Summary: You'll probably want to skip your "job interview" at Banker's Life and Casualty Company. Here's what happened to me:
About a day after I applied for a job on Careerbuilder.com, I got a call from Henry, a recruiter at Bankers Life and Casualty Company. He told me that he had come across my resume and wondered if I was interested in a career opportunity.
I was skeptical. I hadn't applied for or put anything about insurance on my resume. But I called him back and he set me up with an interview at noon the next day.
Everything was going well until he asked me to "dress professionally for the interview".
Damn. That's the kiss of death.
When they tell you to "dress professionally", it's because they are inviting everyone to interview.
So, I was about 95% sure that this was going to be not so much a job interview as a "mob interview", where a whole crowd of people listen to a presentation rather than get interviewed by a potential employer. The fact that it was an insurance company didn't help. This was probably just an employee roundup for 100% commissioned insurance salesmen.
I moved my work schedule around for work the next day, allowing for travel and interview time. I had doubts, but I thought at the very least it might at least be a good story.
By the time I arrived at the designated place (1512 Eureka Rd, Roseville, California) I was late. By this time I was almost hoping this was a fake interview.
There was a sign on the door of the building, directing interviewees to a "Career Briefing Interview" in room 140. A "Career Briefing Interview" is one step away from "Job Interview" and one step closer to "Presentation".
Sure enough I rounded the corner and found a conference room jammed with 25 people. I was late, and I wasn't sure there was a seat left for me.
The man at the front of the room addressed me directly, "Ten minutes late, and not wearing a tie!"
I'm not always ready for a traffic jam, but I'm always ready for a jackass.
I came back at him, "I would hate to be late for a job interview, but this looks more like a presentation." gesturing to the room full of people.
I walked up the front and stood next to him, daring myself to address the whole room with him.
Things went downhill quickly. He let me know that I'd have to come back next week, and handed me his card.
I bent down and picked up his car keys from the table.
"I don't think so", I replied.
I put the keys down.
The presenter, Chris Braun, kept his cool, but asked me to leave.
"I'm leaving". I continued. "This isn't an interview. I was tricked into coming here, and I'm not waiting around to get tricked some more."
"Would anyone else like to come with me?"
No one did.
I didn't know what the meeting was going to be. I didn't actually know, maybe they'd break up into seperate groups and each be interviewed. Ha ha hah, no, that wasn't going to happen.
That's how they keep people in the room. It's a mystery. Applicants wonder if they might actually get jobs out of this meeting, so they stick around.
I wasn't in a hurry to leave, but I had pushed it as far as Chris was going to let it go. He threatened to call the police, so I turned and made my exit.
The conference room was on the first floor, seperate from the other offices in the building, which had me thinking that Banker's Life and Casualty might not even have an office in the building, but, they did, on the second floor.
I walked out, but I was dying to know if was a bigger scam than a phony interview call. I hoped that other people would leave and that I could get rest of the story from them. I waited in the lobby.
When the two hour "interview" ended, the applicants came out quiet. They weren't forthcoming with many details, and they didn't seem interested in talking to me.
That's not an interview.
As I referenced my vast email to write this article, I realized that I had written about Banker's Life Insurance already! A gal named Laura Smith had written to me in 2004, detailing a similar experience with Banker's Life in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Ironically I had censored her story because I couldn't verify it or get in touch with her for follow up questions! I guess I should have believed her.
March 7, 2011. | | Terms and Conditions Copyright 2011 Cockeyed.com