Friday, December 31, 2004

Caveat Emptor

...which means 'buyer beware' is a much loved, oft quoted, expression of my loved one. In fact, as I sometimes tell him, he occasionally employs it when he really should outsource the job to another turn of phrase. However, despite my misgivings about using it for anything beyond shopping @ Walmart, I'm taking a page from his book and attempting to stretch it to fit around the latest chapter of my job hunting safari: The Laws of the Jungle.

Law #1= Caveat Interview--Beware of Interviews, I say!
No matter which side of the table you're on!

The JobSafarist's Developing Checklist of Things that are Definitely Out In Interviews:

1. Being Honest (see also Frank, Candid, Open, Aboveboard)

The moral of this story: Enthusiasm and 'telling them what they want to hear' are the watchwords in the Jungle.

Helpful examples:

Interviewer: "The job description says we're looking for a Project Manager, but realistically you'll be helping out in the mail room and collating copies. We like to think of it as a 'team player' role. How do you feel about that?"

Candidate X replies: "Frankly, I was hoping I'd get to use my brain, talents, creativity, and initiative to develop my potential, augment my resume, and boost my career trajectory."

The Savvy Jobsafarist replies: "What?! You mean I'd get to collate photocopies in this job, what a coincidence: I LOVE the repetition of mindless tasks! Combine endless photocopying with an opportunity to work in the mail room and I'll be well on my way to vocational heaven! Though long term, (if I might dare to dream) I hope that I could parlay this position into an opportunity to do some mindnumbing data entry as well. Then, I'd really feel the glow of job satisfation."

Interviewer: "Hmmm, I noticed on your resume that you have an English Honors degree. Why do you want to work here?"

Candidate X replies: To be perfectly candid, I'd rather be independantly wealthy and working on a Pulitzer Prize winning screenplay, but I need this secretarial gig to pay the bills.

The Savvy Jobsafarist replies: "I really wanted to earn a Meaningless Drugery degree at my University, but due to limited course availability of Braindead 101, was forced to cloak my ambition and declare English Hons. instead.
Nevertheless, I have always dreamed of a position that would allow me to deploy my gifts in filing alphabetically and transcribing dictation."

Interviewer: "We're trying to get away with paying you as little as possible. What are your salary requirements."
Candidate X: "I've become accustomed to eating regularly and sleeping indoors. So, ideally, I'd like to make enough to buy groceries and pay my rent, as this facilitates both of these habits nicely."

The Savvy Jobsafarist: "Sure! $8 an hour is PLENTY to meet my needs. After all, eating is overrated. And I feel sure that a tarp in a doorway can be made to feel quite homey, if i put my mind to it."

(*Note: Candidate X, is always candid and therefore will never make it through the interview process. Remember: it's a jungle out there.)

Checklist To Be continued....