Interview #1 – North Philadelphia

I should have known that Such&Such Promotion Company was not the place for me when after my hour and a half drive to Philly I couldn’t find the place.

Sure, Google maps took me straight to the address, a large mostly enclosed strip-mall.

I even managed to find the suite number 116 like the email from hiring manager Jenn specified. When I arrived though, instead of finding a bright office with modern architecture and floor to ceiling windows, like many of the offices on the second floor, instead I found myself smack dap in between Heaven Spa and an establishment known as Stupp Furs, which I learned was a shop full of Faux-fur clad clothing and wardrobe accessories.

It was at this point that I called the receptionist, who in a bright voice directed me –

“Yes ma’am, everyone gets lost finding our office.  Just go down the hallway next to Heaven Spa, all the way to the end, then turn right, we are at the end of the hall.”

At this point, I should mention that I had already been down this hallway and there was nothing there but the Bridge Club consisting of a few large windows displaying a coffee pot and 30+ seniors sitting at card table, but back down the scary hallway I go, past the Bridge Club and finally find Such&Such Promotions. Which brings me to my first point:

  1.  A reputable employer will have a location with high visibility.

 

Apparently, they had scheduled interviews in 15-minute blocks because the small office, complete with a scattered assortment of GQ magazines, a black leather sofa, and large receptionist’s desk was busier than most doctor’s offices.  In the 30 minutes I spent filling out the questionnaire and waiting for my interview, five other interviewees came and went, which brought up another red flag.

2. Tons of interviews probably means high employee turnover rates.

 

Now, luckily before I arrived at today’s interview, I had done as much research as possible on the company I was to be interviewing with.  They supposedly have PR, Marketing, Event Planning, Sales, and Customer Service placements, but this was no staffing service folks.

During my interview with Jenn she hit a few buzz words that I had come across earlier on Glassdoor.com, specifically that they were looking for someone with a “can-do” attitude, a “go-getter”, and someone who is great with “face-to-face” customer interactions, for clients like Verizon, DirectTV, and other big names.

3.  When they say face-to-face customer interactions it means working a kiosk at the mall, probably on commission.

 

My biggest takeaway from today’s interview though is this, quality is better than quantity.  I think I needed today’s experience to teach me that just because ZipRecruiter offers a one-click, the easy-apply button does not mean I should click it several hundred times.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed looking for jobs, but I think following a few quality leads, though much slower at first is probably the best way to get where I want to be then chasing a ton of positions whose offices are hiding behind the Retiree’s Bridge club.

Today’s Takeaway:

A few quality leads is better than chasing rabbits.

 

* Note – Company name, recruiter, suite number and other identifiers have been changed for the purposes of this article.

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