Monday, September 20, 2004

The Interrogation

"You're late!"

I knew she was joking, but I was a little bit rattled when those were the first words I heard as I walked into the office for my second interview. My appointment was at 5:30, and I was rushing in at 5:32. Normally I wouldn't allow myself to be so late (in fact, I like to be early), but I think it was excusable, seeing as how there was an emergency patient call I took at my office which came in at 4:50, which meant I didn't end up closing the office and leaving until 5:15. Then I rushed to my place and threw on my nice clothes, and fought traffic at about 95 mph all the way to Morro Bay. All in all, I think I made it there in pretty good time. I was led into the doctor's office and left to wait.

Five minutes later the doctor came in and introduced herself. Apparently she had had a busy day, too, because she still seemed very tired and like her mind was full of other things.

"Hi, Kim, it's nice to meet you. Would you like some water?"

"Yes, thank you." (I hadn't eaten yet, and I was both hungry and thirsty.)

She disappeared for a few minutes and returned with two cold bottles of water. Oh, it tasted so good! I enjoyed my water and watched as she sat down and arranged some papers on the desk. We exchanged a few pleasantries about how busy it can be in an office, and the traffic in SLO, and then got down to business.

"So I know that my office manager has already told you a little bit about the office and the position we have available; I'd like to ask you some different questions..."

I looked at her as she opened the folded papers in front of her- at least three sheets of paper with questions typed on them. *gulp* Now I'm starting to feel pretty comfortable with the whole process of hiring and interviewing, and I think I'm becoming fairly good at giving a decent interview, but I was not prepared for what would come next. She proceeded to begin drilling me with questions- "Tell me about why you want this job. Why are you leaving the office you're in now? What classes did you take in college? What about high school? Which class in high school did you like best and why? Which class did you like least and why? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? How do you deal with difficult patients? What about difficulties with co-workers? How do you feel about filing? About doing duties that aren't necessarily part of the job you were hired for? How do you feel about elderly people? What would you do in this or that scenario? What are your goals for the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?..."

The list went on and on. The whole time she was talking with me she kept eye contact. It really started to bother me after a little while, because she would look at me and ask a questions, and then as I answered she would begin taking notes, but never break her eye contact with me. I was sitting there looking at her and fighting the urge to look away or look down while still concentrating on answering her questions intelligently. It was one of the most difficult things I've ever done, to sit there and concentrate on answering these questions with that kind of distraction. It was maddening, she just kept that eye contact and continued calmly writing down everything I said. I kept wondering if she would even be able to read what she had written after she was done. I almost think she did it on purpose to try and fluster me, just to see how I'd handle it. All in all, it was very disconcerting, but I think I handled it well.

Afterward she showed me around the office again and explained where things were and more of how the office worked. The interview lasted almost 2 and a half hours. I finally got home at almost 8 completely exhausted. I was so glad it was friday, because my mind was mush. I felt like I had been in some kind of psychological battle or something, I just couldn't think anymore. But it's done now. I was so tired afterwards, and worried. I was worried that I might not be offered the job, even after all the effort and mental energy I had put towards it. I kept thinking to myself, if they liked me enough to interview me for a total of 3 and a half hours, why didn't they offer me the job right then and there? I knew the soonest I would hear from them was Monday. I had all weekend to worry about it, and believe me, I worried a lot.

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