What is the process of applying for a job or participating an interview today compared to one from years ago? How have things changed? I think it really depends on the company you’re applying with. The last time I had an interview was about 5 to 6 years ago. I sat in a room with about four managers asking me various questions about what I’ve done and what my qualities were. The usual review of my resume and what questions could they ask me.
I always done well with my resumes and my interviews but there was always one job on my resume that gave me pause and I wish I didn’t have to put it on there. I should say that it only gave me pause because the management mentality of this position was very low, and they treated you differently. What was that position? The Administrative Assistant. I loved the job because it gave me ways to help so many people with so many different things. It helped me network and meet a lot of new people within the company. I truly enjoyed that aspect of it. What I didn’t like was the assumption that I knew nothing about the business or the products they sold. Within the company it automatically put me in, what I felt was a “less potential” category.
So, let me jump back in time a little bit and explain my background. I grew up in a machine shop with my parents and grandparents. They were in the aerospace industry. I grew up with a natural background of how a business ran and picked up a technical understanding of how a machine shop ran and how it worked.
This is probably why when I completed high school I got my first job at a manufacturer. I got it. I understood what they were doing and why and I was very curious as to how their product worked. Learning about the product only increased my technical experience and encouraged me to learn more.
Years down the road an opportunity at a well-known local company popped up but it was for a position that was a little below my current experience level. However, it was a foot in the door to work for a great company. I spoke to a friend about it and they told me to not look back. I took the leap and went into the company as an Administrative Assistant. I honestly believe this was the best way to come in. I was able to learn about the company and how things were done. After 5 years I was able to move out of the position and get into something a little more technical.
Then came the interview. Your typical interview. I sat with a group of people went over my resume and answered the questions. Back then the politics within the company were strong. They decided not based on experience but how much they liked the person and what their education level was. The human resource person at the time told me I would never get the job because I didn’t have a degree and they would never pay me that kind of pay. It was a blow for sure. I spoke to my previous manager who ensured me that my experience was equal to if not more valuable than that piece of paper. Now granted I am not knocking an education, I am just stating that a certain amount of experience can be equal to that degree.
I got the job. However, not without the top guy letting me know that I got the job because he “gave it” to me. I thanked him and quickly moved on. I also distinctly remember that when it came time for my review that it was brought to my attention that I made a lot of money for an Administrative Assistant. In other words. you’re not getting much of a raise. I have learned since starting at this new company that I have had to fight my way through the politics and the heavily male dominancy to prove that I’m not just another girl at a secretary’s desk.
Today things are different. I work for a company who empower women and encourage them to be leaders. I’ve become a leader within their women’s network and constantly seek to help others who want to be more. This has been the most empowering experience ever. I feel confident and strong and feel like I could take on the world.
Now granted, I have been through some mergers and instability the past few years so now when I look at jobs I look at them differently. Today I’m looking for that company who empowers women, understands the flexibility a parent needs and truly trusts who they are hiring. These three things are very important. All these things will motivate an employee. This is what I love about FairyGodBoss. This site gives me the opportunity to learn a little more about the next company I want to work for.
It’s no longer about interviewing me now it’s about me interviewing the company. I will do my homework and check them out, so I understand who they are, what their goals are and what makes them stand out compare to others. I’m sure the typical interview question will come up, “Why do you want to work for Xyz company?” That is where I would like to challenge them back with, “Good question, why DO I want to work for you?”
I look forward to the response.