I went straight from high school to college and college to law school, so I’ve never had to interview for a “real” job until now. A week and a half ago, I interviewed with a tax resolution firm and had a second interview last week. Quite possibly the weirdest interviews I’ve ever had. Even my interview for TGI Fridays in college was more involved than this one.
So here’s what I found odd about these interviews: I didn’t say hardly anything. The first interview I met with the lady that I’m assuming is their HR department, then spoke with one of their associates. After the obligatory “so, tell me a little about yourself” question, she spent the rest of our time together explaining to me how the firm works and what exactly they do. She then sent me to go talk to one of the associates and he continued to explain to me what he does. I had an opportunity to ask a few questions with him but really all I was asked throughout the entire interview were things like, “Do you think you can handle that” and “Does that sound good to you”. Which, of course, there is only one answer to this questions: “yes, of course, that sounds great”.
The second interview was nearly identical. I spoke with the HR lady briefly, then was able to speak with a newer associate about her experience with being hired and trained and essentially moving up in the company. I asked her one question and then she was gone. This interview style seems rather odd to me. It’s a company of about 175 people, so it’s not like they just never interview people. How do they get a feel for the interviewee when you don’t ask them any questions?! I was supposed to speak with the general manager during my second interview but he had an impromptu meeting and was unavailable when I was there. The second interview was Thursday and I haven’t been able to get a hold of the HR lady since then. Lost cause?! We’ll see.
I got a call this morning about interviewing with another tax resolution firm. Which, this is a good time to pause and explain a little about the industry: A huge chunk of the tax resolution firms in the country are within about a 5-10 mile radius up here (great for me!). All of their business is done over the phone, through e-mail or fax, unless they happen to have a local client. The first company that I interviewed with was the “original” and most of the other companies are people that quit the original and started their own companies (or so I’m told). Therefore, many of them function in the same way.
Now, like any good little interviewee, I Google the companies I am interviewing with to find out as much about them as possible before going in. Tax resolution. Just think about that name. It means that you owe lots of money to the IRS, or state taxing authority, and need someone to help you pay it down. Therefore, you are already pissed off at the government and having to deal with this situation in general. I can only imagine that this leads to a TON of complaints! As my dad told me, too, if someone is happy, they’ll tell one person, if they are unhappy, they’ll tell twenty. So I only take the complaints into account a little bit. I learned from working with child support enforcement that it doesn’t matter how nice you are, they don’t want to be there, they don’t want to be paying and they aren’t going to be friendly. I’m sure it’s the same situation in this industry.
Anywho, the interview with this second company was almost exactly the same. The only questions I was asked were “Are you actually interested in tax or do you just need a job?” (which, I’m pretty sure he could have come up with a less blunt way to say that) and “Do you have any questions?”. Hmm. Once again, I sat through an entire “interview” being told what the company does and how it operates.
Maybe it’s because I’m new to all this, but is this normal or I am just interviewing with companies that don’t know how to interview?!
And on a side note: everyone say a little prayer that I get an offer from one of these places!! 🙂