Sunday, 4 November 2012

Interview preparation, and possibly how not to do it

Job interviews are HARD. I go in intending to have the self confidence and general awesomeness of this:

What actually happens is this:

The only bright side to my current round of interviews is that my current employer knows they're happening, which means at least I don't have to come up with an increasingly large roster of dead relatives and hospital appointments. This is about the only good side.

I haven't done any interviews for a long while, and I haven't done a successful interview for even longer, so to say I'm out of practice would be an understatement. Before we even get to the interview itself, there's all the stuff around it. In my case, this has involved buying an interview suit that actually fits, wearing in a new pair of shoes, and remembering where I had put all of my see-through piercing gauges. (I am aware I am getting too old to be as heavily pierced as I am, but there we go.) This is more difficult than I remembered, although that said I've never been very good at shopping.

After that, there's the travel arrangements. I'm quite good at negotiating my way around public transport systems – if you can work out Salzburg, you can do anything – but getting to London in time for an interview without re-mortgaging your house is a difficult task. I don't even have a house to re-mortgage. That's just depressing. Plus, you have to find the interview location itself. One recent interview gave me a map to their office from the train station. Like a fool, I trusted it, which led to me wandering in circles around a suburban Surrey town for forty five minutes last week. NEVER AGAIN.

Then you have to prepare for the interview. Now, there's a fair amount of research you can do using the internet and a bit of nous, but there are a great deal of unknowns. You have to put together a question to ask,which is nigh on impossible, and try to remember your own work history and how it links in with the company and the job description. Chances are your application was some time in the distant past, so you also have to remember the spin you put on it as well.

I haven't heard anything back from any of the interviews I've had thus far, so I have no idea just how badly I crashed and burned in any of them, or if indeed the preparation listed above was any use. All the preparation in the world doesn't make a damn difference, because you can't control how well you do or do not get on with someone. Or indeed, my tendency to babble a little. 

I have another interview next week too, hence the fact I'm typing this rather than actually doing said preparation. Fingers crossed at least one of them comes back with something positive, and I can get on with everything else to do with moving across the whole country, i.e. freaking out about the sheer amount of stuff we own and making some fairly random donations to the various charity shops in my local area.

No comments:

Post a Comment