother.” Good we are looking for someone with little obligations to small ones.

Question Four: I see you teach two nights a week at a local college, is this something you plan to continue? “Yes, I enjoy teaching and I am looking for a job that will complement my teaching.” What subject do you teach? “I teach Introduction to California Civil Litigation.”

Question Five: Are you comfortable doing, pleadings, motions, discovery, summation and reviewing of documents? “Yes, discovery is my favorite party of litigation.” Can you tell me the steps for indexing discovery? “Of course” so I go into this big explanation of discovery and how to index (remember, I teach my students to do discovery); I will spare all of you the details. Then she asks me, do I know how to calendar court dates. “Yes, in fact that is what I am teaching my students this term.” Then she responded, well that question was a little wacky since you are an instructor. By now, I am thinking she should see my writing example, so I open my portfolio, retrieve the writing sample, and ask; “do you want to see my writing sample”…yes, very nice! (a simply complaint for personal injuries, and a demand letter).

Question Six: Can I ask your age? “Yes, even though we both know the question should not be relevant base on the fact you cannot discriminate against me because of my age.” I felt this was the appropriate time to let her know I knew what was acceptable regarding questions asked at interviews and I told her my age…

We then took a tour of the office and I saw the veranda, it was beautiful…then she explained the reason for all of her questions. The partner, who needs a paralegal is an avid fisherman, enjoys boating and they are looking for someone who has a common interest (who wouldda thunk fishing may get me a job), someone in his age group, someone that likes to be involved in the office activities and is not afraid to say yes, I will drink a beer…. She then explained, he liked people who give back to their community, and my teaching was something he would appreciate. I then got a rundown of the salary range… ($48K-$58K), benefits etc. I was asked to return on Tuesday next week to meet with the Senior Partner, Partner for a second interview. (everyone cross your fingers)

Therefore, the interview tips I have for job hunters… are be yourself, if the questions is not anything you wish to hide just answer! It could be they are looking for a personality match…and the rest of the job they are willing to train the right person.

I will keep you all posted! I will be interview with a Child Advocacy Group on Monday…I am very interested in this one, it will give me the opportunity to see how, who, what, when a child is assigned an attorney…I could have used this job a few months back! (for my Josh).

Final words are be yourself…be happy, and wait for the right job, this is my plan; money is nice, happiness is worth more…



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