I had an interview a week ago this past Monday. The job sounded like a dream job. I am an executive assistant with 25+ years of experience and most all of my experience has been supporting C-level executives. The position I applied for was supporting a President/CEO/owner of several companies. He wanted someone to handle 90% personal and 10% business. Executive Assistant positions like this do not open up unless someone retires or it is a really bad job (as in difficult boss).
I was so excited to slip in as a last minute phone interview. If you've ever had a phone interview you know these can be pretty tough. The person conducting the interview is basing their opinion of you based on the level of excitement in your voice and the responses you are giving to their questions. It can be quite trying to keep yourself engaged all while answering questions you really don't want to answer. Did I just say that out loud? :)
Fortunately for me the guy that interviewed me over the phone had worked at one of the companies I had worked at so we had something in common. We laughed and exchanged stories (I was told he is normally very serious and doesn't laugh much.) I feel sure our bonding over past employment is why I passed on to the second interview. And of course my awesome experience and tenure!
The second interview was held at the corporate office in downtown Houston. I have to admit it felt great being back in the hustle and bustle of the crowds in the tunnel. I didn't realize how much I missed it.
The first person I interviewed with was the President/owner of the company. Immediately I sensed the arrogance and aloofness of this particular person. I have to say it was the most awkward and peculiar interview I have ever had. He kept running his hand through his hair, every now and again his eyes would close for a brief second, he kept checking out my legs (I kid you not!) and I caught him checking his watch a couple of times. Are you ***** kidding me? At one point he said the reason this position was open was because the woman he was dating didn't get along with his executive assistant. So I asked him if he had attempted to mediate the situation. He paused, looked at me and said no. It was clear he had no interest in resolving the situation. HUGE red flag.
My next interview was with the EA herself. As soon as we were in a secluded room, I immediately asked her to be forthcoming with me as to why she was leaving. I told her positions such as hers do not come open very often. She told me the job was really easy. The hard part was putting up with the girlfriend. Without divulging all of the details, I will sum it up by saying it involved a lot of undermining on the part of the girlfriend, scheming, and a host of other bad things. The EA said one day she had had enough and totally flipped out. I sensed this EA and I had similar work ethics. Hard working with lots of determination to do an outstanding job. I could tell she had reached her limit. She said she left a voice message for her boss telling him she was resigning (he was on a plane). Once he landed he sent her a text telling her he would call her as soon as he had a minute. He called her back from the car. He placed her on speaker phone with the girlfriend in the car. I can tell you that would have been the last straw for me, too. How can you possibly support your boss, running their lives if they will not support you and back you up? It cannot successfully be done. It is doomed from the very beginning. I thanked her profusely for being so honest with me and wished her the best of luck with her new job.
I interviewed with two more execs, carefully noting the politically correct answers they were giving me to my questions. When I left, I knew it was not the job for me. I am quite certain the next person in that position won't make it more than a year. (The EA had only been in the position for one year and the person before her only lasted 9 months.)
I pondered over this situation for quite some time, realizing that sometimes things we think we want aren't really as they seem. Does this make sense?
I hope you have a wonderful day and a fabulous weekend!