Nailed the interview!
Every now and again I look back at something and reflect, “Hey, I did a really good job with that.” Today was one of those times. I had a job interview with Lowes at their Customer Support Center. I applied for a Tech Support position for their software team. Lets just say, things got off to a rough start.
On Friday I was told by HR that they would e-mail me information on the interview for Monday morning. By Sunday night this had not happened. So, I did what any computer savvy person would do and turned to the blessed internet. There I found that the only published address for Lowes Corporate HQ was in Moorseville. I live in Moorseville, and that is the NEW HQ location. However I knew a head of time that I would be interviewing at the old location in Wilksboro. After much searching I found 2 location in Wilksboro about 5 miles from each other, and was faced with a decision: Which did I go to.
Well, I called and left a message with the manager I would be interviewing with, knowing that they would not get it until I was well on the road, and let them know I had received no notification and would be heading to the further of the two locations. My plan was to get there 30min early in case I had to go to the other location. Sure enough, I rolled into the parking lot of the wrong location, and my cell phone rang. I got directions to the right place, and was there in no time at all.
The HR person who greeted me after I checked in, did not know to expect me. I gave him the name of the person I was interview with, and found that while the IT department was ready to interview me the HR department was not. I polity told the nice HR person that I had cleared my entire day for Lowes, and was willing to take as long as needed to be flexible for them. Not more than 2 minuets latter I was sitting in a room with the HR person, and they introduced me to 2 Managers of the IT department. The three of them asked me a slue of questions, all very general and not about anything IT really at all. They all left the room smiling and seemed very nice. The HR person then informs me that I had completed the first phase of the interview process, and that I had 2 more groups of people who would like to see me today. So I did what any desperate for work person would do and said, “You have me all day if you need me”.
The next group were managers who, if I get the job, would be my direct supervisors, all 5 of them. They asked me a lot of questions. I was grilled on my knowledge of Unix, SQL, and other stuff as well. I was asked many different ways how I dealt with problem callers. I was asked how I managed stress. And the answers came very naturally and effortlessly. I had the laughing at witty comments, shaking heads in agreement on what I believe about IT customer service, and commiserated with them about product upgrades and roll outs. It was a great interview!
The next people were the hardware support team. The three of them kind of looked at my resume, and asked me a questions like they didn’t really know why they were interviewing me. And the questions they asked were about how I got into computers, what was the first system I’d ever used Unix on, and things like that. I impressed them by telling them I run Fedora Linux on an old G4 Mac at home, with a web server and a MySQL server, but that was it.
Then things got weird. As the last group left, the conference room phone rang and one of them answered it. The HR guy was on the other end and asked to talk to me. He apologized for not being there in person, but the HR director called a meeting at the Moorseville office so he was calling me from there. He had e-mailed an application to me, even though I had already filled on out on line, and asked me to give it to one of the managers to scan and send to him when I left. So I waited, alone, in a conference room deep in the heart of the Lowes IT Support Center, and a person knocks on the door with an application.
It was on of the people from my second round of interviews. They were actually the area manager, while the other people in the room were team leads. She said that, while she can not promise anything, the team really liked me and that I had interviewed very well. I thanked her and explained that I had been nervous, since I didn’t even know where I was supposed to be that morning. She was a little shocked about the ball being dropped on that one, and said she was impressed that I held my cool. She said that, in the event I should not be picked up for the job, that she really thinks I should apply again for the next open position because I would be a good candidate, again stressing that she could not promise anything would come of any situation.
So I walk away from this with a sense of, “well done” and a bit of hope. I feel at peace with the fact that I did my best, I was honest. I have a 50/50 chance of getting in, and they liked me to boot. I feel really good right now.