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Job interview went pretty well...

March 3rd, 2012 at 07:20 am

I had that interview yesterday.

The company is a small publisher with websites, monthly publications and catalogs serving the wholesale/retail merchandise industry.

I'd be in charge of writing content for 1 website and 1 monthly publication, including loading the stories and blog posts. Also would be recruiting contributing writers (they can't pay them) and editing their stuff. These are all things I did in my last job, except I'm a little weak in HTML stuff...i don't know HTML coding at all, really. And this industry would be entirely new to me.

The companies who advertise in their monthly publication are wholesalers, manufacturers, etc. The readers are retail store owners who buy their stuff to get inventory for their stores. I would be doing a lot of interviews of small business owners and manufacturers about their products, reporting on new shopping trends in online/brick and mortar retail business and the like.

It was casual dress there, though now that i think of it, it may only have been becus it was Friday. It's like 10 minutes from my home.

However, for the publ/website I'd be responsible for, it's a bit of a niche, geared toward the flea market and swap meet business.

Anyway, I met with the president, who i actually kind of liked, and he seemed to like me. He said he was very impressed with my resume. He knows someone I used to work for (a real etate CEO). He had me show him how to use Track Changes in MS Word, after mentioning he never knew how to use it but that his attorney always uses it. So I walked around to his side of the desk and showed him.

He kept a lot of my writing samples and said the next step, after I met with their technology person, would be to meet with the head of editorial.

The tech person asked me what I'd done in the past to drive traffic to my site (I answered that by talking about my guest blogging on other sites, doing some PR), talked about using keywords, but i had to tell her i don't know the HTML coding but of course would be willing to learn. Luckily, I can use both a PC and Mac and I see they use huge Macs. I feel a little weak generally on the tech end of things. She asked if i knew how to re-size a photo, which i don't. This is the thing. At a small company, they want you to do it all, even though one can certainly learn new things. My last employer was larger, and so we had designers who did things like photo re-sizing and coding wasn't considered part of the editorial function.

The Prez will be away all next week but tech person said if you don't hear from us by 3/12, call us on the status of the job. This was nice...you rarely, if ever, have a prospective employer tell you to call them. Usually they don't want you pestering them as to job status. The other thing i liked is that no one asked me how much money i wanted to make. I'd rather they just make me an offer. I also REALLY liked it when the president said that quality of the writing was very important. At so many places these days, it's all about quantity, cus so many websites are sprouting up and they're all racing to get tons of content up there. But pres even said it was a pet peeve of his, bad writing, so i was thrilled to hear that. Becus as a professional writer, sometimes you can be working at a job and always putting in a lot of effort and it doesn't always seem to be appreciated at the top.

This is a small business, maybe 25-30 people? The head of editorial is the president's brother. I learned that they hired someone else for the job and that person just up and quit. So of course I'm wondering why. It looked like there was a lot of sharing of office space there.

Prez said business is doing very well and they barely noticed the impact of the recession, becus of course the recession is causing more people to shop at flea markets and that sort of thing.

The funny thing is, I applied for this or similar jobs at this company at least 2or 3 times and never heard a peep from them. I'm guessing that's because my resume just got overlooked among the hundreds they most surely got. In fact, since I hadn't had luck in the past, I nearly skipped applying this time. But then I decided to write a very pointed cover letter addressing each of the qualifications they were seeking, one by one by one. It's possible that whatever program they use to winnow down the resumes and select those with the most matching words selected mine for that reason. (Even though I had all those same words in my resume.)

10 Responses to “Job interview went pretty well...”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Sounds promising. I wonder how open they would be to letting you learn the HTML on the job or getting a little more training. It sounds like a great fit other than that small piece.

  2. Ima saver Says:

    I thought about you all day yesterday. I am so hoping that you get offered this job!

  3. CB in the City Says:

    Maybe this will finally be the ONE!

  4. rob62521 Says:

    Hope this works out for you.

  5. Dido Says:

    Fingers AND toes crossed!

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    I taught myself html coding this year. It is very simple to learn and you can easily make yourself a cheat sheet for the ones that are harder to recall. Usually the most you do with html is bolding, italics, making links, font size, color of type, strikethrough and underlining. Those are easy to memorize and probably will be 90% of what you will use. The more complicated stuff is maybe for 10% of what you are doing. Google it and you will find all kinds of places that have the code available to learn. Then all you really need to know is if the company uses [] brackets or >< brackets and adjust accordingly.

  7. Dido Says:

    yes, html coding should not be hard to do at all!

  8. patientsaver Says:

    Dido, you crack me up.

    Well, I know those things, but I'm thinking there's a lot more to coding, like href etc etc. I do remember at my last job we copied a string so we'd know how to do a URL link.

    The tech person made it seem like it'd be such a big deal. She said, "This is VERY important," with a very serious look on her face. Probably becus she didn't want me running to her every time I had a problem. Employers don't seem to want to recognize that humans are capable of learning stuff.

  9. Dido Says:

    yes, there is the ahref, but just google that and you'll find enough info to get you thru. HTML for Dummies might be worth the purchase price if you get the position.

  10. Dido Says:

    and I know what you mean about the learning. Right now I'm feeling caught in a catch-22...too little experience for the jobs I really want, but no experience in the lower level jobs that might help me get the job I want. I do financial statements (higher level), which is based on bookkeeping (lower level), so I understand bookkeeping, but because I don't have the day-to-day bookkeeping experience, I am having a hell of a time getting my foot in the door. The fact that I know the principles and am a demonstrated quick learner palls in comparison with hands-on experience in hiring managers' eyes.

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