Job Interviews

Anthony Craig, DDS
Anthony Craig, DDS

Luis Abreu wrote a piece yesterday outlining his experience interviewing for a job at Apple:

The [interview] seemed based on indirect questioning, [which] leaves too much room for bad judgements and assumptions

It’s the dream, isn’t it? To work for that small-ish company in Cupertino?

Everything except for the whole getting hired part, apparently.

Over the past 2-3 months, I have been on a whirlwind experience looking for a new job.

I left my previous job in a corporate dental office for various reasons.[1]

What I wish I would have known/realized[2] is that in the saturated region of Southern California in which I live, it is hard to find a decent dental office from which to hail. Don’t get me wrong: I am happy to be free of the heavy corporate hand. I feel how Jason Snell probably felt after leaving IDG.[3]

But there is only so much interviewing one human can do in a given period of time. Some of the offices I have been to have been …less than ideal. Let me put it this way: I wouldn’t let some of these places perform irreversible surgical procedures on my teeth, that’s for sure. Oh well. You never know from a Craigslist ad.

But even worse than the quality of the offices are the games one has to play in the interview. The entire time a potential employer is grilling me, all I can do is think about what the next question might be, and how I can best answer it. Do they want me to be hard working and talk about how I want 5 days per week, or do they want me to seem laid back, and not super producer?

I read people and size them up all day long. I have to. Most people aren’t comfortable at the dentist. I know I’m not. You’re laid back, in this vulnerable position, just hoping that the guy won’t say you need anything done. I empathize wholeheartedly.

But I also know that when people have such walls up, it is hard to ascertain what exactly it is they want/need. That’s why I have to read people.

That is hard enough as it is. I certainly didn’t expect to have to do the same in job interviews.

Maybe it’s because I have been on so many? Hard to say.

What I take home from Abreu’s story is solace—at least I’m not alone.

  1. Someday I’ll talk more about this.

  2. The grass is always greener.

  3. Another interesting tidbit: just as his departure from IDG coincided with the launch of his personal blog, Six Colors, my own departure from my job at PDS led to my spending a lot more time on my blog here. It’s funny how big, planned life changes often lead to other equally big, unplanned life changes.