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How the job interview went!!

July 29th, 2011 at 06:34 pm

I had my job interview, as scheduled, this morning. I met briefly with the HR person alone, and then with a senior analyst who's been with the company for several decades.

I was a little surprised when, after a very rapid description of their publication process, the HR person launched into specifics of benefits. Not that I minded at all, it's just that usually they don't get into details unless an offer is made. She told me about vacation, and from what i can remember, it starts low, like 1 week, plus 6 personal days, but then doubles each year for the first few years anyway. They have a medical plan that covers 65% of premiums (is that better than average?) if you're single, like I am, plus a dental plan and you can purchase short and long-term disability. And they have a 401k plan with a match.

Work hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm with an hour for lunch and no cars are left in the parking lot after 4:30 pm. There's no overtime, and no evening or weekend work. I asked how this all came about, was it the philosophy of the CEO, and she said yes, he thinks work/life balance is important.

So the benefits seem decent, what you'd want to see, and i especially liked the work hours, which are essentially a 7-hour day/35-hour week. Most companies these days, if they give you an hour for lunch, require you to work an extra hour in the afternoon to make up for it. Like my last perm job, we got an hour for lunch, but your hours were 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 pm, not 4:30 pm. So this is quite nice.

It's casual dress only on Fridays.

So after telling me all this, she called in the senior analyst and he asked me a few specific questions I hadn't been expecting. I really didn't know much about the type of writing, after all. He asked me if I'd done much travel, or if I ever lived abroad. Because they report on countries and economies all over the world, and I think having more than a US-centric perspective helps in this job.

He also asked me what news publications I read, and I wish I had been able to mention a few more non-US ones.

So the company has 53 employees, quite small. Alternative energies would be a new division and there would be several writers working together on one of their reports, each doing a separate section. He said it's definitely the kind of job you grow into, that there are certain things I'd get pretty quickly,and other things that would take quite long to understand.

Still, I think they liked me. They've emailed me a writing test I have a week to do. It consists of a 60-page report which I have to scan and summarize; additional research on my part may be needed. He's already told me that 90% of what's in the report is irrelevant. They want to see if I can pick out the important parts and write about it intelligently. It's a Bangladesh budget speech.

This is all rather exciting to me. I love the idea of immersing myself in a given subject matter and then becoming an expert in it. I've done that before in several jobs, having come into it with no prior background.

I was feeling comfortable enough to ask them why they weren't looking for someone with a PhD in solar or something. In other words, there are many people far more qualified than me to do this job, and that's what I couldn't figure out.

They basically said they do have some people like that applying for the job, but they live elsewhere, don't want to move, and being at the forefront of the industry, don't have much time. I was wondering if that was the full story; maybe they just can't afford to pay the higher salaries these people would command. (Cus they already told me low 40s)

The foreman on my vinyl siding job informed me they're planning on working Saturday, so no break from the noise yet. I hope maybe they take a break on Sunday. I'd like some quiet time to delve into the Bangladesh report.

7 Responses to “How the job interview went!!”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    Sounds like the interview went well. I wish you the best of luck!

  2. Petunia 100 Says:

    Very promising! Good luck!

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    So excited at the possibilities. I'm not sure how good that health coverage is, but the rest sounds pretty awesome!

  4. My English Castle Says:

    Sounds like an interesting job. Good Luck!

  5. Jerry Says:

    That sounds like a great gig, and nice that they were talking benefits and insurance already! I think that you are right... there is no way they would be able to hire a PhD for the same salary, and if you have the skills that they want then that could lead to a great situation for you. Good luck!

  6. scottish girl Says:

    Good luck!

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    That sounds like a really good interview. Yes, 65% of premiums being paid by the company is excellent. Most cover about half these days. I hope you get the job.

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