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The Casual Interview




So I'm applying for a permanent position on the Help Desk! Originally I wasn't sure if I could since my contract doesn't end until the end of August. I asked our one manager in IT who normally heads all these interview for the department and she said I could and that she'd meant to reach out to me about it. She asked if I was available to chat and I said yes so she said she'd send out a meeting request a little later. Near the end of the day I had an appointment request for a one on one with her tomorrow from 10 to 11am! AH!

Since she called it a 'chat' I'm kind of nervous. What does that even mean? I'll dress up a bit but not too much since I still have to tough it out for the rest of the day. I'm working up a cover letter and modifying my resume just in case. There's usually an application form involved when applying for jobs and I'm caught between the odd world where I'm considered External because I'm on contract. I suppose for now I'll start with my resume and cover letter and during our 'chat' I'll ask if I should submit all of that and the application to HR.

When I look at the job posting I seem to cover all the bases. I read through the job duties and I can think of various moments on the desk when I've carried out those tasks. As far as qualifications, well that should have gone up a bit with my experience on the desk.

There are two open positions... I really hope I get one. If I don't... at least I'll know well in advance and I will have to the end of August to find another job. I'm kind of hopeful because my coworker, Cam, and my supervisor were talking about me and Cam said they both thought I've been doing a good job on the desk. Practically since the summer semester started I'm been manning the desk on my own. On top of that... I faced the worst thing!

For the past 2 weeks or so I've been working on a faculty members laptop and every test I run says there is nothing wrong. He makes me super nervous because he's annoyed by how slow the laptop has become and I can only think there might be an issue with the hard drive or the memory (but I'm leaning more towards memory). Unfortunately we don't have the spare parts to swap out the HD or RAM so I can't determine if it is one of the other. Well he came back today and I explained what I've been doing and that Dell has been giving me the run around. Since he stopped by I told him I'd email the support techs and put my foot down. I also apologized for how long we've had the laptop and I think he backed off a bit and realized he was grilling the wrong person.

I probably looked like a terrified child but I stood my ground and remained calm. I kind of have a tell. When I get really stressed or nervous when confronted with someone I either lightly scratch/smooth my hair with my left hand, or I cross my left hand over to rub my right shoulder. I will probably bring this up during the 'chat' along with the 1540 tickets I've resolved since starting the job back in September. I can't think of how many phone calls I've taken, must be either the same or who knows how many more.

Any tips would be appreciated! I will be as calm and confident as possible!

Wish me luck!!!



6 blog comments below

I'd say she wants to talk to you so she can justify her recommendation to put you forward for the position. Otherwise she wouldn't have had the meeting with you. I'd go well armed with all the things you've already mentioned, a cover letter, CV, record of your stats, etc. But only hand it to her when she asks for it. Let her do the talking, and only answer her questions, i.e. don't volunteer anything and stick to only the topic of your employment. I would study the position and make a list of questions which I'm sure you must already have. As that would count in your favour as well.

Best of good luck! I'd say the fact that you're serious about getting the job already counts in your favour. As well as your hard work to date. You obviously care about the job, and I'm sure it must show. So she must know how good you are. Your record speaks for itself.
deanhills on Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:53 am
Thanks deanhills Smile
TheGremlyn on Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:56 am
As dean said, your experience and your results speak volumes. I am sure this manager knows how you have done and that is why she wants the 'chat'. Go prepared and best of luck.
standready on Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:17 pm
Hmmf. I'm not sure what to make about that. The primary reason she wanted to talk with me is because of budgeting and other not so fun stuff.

My contract was supposed to go to the end of August but to work wither in budget she said my contact had to be cut back so the end date is now the end of this month Shocked

On top of that my situation is being manipulated so that I'm working some 0-35 hour time in July when my supervisor is on leave. The first 2 weeks of July I'm guaranteed full hours, but the last two weeks will be up in the air if my super decides to come back to work or tries to work a day or two a week. I'll be filling in for her while she's gone, basically.

August is when the two new positions will start. If there are any internal applicants they will be considered first and most likely hired.

What ends up being confusing is how she talked about how she'd like it if I had a desk and a place to land. She went on about how the hours will be different so if we didn't need people on the desk until 10am then from 8:30am to 10am I'd be at my desk doing tickets and working on computers. Funny because the hours won't change until August or September WHEN I MAY NOT BE THERE!!!

AH! Well, I'm throwing in my application now. Hope to God I get one of those positions!
TheGremlyn on Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:59 pm
That is not much of a notice at all. Shouldn't they be giving you a calendar month notice? I can't believe how this turned out. Exploiting you to the hilt as well. But filling in for your supervisor I'd say is a bonus opportunity for showing them what you can do. I'd say you stand a good chance as that must be a testimonial of sorts. Hopefully if you deliver in those weird circs, it may count in your favour for being considered for a permanent position. I'd give them 100% of everything, including for the application, but look 150% elsewhere as well.
deanhills on Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:22 pm
Hope you can get the offer!

About the slow computer, it happened to me once.
The desktop used to spend 20 minutes to start up Windows.

At the end, I found it's a hard disk problem.
The SATA2 disk is not noisy, so I didn't think it has problem at first.
I ran most of the software tests, and they are all green.
Even the detection software which hard disk manufacturer provided didn't find any error.
Finally, I tried HDD Regenerator (Trial version only) which can test each block.
It marks many blocks have reading latency issue.
I replaced a new one, and the pc can start up Windows in 3 minutes.

If you want to check RAM, you could use Memtest86+.
It's free.

If these are not helping, maybe you could ask your colleagues' opinions.
rx9876 on Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:04 am



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