Interviews: Ugh!

It’s job hunting season. I believe in keeping my eyes open. Much as I’m content here, the pay is less than I’d get in Korea or Japan. (Though I’m far happier and better off in China than in Korea, where office politics always ran high.) I do believe I’m going to put in a certain number of hours and a certain amount of effort and creativity into a job wherever I am so I ought to be working at the school with the best package.

I’ve had three bites for my job applications.

  1. A summer job at a university in England advertised on TESOL, a site for ESL professionals located in the USA. While it’s an international organization, a great proportion of the teachers are American.

    While the dates weren’t great for starting a September job since they wanted teachers till mid-Sept. I was so eager to try living in Europe, I applied. I was selected for an interview and spent over 2 hours preparing two tasks they sent candidates.

    I was waiting for the call and it didn’t come. When I checked my email, they sent a message asking whether they had the right number (they did) and whether I had an EU passport.

    Like most Americans, and others who don’t live in Europe, I don’t. So the interview was cancelled. How aggravating! Often job notices specify such stipulations upfront. The website where applicants submitted their information had no question about this and the two emails prior to the interview didn’t mention this. It’s so basic. The school is highly ranked and any organization that has an HR department that prepares or at least reviews job notices, should know better.

    Since I’d already dreamed of adding a trip to Ireland or Scotland to this experience, I’m disappointed.

  2. I’ve gone on to stage two of the job hunt process with a university in Japan. Japanese universities have lately gone to only hiring people already in Japan, this was a coup. However, I have to make a video as stage two of this process. It’s become more of a hassle than any phone or Skype interview. Webcams can be tough to work with if you want to put your best foot forward. I spent two hours last night on getting myself ready, setting up lights — not easy in a land of florescent lights, and figuring out what to say. I even had my hair styled, which I wouldn’t have done with Skype. Since I have to submit a finished product and I know it doesn’t have to rival, I do have to make it good. I don’t want something where half my face is cast in shadows or I’ve garbled a sentence, which could be overcome in a live interview. Again a lot of work for the early stage of the hiring process. It’s aggravating that skills outside of the scope of the job may influence the decision.
  3. I’ve got a reply from a group of schools in Oman. They want a slew of documents, like a photo on a blue background. (What shade exactly?)

    I’ve got scans of me on a red and another on a white background. Can’t that suffice till a job offer’s been accepted? Yet I don’t dare not give them a blue background as it might be a means of testing who’s compliant. I wasted an our trying to change the white background to blue with Gimp, an open source PhotoShop sort of program. It’s just too hard to get around my hair.

    They also want documents like transcripts, degrees, and an application. All typical documents, but I wish I had a secretary to do some of this.

    One hiccup is that I noticed my undergraduate transcript is wrong. Page one of the three page transcript isn’t for me. It’s for a Susan E. Kelly, who was born a year earlier and studied Criminal Justice. (She got a lot of C’s and D’s her first year.) What a pain to get this corrected.

    Now I’m wondering whether Loyola’s made this error before and I just never bothered to read the transcript. Some jobs want a sealed transcript. If they read them carefully, they might see that the school made a mistake. If they just scan it, they’ll think the applicant is a poor student (or better than they were).

    In any event I’m already tired of this job hunt. The job in Oman doesn’t pay as well as I’d expected for the Middle East and they don’t seem to offer housing. I just prefer university housing so if there’s a problem with the electricity or housing the school has someone deal with it.


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