No Longer A Jobless Bum!
Since being made redundant, I haven’t really done much. That’s the main problem with being unemployed – you sit at home all day doing bugger-all apart from watching Jeremy Kyle and Judge Judy. In tracksuit trousers. So there isn’t a Hell of a lot to talk to your friends and family about!
Well the other day I had my first job interview in about 5 years. I’ve done a couple of days temp work recently as well, which was partly soul destroying but also helped kick me back into the working day. So this interview…
It was for a company I thought I’d heard had a high staff turnover, was for legal people so I assumed it would be strict and boring, is for a temporary 5 month contract, and I’m taking about a £7000 per year pay cut over my last job as it’s through an employment agency. On top of this the interview was attended by a group of us, and would be up to half a day long, with people being cut as the day went on depending on how we performed through each stage.
As you may expect, I was not very excited by this, but decided to go and just use this first interview for some experience for future jobs. I can safely say I didn’t even want this job when I got up that day. Added to this, the night before when I looked at the email I’d received of the job details etc, I noticed they wanted me to look carefully at an attachment which would outline what kind of answers they’d be expecting to hear from me during the interview part. This attachment was missing, so I’d just have to wing it and hope for the best…
Then I buggered up with my shirts and the only one available was one that I wouldn’t be able to wear a tie with! Argh! It was quite lucky I didn’t care!
I drove there nice and early as I’d been told parking could be awkward, and sat in the car looking over my CV so I could answer anything about myself they questioned me on. People often forget this, and end up looking a bit stupid.
Signing in at the reception, I met the other candidates, who were all in smart dress and ranged from the young sales type to middle-aged women who’d probably been doing this same stuff forever. We didn’t talk to each other.
The first task was proof-reading a letter. There were 15 errors, and we had 15 minutes to go over it and find and correct them. Afterwards as the interviewer left the room we chatted and found none of us had found all 15 – most had between 11 and 13. I found about 3 in the last minute as I looked over it for a final time and found 14, but decided not to tell them that! It may even have been the full 15… Hey, I’m a published Poet, Writer and Blogger! I OWN that shit!
Then we had a Group Exercise where we were given descriptions of 8 people who’d gone pot holing, got trapped, and we had to choose two who would have to be sacrificed as the others got free. I -ing HATE stuff like this, but got involved early and tried to contribute a lot without being too controversial. You lot may have noticed that I often look at the world in a far different way from most. This was a very useful trait back when I was doing the Private Investigator and Surveillance work, and it’s great for blogs, but generally I try not to show this off to people incase they think I’m a Weirdo!
Oh, and all through this exercise we were being observed on a one-to-one basis by scary boss-type people who we were told to ignore.
There was a break after this and we were sent to the on-site cafe whilst they totalled the scores up and decided who to send home early and who went through to the next stage.
All of us but one went through, and to be honest I’d have lost the same one, too. She was one of those people who just didn’t seem to ‘get’ it.
We started to chat amongst ourselves and they all seemed ok. Between the next two stages we all came back to the same table, and everyone loosened up a bit so we had a bit of a joke as we discussed the day and life in general.
First of the final stages for me was the face to face interview with two Boss Monkeys. I absolutely dread interviews and am terrible at them. I don’t really want to sell myself, and even for my ideal job all I really want to say is “Just give me the -ing job and I’ll turn up and do it, then go home and spend money on stuff I like doing!”. I don’t want to head the company in 5 years time, I just want a stable source of income and don’t care what it is. Not having to work with bastards is a great bonus, and I just don’t want to dread going to work every day!
But you can’t say this stuff at interviews!
Despite not having the info everyone else got from the aforementioned email attachment, I was immensely relieved that the two interviewing me were very laid back and it was all quite informal! They had their list of set questions (which DIDN’T include the obligatory “Why do you want this job?” and “Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?”), but for the most part we ended up just chatting.
Next was the competency assessment, where we had to take a simulated phone call from an awkward client. This is surprisingly hard to do when you don’t have product knowledge, or really know what tools and info you have at your disposal. I did far too many “err…”‘s for my liking, but that seemed to go ok, and then I was done.
Ironically, by this time I’d decided I did quite want this job, as it seemed a pretty good place to work!
I went back to my car to find I was blocked in literally by about 10 cars! There was no way I could go back and get them to call the employees and move them, so I had a look at the grass bank leading to the road, prayed nobody was watching out of the windows, and did a Colin MacRae over the grass!
Oh, and I’ve only just remembered that just as I walked out of the building I found that when I’d put my coat on a chair for the last stage, I’d accidentally picked up the interviewers cardigan, too! Argh!! I took it back in and handed it to reception…
Not expecting to get it, I had a voicemail message from someone at the agency later that day that sounded very negative, so I called back expecting the worst and was shocked to hear I’d got it!
So no more dole dossing journeys, and I can safely say that I NEVER felt the need to wear tracksuit bottoms unless I was heading directly to the gym, and I haven’t started smoking ganja or become an alcoholic or had to do any parental DNA tests!
The prospects for this job look good – with a definite chance to progress through the ranks if the company takes me on. I just hope I don’t end up facing another redundancy somewhere down the line…