Job Interviews in San Francisco

It’s been another long stretch without a post. This is most likely due to the fact that not much interesting happens when one is doing a job search from day to day. I’ve been going to interviews, writing e-mails, and going to more interviews. It’s difficult trying to find the right fit. I usually wouldn’t write about an interview but the one yesterday was interesting.

This was actually a second interview after I had ridden the BART for over an hour to the office for a 2 minute interview last Friday. I returned on Monday morning at 8:30am and was surprised to hear loud music and to see what seemed like a party going on in the other room. It turned out that this was the “interviewers” getting ready for the day. The office filled up with about five other candidates and we were called in to the main office one by one. They informed us that we would go out in the “field” with our assigned “interviewer” and sell the product.

Selling, as it turned out to be, was soliciting businesses in an assigned area, walking into their office where the signs said “No Soliciting” and trying to sell packages of tickets for a certain comedy club. We were actually kicked out of a few places but many others asked for a flyer or information of some sort which we did not have. Apparently, the marketing strategy was “impulse buy” and they did not leave information. I told my interviewer that it would be a good idea to leave some info they could pass along to the busy employees and they could call us if they were interested. Perhaps I’m crazy, but to me, this seems like a much better business strategy. However, I was informed the company does not do this.

I thought about stopping the “interview” after a polite 5 hours in but we were visiting all the Internet companies such as Google, Mozilla, Intuit (the developers of Quicken) and since I had nothing else to do that day decided to stick it out.

My “interviewer” told me he would give me a great recommendation to the boss when we got back and I would have to take a test which was comprised of the interviewer teaching me the “8 steps to success” and “5 sales methods” which I would memorize and then spit back out five seconds later on the test.

After I took the test my “interviewer” went into a private room with the boss for about five minutes and when he came out I could see on his face it wasn’t good. He took me outside and told me the boss was “confused” because on my application filled out last Friday, I said I could start “immediately” but informed the interviewer on Monday I would be able to start on the following Monday because I had gotten some more interviews during the week. Therefore, they were not going to interview me further and I could call again on Monday and see if the position was still open.

I had to crack a smile when I heard the “boss was confused.” Boy this guy confuses easily! I was not disappointed though since I realized the job wasn’t for me but after spending so much time thought I should just finish the day as to not burn any bridges.

Today was much better though and started with a haircut at a barber shop run by Vietnamese! When they learned I had just come from Vietnam, they really opened up, were extremely friendly and I really felt like I was back in wonderful Vietnam. They told me how hard it was to live here and I could really understand how their feelings. It can be extremely difficult for foreigners to come here and as I’m finding out, California is more of a “mixing bowl” than a “melting pot.” Groups tend to stick to their own and very few people have the ablitiy to truly feel comfortable with people from other cultures. It was wonderful to be in that barber shop among friendly Vietnamese again.

This experience was contrasted against the curt, sharp, unpleasant demeanor of the receptionist at the career fair I went to today. The girl I spoke to first was busy in conversation with her colleague and I felt like I was interrupting them. She was of Asian decent, wore gobs of makup and was pretty attractive. However, her attitude made her despicable. When I introduced myself, she replied with a rapid “Just fill out the top portion thanks,” and returned to the conversation with her colleague. After the job fair she was able to muster a “How was it?” to which I reponded, “Well, I think it went pretty well,” to her immediate reply almost before the last word had gotten out of my mouth a rapid “Great, Take Care.”

For some reason, I get the feeling quite a few Californians are only kind when they want something or are trying to sell you something. The openness of the Vietnamese is sharply contrasted with the more reserved, suspicious Californians and to an extent Americans. If you are open here people become suspicious and wonder what you want or what you are trying to do and become guarded which is a pity. Of course there are some kind, honest people as well whom I suspect come from Ohio or the Midwest. Here, when you approach someone, especially downtown they seem to be thinking, “Who are you, what do you want, do you have enough money for me to be talking to you.”

They say it is very difficult for someone to come back to the USA after living for a long time in Asia. Well guess what…… They are absolutely right. As I mentioned, there are some great people here but they tend to be immigrants or darts players.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! (^.^)/