My job interview yesterday started off great, and then ended poorly. The experience was a first for me and I hope to not have any more like it.
The first 45 minutes went wonderfully. The two women who will be sharing the administrative assistant that they're looking to hire were giving the interview together. They were both warm, friendly, and approachable and so I felt almost instantly at ease. I thanked them both for delaying the interview by a day for me. I then answered all of their questions easily and it felt more like a relaxed, normal conversation than a formal interview (although I was careful to stay on topic and professional). It seemed easy.
Then, just when I thought we were wrapping up (and silently congratulating myself on how well it had went!) they told me the interview had a second part. They took me to a little cubicle in the back maze of offices and sat me down at a computer. They handed me an envelope with 3 tasks in Excel that they wanted me to try to figure out how to do. Then they said to print out my results, put them in the envelope, and drop them off before I left. Gulp.
I've used Excel quite a bit at my current job and my last one, but I'm far from being an expert at it. Clearly.
The first task wasn't too bad. I managed to figure that one out pretty fast, but the second one stumped me. It was basically asking me to filter and sort the information on a large list of fictional students, and then do a mail merge with a form letter to be sent to each student's home address. I tried for 45 minutes and it was no good, I couldn't quite make it happen. It was 2:30 by then, which was the time I'd told my boss I'd be at work, and I still had a 30 minute drive to get to work. I had to go. So I only got one task of the three done.
I won't be getting that job.
You guys, I've been feeling terribly low over this whole situation. I was disappointed, and what's worse, kind of embarrassed. I feel like I let myself down.
Two friends (one a professor from the local university and the other has a Master's degree in Computer Science) told me that it was a really difficult task to ask someone without any special training to do, so that made me feel a tiny bit better. I asked the advice of the one who's a computer whiz as to how I can best go about learning to really use Excel, whether I should take a class or buy books or what. She suggested free YouTube tutorials. I plan to get on that starting next week, once I finish feeling bad and taking a few days off to relax.
I don't want to have this happen again, as I've put several resumes out there for Administrative Assistant positions. Wednesday's experience left me with the feeling of being caught with my pants down. I didn't like it at all.