Portfolios and interviews

Subject: Portfolios and interviews
From: Marilynne Smith <m -dot- smith182 -at- GENIE -dot- GEIS -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 1994 04:30:00 UTC

Yes, when I go for interviews I often manage to be there at lunch time.
Then I find a place to hang out and watch people as they come off work. It
can tell you quite a bit about how people in general feel about their job.
If I get a chance, I also talk to people who work there and ask them about
their work.

If I haven't seen the work environment, I ask the interviewer if I could see
a typical work area. That can be enlightening. Do you know that some Pubs
departments are in the basement? I ask about the equipment they use to do
the job and how a typical job might be moved through the department.

I'm not looking for posh working conditions. I'm looking for situations
that would make it difficult for me to do a good job: bad lighting, cramped
spaces, or people who look like they've been told to keep their chin 5
inches from the keyboard at all times. I watch how the interviewer and an
interrupted writer react. I note whether the interviewer compliments the
writer in my presence and whether the interviewer knows what kind of work
the writer is doing. (The pubs department in the basement passed this test.
The workers really lit up when the manager came around.)

In short, and interview goes both ways. I couldn't run fast enough the day
the Manager, who was interviewing me, took me into a conference room and
said, "the girls have each prepared a question to ask you" in a grade-school
teacher's voice, and proceeded to call on each in turn. I knew that wasn't
my comfortable environment.

So, thanks Jim, I appreciate your advice. I am in the process of revamping
my portfolio and it looks like I can improve it immensely.


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