Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Interviewing for a Job

Well….it’s been almost 11 years since I’ve had a full-time job.  Wow!   I don’t think I’ve had much of an employment break in the last 11 years, but nothing full-time.  Between admin. asst. for a few non-profits and city council and all my volunteer activities – I had kept a full enough calendar.  But, with Cameron heading off to preschool for a 5-day a week program in the Fall, I figured that I should make myself useful (and put away some money for all these fantastic trips I want our family to take while we are here!).

I originally thought that I would get a job at the Embassy and I had been keeping my eyes and ears open for a possibility that would be a good fit.  I had a few mentioned to me and I contemplated it for a little while.  But then a job opened up at the school that sounded right up my alley so I switched gears. 

The plus of working at the school are three-fold…..same schedule as the kids (off at 4:30, Summer’s off, Christmas/Easter break, etc…), the money is tax free (bonus!) and I’ll be where my kids are and able to get to know their friends and the families at the school (not to mention the administration).  On the downside – it does seem to pay less (but once I calculated out the perks I decided it more than outweighed other options).  

A job opening was listed for Middle School Administrative Assistant (school secretary to the principal etc…. for the Middle School).  I thought – Perfect – Alexander will be in Middle School.  Meanwhile….Alexander was heavily praying that I wouldn’t end up with it, I just know it…..

I submitted my resume and patiently waited to hear back.  I got a phone call and was asked in for my first interview on February 12th.  I was surprisingly calm and not nervous at all.  I knew I was qualified for the job and it was just a matter of the combination of selling myself and seeing if it really was the best fit for both me and the employer.

The upside of the job – eyes and ears of the Middle School, right in the heart of what’s going on where my son will be.  The downside of the job – it was scheduled to start full-time at the beginning of April.  Yikes!  Not my idea timing since Cameron is only in school 2 days a week.  I could have him go for five full days and work out extended care for 3 1/2 months before Summer but I wasn’t looking forward to it.  I just didn’t think it was an opportunity to pass up.

My interview was with the Principal and Counselor and I felt it went well.  Honestly – I had that over-confident, in-the-bag feeling.  Now it was another waiting game.

I got called back on February 20th for a 2nd interview.  I knew I was up against 3 other women.  I dressed to impress and headed out again.  Once again, I felt it went pretty well.  I really clicked with the interviewers and it seemed like things were looking up.

The next day was my last interview.  I had to do a skype interview with the incoming principal.  The current one is leaving at the end of the school year and the new one planned to interview the final candidates.

It lasted about 10 minutes and I finished the choppy interview thinking it just didn’t seem all that great.  The principal seems like a really nice guy but I didn’t feel the same click.  I put it out to the universe and tried not to think about it.

Ha ha ha ha

I obsessed.  The more I thought about it, the more I got nervous about having to work fulltime in a MONTH.  I wasn’t ready to work full-time yet!  I wanted more time with Cameron.  I wanted more playdates and beach time and fun, relaxation time.  Ack!   If only this job started in the Fall then it would be PERFECT!  But no – it was scheduled to start the first week of April.  I waited and waited and waited.

Then on February 23rd I got the call and was told – thanks, it was great meeting you but we went another direction (or something to that affect).  He asked if he could pass my resume on if there was another opportunity and I told him that would be fine. I was surprisingly relieved.  I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason (even if you don’t know what that reason is yet).   I hung up the phone with a sigh and thought “it’s all good…..”

Four days later….I got a call for another interview.

This one was to be an Administrative Assistant to the Athletics/Activities Director (covering High School/Middle School).   The plus side – it wasn’t full time until the Fall!   The minus side – SO MUCH responsibility.  I decided I was up for the challenge and accepted the opportunity to interview.

Long story short….call was on the 27th, interview on the 29th and offered the job that afternoon!

Considering the last process lasted weeks – it was amazing that this one went so fast.  Clearly the first interviewer had a chat with the Athletics Director because he seemed to know a lot about me without me saying anything.  In the first 10 minutes of the interview (where he spent a lot of it talking about the job, expectations, duties) he said to me that he commented that I had a strong personality and asked how I would handle a specific situation.  (I think I had said very little by then so either I put off a strong personality without talking much or that’s how I came across in the other interview).   I took it as a compliment and went with it.

The interview obviously went well.  My office is located in the High School wing and it is a hubbub of activity.  Lots of kids and people popping in and out with questions (what times practice, when does our plane leave, do you need a copy of my passport, where do I pay for this or that, etc…).  I will be responsible for everything from the seasons sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball, etc….) and the rosters/schedules/uniforms/etc… to organizing 3 major tournaments (with 6 schools from the area) at our school.  I’ll also help the teams traveling to other schools (in other countries sometimes) for all their tournaments.  I’ll also be responsible for facilities management of all the meeting areas and facilities throughout the school (there is a computerized system set up where people request everything from the gym to a multi-purpose room for meetings, dances, activities and I have to check calendars and book space and coordinate with the maintenance guys for what needs to get done).   The list of duties goes on but needless to say I will be busy, busy, busy – just the way I like it!  It’s a little overwhelming right now, but once I figure it all out then I’m sure it will be great.  I am scheduled to train for a few hours Mon/Wed (while Cameron is in preschool) between now and when the school year ends and then I’ll start full-time in August.

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