09 May 2007

The Eavesdrop Interview

I am currently looking for a job, which (yes, mom) is a full time job itself. Yesterday, I went to an interview for a "marketing assistant" gig for an Argentine based online real estate company. You can search houses and apartments to rent or to buy on their site. Basically, the company wants to hire a native English speaker, fluent in Spanish, to edit the website, handle phone calls and work on a couple of marketing projects. Sounds alright, right? Except that it's 44 hours a week for $366 US dollars a month. Nada.

FYI an average "office" salary (non bilingual) in Buenos Aires is around $500 US dollars a month.

I stuck with the interview just for the hell of it.... plus, I had already walked to their office building which takes roughly 45 minutes from our apartment and manditorily walked down Lavalle Street which is lined with numerous strip joints and brothels where women are openly soliciting married men on their lunch breaks.

So, I decided to stick it out.

Q: How do you work best?
A: With guidelines, but with some room for creativity.
Q: Give me an example of you doing that at Crate and Barrel.
A: Ah, ok, well, let's say you've got this glass. And the glass isn't selling. My manager says, 'the sales are not good on this glass- change that'. Guideline- change that. My creativity- finding the best way to accomplish that. I simply switch the shelf that the glass is on and clean the display and sales improve.
Q: Have you had real life challenges, talk about that.
A: Yes, moving to a foreign country, making a life for myself and learning a foreign language.
Q: What's your ideal working environment?
A: Professional, where they pay me on time.
Q: Have you experienced machismo in the workplace?
A: Yes, it was very unprofessional.
Q: Have you had trouble with payments?
A: Yes, I am currently going to court with my last employer for paying me with bad checks.
Q: Why do you want this job?
A: Because I saw it on Craig's List and need a job.

All of this is in Spanish, too. And not because my interviewer was Argentine (he was British), but so his two Argentine co-workers could "pretend work" at their desks 2 feet away from us and listen in on the whole interview. So annoying. I have no problem interviewing with all three of them, they could fire away with their questions, just don't eavesdrop interview me, ok?

Gotta go- time to check Craig's List job postings for the 12th time today.

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