Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering a Sept. 11, 2002 job interview


On September 11, 2002 (a Wednesday) I had the first in-person job interview for a COBOL job since my layoff at the end of December 2001.

I had been contacted by a recruiter in Minnetonka, and gone out to chat with him. He claimed to have arranged an interview for me and one other mainframe programmer with a pharmaceuticals company along the 494 strip in Bloomington. He claimed this could be a slam dunk deal in advance, after nine months of very little. (Okay, there had been a nibble for a data warehousing job at Wells Fargo, but I really had no data warehousing.)

The woman from the company came down into the lobby and interviewed us, together and then separately right there in a plush lobby filled with “puffy chairs”. I even took some DB2 and COBOL Murach books along to prove that I was technically prepared.
The tone of the interview was very general, with few specific and no technical questions.

Afterward we found out that she didn’t even have the authorization yet to fill the contractor positions. She was going to complete the work with existing staff. But I also got some interesting feedback from the recruiter. “She said, you tried too hard.” The recruiter said that he didn’t agree with her, given the difficult of the collapsed job market then. “But that doesn’t seem to send the right message.” OK, interesting.

I still wonder, why do the interview on September 11. I had preferred to watch the commemorations. On my main blog (in the archive a year ago) I describe the company cruise on September 11, 2001, as we spent the day, though in sunshine, in the dark as to what had happened.

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