Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Yesterday, I was starting to move into acceptance mode. I was sure the job I applied for wouldn't be interested in me. I was going to text Nancy about it. I was telling myself, "give it a week until deciding it's over." And then the phone rang. "Hello...we'd like you to come in for an interview."


I've also been telling myself that all I really wanted is an interview. That it would be enough (dayenu). The idea that I'd even be considered is thrilling. I think there is almost no doubt that I would take the job if it were offered, which means I'll be disappointed if I don't get it. Then I started running the odds. I've been offered about 50% of the jobs I seriously applied for. Mostly that means that I haven't applied for many jobs. I applied for one academic job--I got a nice letter and a phone call from someone on the search committee telling me that I looked great but I needed a bit more experience. (I only applied because the school was in New York City and they wanted someone in my area of expertise.) When I applied for my current job, I was also applying for a job at another government agency. The other agency actually brought me in for an interview (technically, they were paying for me to give a talk, which I also did, because the government can't fly in job candidates). The interview was an all day affair and I never heard from them again--typical!

Recently, I have applied for four or five jobs, and had two "interviews." One was a real interview with another government agency--never heard from them after the interview either. The other was my open offer, where they came to me. So not a formal interview. One of the other government jobs closed before they got to the interview stage. I applied to two other private sector jobs. I didn't follow up or track any of them and got no response from either. I have contacts at one of the private sector jobs, but I didn't use them because it felt like a conflict.

Anyway, the interview isn't until next week so I have time to prep. "What are your weaknesses?" is the third question on the list from google of the "50 most common job interview question." Should I say I work too hard? Ha ha. No. I'm intemperate? Heh. No. I am kind of intense and opinionated. I'll keep thinking about it.

I'm getting a haircut on Friday. I'll have time to put a good outfit together--not too formal, not too casual. The smart thing to do would be to talk to the guy who I would be replacing. I know him. He used to work where I work. I think I've known him over ten years! I like him as a person ok, but professionally, he makes me nuts. He's super annoying. I know I should talk to him but...I don't wanna. I guess I have a few days to figure it out. Even if I weren't going to ask him for advice, I should ask what the job is like, how he liked working there, and etc.

Also, in terms of qualifications, my main weakness is that some fundraising is required and I've never done that before. Work friend ER asked me about it and I said the only fundraising I'd ever done was sell t-shirts for the rowing team. Ha ha! I said I give a lot of money to fundraisers. She said, "for work in our field?" I said, "No--I give my whole life to that cause!" According to Nancy, that is the key: I am a true believer. You all know that I've only stayed put because I care about the substance of the work. What if I could have the substance and become a leader, if even in a small way? I would relish that. I never thought I had any ambition for work...but obviously I do. I don't know exactly what this new job would mean but the prospect is more engaging than any of the other things I've applied for. It's what I've said all along--I would leave for the right job. Maybe this is it?

Grateful for: friends who look out for me (if it weren't for Nancy, I never would have even thought to apply for the job).


  1. Fingers crossed for you. And my advice, fwiw, is to reach out to the guy you'd be replacing. And do it before the interview. Even if not for advice, to get more info. Spending half an hour with someone annoying is totally worth feeling you have an edge in understanding the role in an interview.

  2. Congratulations on having the opportunity to interview! I agree on reaching out to the person you're replacing, for the reasons stated by Anon11 above.

  3. Thanks loyal readers. Taking your advice and the advice of my IRL friends, I emailed the dude yesterday and we're meeting after work next week. I want to get him talking about the job to see if it really is right for me. I'm still excited!


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