Inky did a post yesterday about all the different jobs that she's had in her life. We spend half of our waking day at work, and some people end up spending more of their time stressing about it. I find the whole process maddening, and the worst part is the act of looking for, and attaining a job.
I've been in my current job for the last two years, and I was with the previous employer for almost 7 years even though I had 7 different jobs while there. Even if those involved a ridiculous internal interview process to attain, so I've spent a lot of time in this process. The idea of interviewing again is so loathsome in my mind that there is a better than average chance that I won't be going anywhere anytime soon, unless I back in to one of my dream jobs, like Play by Play announcer for the O's or Carmen Luvana's practice dummy. I do have to sit on the other side of the desk, however, and interview people for jobs on our staff.
I hate all the theatre of the interview process from either side of the desk. It's all just well prepared answers to standard questions and in the end the interaction does little to bring to light the pros and cons of applicant and employer. "Tell me about a challenging situation in a previous job, and how you overcame it" doesn't tell you a damn thing about a person. Likewise, saying shit like "I'm a self starter" or "I am a fast learner" do very little to bring to light who and what the applicant is. In fact the only thing you can learn about a person in an interview is whether or not they are socialized enough to know what they are supposed to say in an interview, a truth that counts equally on either side of the desk.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could really lay it all out in one of these situations. "You're resume looks very good, but are you going to be a total pain in the ass that I'm going to have to watch like a hawk?" Now there's an interview question! How about: "Any fuckwit with commonsense can do this job, but I want someone that will be able do so and also be fun to be around." As for the applicant side, I'm thinking how great it would be to be able to say "Listen, the job you have advertised can be accomplished by a trained chimp, so I'm going to spend half my day getting shit done, and the other half emailing, talking about baseball and Lost and making personal calls." Of course the ultimate would be "I wasn't good enough to accomplish my childhood goals, but I still need to keep the bills paid and save some dough to go on vacation, so I want your stupid job."
If it were up to me I rather know if the person applying can quote a Will Ferrell movie than if they are proficient in Microsoft word and works. Likewise, I would rather be able to ask my prospective employer they are going to be a meddlesome and overbearing tool than tell them that I work well with others. As usual, it's all a pipe dream, but wouldn't it be nice.