In Australia where I live, new job starts begins with a three months probational period during which employment can be ended without warning by either part.
In my previous job I remained in employment limbo for over nine months. My probation period was first extended to six months and then to ‘indefinitely’, while I watched newer and lazier employees pass their probation milestones in worry-free manners. My ‘indefinite’ status was changed only after I complained, almost tearfully, to my manager about the distress (and lack of self-esteem) my ongoing uncertain status caused.
So I’m happy to say that I have past the 3 months probation period in my part time interviewer job in good style.
During the last few months I’ve become steadily better at interviewing and managing work equipment, admin and the whole assignment cycle. I’m quite excellent at undertaking the main interviews and keep improving – navigation, speed, attentive listening, probing, intonation, pauses, coordination…
I still don’t like to do the ‘recruitment’ part, and to do the introductory interviews (not to say that I suck at doing them in any way). That is probably because I’m an introvert and hate sales persons, so I hate to act like one… The work isn’t sale, but approaching people uninvited resembles sales-like behaviour.
I survived my in-field monitoring recently. To my luck, it took a place in a tricky household where one respondent was busy and absent, and the only English-speaking person in the family was a somewhat reluctant teenager (and maybe his sibling… who was too shy to talk).
This tricky interview set-up allowed me to show off my problem solving skills. I used the teenager as a translator and initially interviewed the missing person via proxy; then converted it to a telephone interview when it became clear that the person would never show up face to face. I got very positive feedback from my supervisor afterwards for my ‘handling of a difficult interview’, and noted in particular the excellent rating for ‘interaction with respondents’. Win!
I’ve also received nice feedback from respondents, such as ‘well conducted interview’, ‘very professional’, ‘nice’… so I actually think I’m quite good.
I also survived the interviewer assembly, which takes place a few times every year. I worried quite a bit in advance, especially because the organisation eagerly encourages mingling with the other interviewers outside of the structured time. As expected, the ‘free socialisation’ time was noisy and uncomfortable, but survivable with invisible ear plugs.
Overall I think I conveyed a positive impression, and I learned useful things from listening to the other interviewers experiences. I got positive comments from ‘old rats’ such as ‘good questions’, and the boss said that they’re happy to have me on the team, that my work is always spot on. The structured parts of the meeting went well and were informative and interesting; so overall, going there was a success (and mandatory anyway;-).
So overall I guess I’m doing fine in the job so far!