Thursday, March 20, 2008

Interview update: GE & the 61st District Court

This was another interesting day in my job search. This morning at 8AM I had an interview with the Engineering Services group at GE Aviation. This interview was hastily arranged, as one of the decision makers is leaving for California over the weekend to help in another project and there is no set date for his return. I was also constrained by the fact that I had an interview at 11:30AM at the 61st District Court. So, here is what happened today...

I arrived at GE Aviation (which is located near the Gerald R. Ford International Airport) at 7:40AM or so. My appointment was at 8AM, but I did not want to be late.
I checked in with Security, as I had to prove citizenship, so I showed him my passport and I took a seat to wait for Larry to come get me. A few moments later, Larry showed up and escorted me to a conference room where we got to know each other and talk about the job responsibilities and my fit within the organization. Larry and I spoke until about 8:30AM when his boss, Hank arrived. Hank is the person who is leaving for California tomorrow, and it was because of his tight schedule that Larry was able to arrange for such a quick interview. Larry said goodbye to me, wished me well and left to get back to his projects. Hank escorted me to the office of his boss, a man named John, and the tow of them started to ask me a few questions about my background and experience, and then they started to "sell" me on the benefits of working for GE, as well as about the responsibilities of the position and what they were expecting. A few minutes after 9AM, John excused himself as he had another meeting. I thanked him for taking the time out of his morning to meet with me on such short notice and in return he said, "Paul, thank you for coming in so quickly."

Hank then escorted me back to the conference room, where he asked me more questions about my experience and qualifications, and then another person, Al, came in to speak with me. When Al arrived, Hank excused himself and said, "I will be back at 9:45 or so, Al." Al was a crusty old soul and in the the course of our conversation I found out that he was prior
Navy, that he served for about 6 years from 1971-1978, stationed aboard USS AMERICA (CV 66) and ashore at the Submarine School in Groton Connecticut. Al spent more time talking about the corporate culture at GE then he did asking me questions. At about 9:30AM, Gil arrived to continue the interview. I thanked Al for his time and he left. Gil spent the next 15 minutes looking at my resume, asking a few questions about where I had been stationed, but not much more in-depth than that. My conversation with Gil was pleasant but we really did not talk too much about what I might be doing at GE. I think he was asking questions to see if I might be a a good fit in the Engineering Services Group.

At 9:45 or so, Hank returned and said, "Paul, I know that you have to leave soon. Can we go back to John's office and cover a few things?" Needless to say, I obliged.

I said goodbye to Gil, thanking him for his time, and then I followed Hank back to John's office. John was not there, so Hank started to ask me a few HR required questions. A few minutes after we sat down, John arrived and he asked me a few more questions, chiefly about what I had thought of the interview process. It was not a little after 10AM and hank remembered that I need to leave soon. I told him that so long as I was out the door by 10:30 or so, that I would be able to make my 11:30 interview downtown. Hank said to me, "We have had a lot of change here recently. I think that you would be a great fit to help lead this change. I am going to brief my VP that we need to make you an offer, but right now the VP of Engineering Services and HR need to approve all hires. I am 99.9% certain that we will make you an offer, but it might take as long as two weeks for HR to get it together. Is that soon enough for you?" I told Hank that would be fine and that I was looking forward to hearing back from GE. I said goodbye to John, he wished me well and then Hank escorted me back to the front desk. John said to me, "It is so difficult to find engineering talent here and I think that you would be a great hire. I am going to recommend to my VP that we make you an offer. I hope, again, that two weeks is not too long for you to wait." I told Hank no, and I told him that I was quite interested in the potential opportunity to work at GE. I thanked him for his time and I left to head to my next interview.

From GE, I drove downtown to the Kent
County Courthouse. I parked across the street, walked over to the courthouse and went inside. I passed through the obligatory metal detectors, and proceeded to the Third Floor where the 61st Court is located. I checked in with the receptionist, and a moment later Amy (she is the one who called me last week) came out and she handed me a form to fill out, along with a benefits list. She said that she was getting the judges together and that it would be just a few more minutes. I was early, and I was in no position to complain!

A few minutes later the door opens and it is a Judge from the court. I recognized him because of his photo on the court's website, and he said to me, "Paul, I am A, great to meet you." I said in response, "Judge, thanks for asking me to come here and meet with you." I was then escorted to a conference room, where there were three other district court judges waiting. Each one of them introduced themselves to me, shook my hand and made me feel welcome. Judge A closed the door to the conference room
and I took my seat and the interview began. For the next hour or so, I was asked questions about my abilities and capabilities to do the job as Court Administrator. One of the judges said to me, "You do not have a lot of judicial experience. What makes you think this woould be a job that you can do?" I then went through the job description, making correlations between the duties of the Court Administrator and what I had done in the military. The judges spent the next 45 minutes or so asking me about what I did in the Navy, how I handled problems and stress, how I managed budgets and people, etc. The judges had pretty much run out of questions, and then the Judge B said to me, "Paul, do you have any questions for us?" I had prepared about 25 questions for them, ranging from what are the day to day responsibilities of the position, to how is the position evaluated, to what did they see as the criterion for success. My questions took about 30 minutes, and the last question I asked was, "So what do you like about working here?" Each judge said to me that they liked making a difference in the lives of the people.

The interview was at an end, and Judge A said to me, "Paul, I do not want you to take this the wrong way, but you have the most interesting and unusual resume of all the people we have called in for an interview. We are interviewing 7 candidates, and we hope to make a decision about a few finalists by the middle of next month. The finalists will meet the other two judges, and meet with members of the Court's staff. We will be in touch with you after we have a chance to meet and interview the other candidates."

I got up to thank each of the judges, and they each thanked me for coming in to interview. Each of them were smiling and I think that they enjoyed speaking to me. One of the judges, who did not ask me many questions said to me, "Paul, it was a pleasure meeting you. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview."

So now all I can do is wait and see when GE or the 61st District Court has to say to me. I enjoyed both interviews and I am hopeful that I will hear from either GE or the 61st District Court. Updates to follow!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Paul, I'm exhausted just reading your account! Sounds like a very interesting day. May the best offer win!