Friday, April 21, 2006

My Very First Job Interview

Early this morning, Niño and I applied at PLDT (along Boni Ave in Mandaluyong City) for a part time job. Funny thing is, we did not know what to apply for in the first place. We just know it's some sort of a call center thing. Matet referred us to that place since she already got in.

It is rare for me to go out of campus (to commute to specific places) so I insisted my companion that we meet @ EEE. I thought it would be better to wait for each other (esp. if one did not wake up early) in our respective labs rather than in a public place. He commuted all the way from Taguig...hehehehe...well, as per agreement that I pay for his initial fare and he prints some of my resumes.

Inside the PLDT building, we were then assigned to a certain room along with other applicants. I had noticed some applicants who may be a decade older than I am, some are already graduates, while the others are aiming for part-time (like me). I am amused by these kind of events wherein I am able to observe people from other walks of life. I also find it funny when we were asked to count off, some of the applicants already had the manner of saying their numbers with "twangs" (e.g. fo'-teen) in their accent. As if it would count.

So, for the first round, we took a written exam. It is basically a grammar exam where you get to cross out the wrong word and replace it with what it should be, otherwise write 'correct'. Easy. It's English IV (high school) level. Come to think of it, my UP curriculum did not contain any required "College English" subject. Well, UP is very good in assumptions anyway.

I felt a bit of pressure in the exam not because it is hard, but because I MUST pass (or even ACE) it! Carrying the 'UP name' indeed gives you some pressure. After a while, results came out, and some did not make it. Their exit was that like of a reality TV show wherein they seemed like being booted out for not garnering enough votes. I am a man of pride, and I could never imagine myself failing in that kind of exam. Good thing I didn't.

Next round was the interview. I had already experienced plenty of interviews in UP, but another kind of pressure was built inside of me. I am applying for a call center job therefore I must speak in straight English. It's not a problem actually since I grew up as a native English speaker, but then I am no longer accustomed to since everybody in my environment had been speaking in Filipino. I still do think in English but my mouth couldn't follow to sputter fluently what's all in my mind. There always had been a conscious effort. What added to the pressure was a serious-looking lady interviewer. She seemed to care nothing less to the applicants. If I were to choose, I would had chosen Niño's gay interviewer instead. Niño told me that his interview was just like some sort of chit-chat. Well, in the end, I did pass... she only made me read a paragraph, and that was it!

So, we are now done in the phase 1 of the application process. I've realized that there was really no effort poured in my side. I mean, it's just that easy! Well, I guess there is also this confidence of being in UP (even if Im not yet a grad). We are to report again to their Makati office for the final interview on Monday. Up to this point, we don't even know our salary rates and the required working hours. I just hope that it would be worth our time for the remaining of the summer term.

Imagine, even for such a relatively simple job application, you can still feel some pressure in it. Well, mostly for not being disgraced into failing the interview that is. What more if applying for the REAL job that could be your future, your career! Our applications are at least queued to a good number of slots, but when you apply for a real job, expect that the applicant next to you would be your enemy. hehehehe...

posted by ScIoN 2:00 PM


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Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

ScIoN is a former Systems Engineer in Japan who specialized in industrial imaging and digital hardware design. He is now back in the Philippines pursuing graduate studies in Finance at the University of the Philippines - Diliman.



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