Friday, April 14, 2006

Tales from interviewing hell...

Well, I promised Mel that I would blog about my lovely experience interviewing with Professional Staffing Group. All I can say is, oh my!

I kind of had a negative vibe going into it. Last Friday I had posted my resume on Monster and three search firms/staffing agencies called me to set up interviews. One was Wednesday, one was Thursday, and one is next week. Two of the people I spoke with actually took some time to hear what I was interested in, etc. With PSG, not so much. They just wanted to get me in their door. I figured I would give them a shot anyway.

So I get there with plenty of time. Find their building and then walk around a bit. My first impression when I saw their office was to call them from the sidewalk to cancel. I almost wish that I had.

I’ve worked with temp agencies before. Most have your standard office set-up. Reception area in front, offices in the back. Then they’ll also have a quiet space set aside for employees (like me) to take the various skill tests- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, typing, and any other specialty programs. Not this place.

PSG’s office was primarily a big open room. There were 30 employees all working at small desks. They were in 3 groups of 5 desks facing each other, so pods of 10. Everyone was on the phone on a headset. Lots of noise. I asked about it afterwards and one group focused on Boston, one on the suburbs, and the last was about half financial/legal and the other half creative. In the front there were 21 (I think) desks/cubes set up for prospective employees such as myself to do our testing.

So I walk in the door and it took me a minute to visually find the reception desk. There were too many bodies and stuff and I wasn’t sure if that was reception or if it was part of the company’s inner-workings. So I check in and she sets me at one of the testing stations to fill out my application paperwork and take the tests. Meanwhile, from time to time, a bell was rung and then everyone would start clapping. During my hour and 45 minutes there the bell was rung about 10 times. I asked about it later. Anytime one of the employees got a new client or set up a temp with a client they would ring the bell. Also at one point there was a gong. This is for when someone who was in a long-term assignment became permanent.

Anyway, I’m done taking my tests amongst lots of distractions. I let them know I’m done and am waiting for my scores to be printed out. Someone picks up my scores and then collects me and brings me back to a small office. He then presents me with this, “as our gift to you.” Um, thanks. A notebook. Just what I always wanted! I think I’ll have to alter the cover. Then maybe I’ll get some use out of it.

So I’m in the office and I do meet with one of their staffing people. She seemed nice enough. However, at this point I’m interested in direct placement. Yes, they do this, but it isn’t their main focus so she’s trying to push me into agreeing to do temp or temp-to-perm assignments. I left agreeing to check in with her next week, but I don’t have high hopes of them finding me anything.

In more positive news, the firm that I met with on Wednesday has an interview for me on Tuesday as well as phone interviews with two other companies on Tuesday and Wednesday. And one of those companies responded that of the three resumes that had been sent to them, mine looked the best. Woo hoo! Go me! I find this whole interview process really tiring and stressful, but I am glad to be going on interviews. I’m not sure if any of these three positions are really what I want to be doing, but the money on all of them will be good.


Christine R said...

Wow..nice notebook. I want to see something done with that! Congratulations on your other interview and good luck on the upcoming ones! I'm sure you will rock it!

~Mel said...

You're right that does sound, um what's the word, interesting.

How are you supposed to concentrate on the test with dings and gongs? That sounds pretty intimadating.

Where are the companies that they interviews are set up? And that's a good thing about the money being promising...