I interviewed for a job on Wednesday.  This was my first real interview since graduating and looking for a job.  I was offered the job the next day.  I turned it down.  Let me explain.

My friend DJ (Dennis Coleman to all of his fans) is a copywriter, producer, and on-air personality at a radio station in Lebanon, MO.  He called me on Monday night and said that his station had an opening for someone who would do exactly what he does to help relieve the workload.  He had already talked me up to his bosses and said that if I wanted the job I’d have a good shot at getting it.   Lebanon is two hours and thirty minutes away from Granite, and I told DJ to let me think about it for a couple of days.  I immediately began thinking about it and decided quickly that I would move if they decided to hire me, and if the price was right.  This would be great experience.

The next morning while at work I received a call from the operations manager of the station.  I missed it, but called her back within thirty minutes and agreed to come down for an interview on Wednesday.  Things were moving fast.

On Wednesday I drove the two hours and thirty minutes to Lebanon and made it with an hour and a half to spare.  The interview was at 3:00pm.  I filled out an application and everything went well.  The interview itself lasted for nearly an hour.  I was told everything I would do and given an idea as to what I would be doing.  At the end of the interview the operations manager told me she would make her decision by Friday and call to let me know either way.  I talked to DJ for a few minutes after the interview and headed back to Granite.  MP3 players are little miracles that make driving so much easier.  If you don’t have one, get one.

I felt great about the interview, except I knew it would come down to salary.  I was asked my salary requirements, and I said a number that I knew was high, but not too high.  Something that could be negotiated, and I’d be willing to take a few thousand less per year.  Nothing was said at the time of the interview, but I still knew that’s what would keep me from taking the job if it were offered to me.

I received a call from the operations manager Thursday afternoon.  She said the job was mine if I wanted it and went over the hours and benefits again.  Then she brought up salary.  She said she had talked to the manager abover her and that they couldn’t pay me what I asked, and offered something else.  Something much lower than I had expected.  I had no choice but to turn down the offer.   I explained that I could find a job in marketing or advertising in St. Louis for more money, and I would still be close to my friends and family.  She said she understood and couldn’t blame me for passing.  She then thanked me for coming down for the interview.  I thanked her for the opportunity and for considering me.  She also told me that the production and copywriting samples I left with her were excellent, especially for someone with virtually no experience, and that I shouldn’t have a hard time finding a job in either copywriting or production; one that would pay more than she could offer me.

It sucks that I’m still hunting for a job, but it wasn’t all bad.  I would feel worse if she had called and said they decided to go with someone else.  Also, I got some interview experience and some great feedback on my work from someone who has been in the industry for a number of years.  At least this didn’t drag out.  It was over and done with in less than four days.  Now I can move on to the next opportunity.  Hopefully it won’t take too long to present itself.

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