Almost daily diary!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The interview

There were 11 of us today, drawn from 75 applicants. I arrived at 8.20 for 8.30. I was the 7th to arrive and all the seats in Reception were already taken, standing room only. There is a Large Silence in the room.

By 8.31 we were all crammed into a small interview room and given the agenda for the day. Someone arrived late, we all moved up a seat. Someone else arrived late, again we shuffled. The last latecomer arrived and a very nice man gave her his seat. Surely they won't get the job if they can't arrive on time? I think. Does everyone else think the same I wonder?

We have an introduction and a look around. We do a 'task' and spend an hour in the classroom. This is senior school. The behaviour is challenging. For some, I discover later, this is a shock.

We meet together again at 11.15. There are 11 of us now to interview. Time ticks on.

One by one we are called through. The ones that are left make small talk which gradually, I discover, becomes more specific. Life stories unfold. Life styles become uncovered. Personal values surface. We are united in our quest for work. We all agree jobs are few and far between. I discover that most of us are applying for anything that is out there. United in our quest for work yet with a need to out perform each other in the room beyond. Time ticks on.

We eye each other up. He won't get it, he looks far too miserable I think as I listen to another woman talking about the fact that she has other work on her plate. She doesn't 'need' the work, I think, why is she here?! Don't be greedy I want to shout!! Some of us actually need these hours! Time ticks on.

"I'm going to sound rude now" One candidate says to me after the 4th person is called in, "I mean" she says in a stage whisper "What criteria did they apply when they asked her for interview?"! The situation was bringing out the worst. The wait was making us edgy. It was a Dog Eat Dog situation! I had a fleeting thought for a second, that I had been transported to the Big Brother House!

I'm second last to be interviewed. I have waited in the same dull room for 2 and 1/2 hours. By the time they ask me the questions I had previously felt prepared for, my mind is blank. I forget that I have to sell myself, I can't seem to bring the right words to mind, I can't say what I want to say. Nerves take hold. It is like taking an exam, I feel like I'm trawling through deep mud for the words I need, the ones I know they want to hear. I try my best but I know I am not reaching anywhere near that point.

Before I arrived I wasn't that keen on the job. Once there I fell in love with the place.

Needless to say I didn't get it. I am still berating myself


Steve said...

Interviews themselves are good training for other interviews... that's the best I can say about them. They're hateful to go through but the more you have the better you are at dealing with them and therefor the more chance you have of getting that all important job! Keep going - you're a step nearer.

Suburbia said...

Awww, thanks Steve, that's really encouraging. I like Bloggy land, everyone is always so kind. (Sorry thinks are looking less than happy in Blitz Street!)

BS5 Blogger said...

Don't berate yourself! My God, if you can write and care and empathise and think in the way that you write, then a job will be yours soon.

Proud to visit here....


Suburbia said...

Thank you

Maggie May said...

Aw...... it sounded awful. I would hate all that waiting and think it is better to get interviewed early on before nerves set in.
More often than not, an inside person gets the job anyway. I have seen it happen far too often.
That interview is the building block to the next one though..... and you might get the next job you apply for.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Mean Mom said...

My son's girlfriend's friend went for an interview recently and was asked what her worst fault was. 'I talk too much' she said. 'Oh, when you're nervous, you mean?' said the interviewer generously. 'No, all the time, really' she replied. Oddly enough, she didn't get the job! ;0)

Now, I'm sure that you didn't make any mistakes like that, so just put the whole thing down to experience and work on good answers to those questions which you feel you didn't answer well, in case something similar crops up again.

Rob-bear said...

BS5 is right — were any of us the interviewer, you'd have the job in a snap! You're that good.

Maybe you need to make up a "cheat sheet," and review it form time to time while you're waiting, especially just before you go in for the interview. Might help you to stay focused.

There will be a job that's good for you. Finding it — that's the challenge. But the more times you put yourself out there and try (as Steve said) the better your chances.

Best wishes, from the Bear.

Rose said...

Don't be so hard on yourself, Suburbia. The first interview is always the hardest, and I'm sure you'll do better the next time. If I had had to sit a room waiting for 2 1/2 hours, I might have fallen asleep before they called me!

Hope all the plans are settled with Small Sprog and that you have something exciting planned for your birthday.

Lakeland Jo said...

you have got to be in it to win it as they say,,, and when the right job for you comes up- you will get it I am sure. Well done for having a go...

nick said...

Oh, I do identify with your experience of getting too nervous and your mind going blank. That happened to me on my last interview. Having to wait 2½ hours would make anyone nervous!

All you can do is keep trying. The more interviews you do, the more chance of getting a job. Sooner or later you'll get lucky.

Furtheron said...

Don't beat yourself up.

1. their loss
2. it clearly wasn't the right thing for you

use it as experience. So now practice all those things that turned to mush. Get a friend - or the kids (Small Sprog interviewing you would sound a laugh) and get used to saying what you want. Treat it like a laugh with someone but practice makes perfect you need it to be a spontaneous reaction to give the answers you want.

best of luck

Furtheron said...

Off topic comment... your new banner picture. Why do developers build places with french windows on the first floor? You open them to a railing... I'm lost why that is the current thing. Build a flipping veranda or whatever - isn't that where the naked man has to hide when your Mum calls or something - he'll be stuffed on one of these - how you supposed to write a British farce with one of those?

Jennysmith said...

Poor sweetie, those buggers did put you through it. It seems these people can really call the shots these days.

You must have been drained after. Sod 'em xxx

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

You will get one, and it will be the right one! Keep trying.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Eternal Worrier said...

Did they even need to interview that many people!

scargosun said...

I am so sorry that you feel that way about the experience. What made you like it though after all? Was it the actual job the that you were competing with other people for the job or that you really just needed it? The right job is out there for you. I know it is.

Ladybird World Mother said...

I so agree with Steve...(and often in these situations the wrong person gets picked... of COURSE you would get the job if they knew what we know...!) Keep going.. the perfect job for you is out there waiting. xx

Letty - A Little Girl With A Curl said...

Just think of it as not being meant to be. Difficult I know, but usually, something else is waiting around the corner, although we don't know it. And this something will be the better something. Take this from one who knows1

I can sympathise with the feeling of the blocked mind though, I once sat an interview after travelling back from France, ten hours in a coach from Dover.......arrived in Scotland early a.m. only to have to sit the interview a few hours later.

I couldn't answer any of the questions, and even forgot the questions......but I pleaded travel weariness.

I didn't get the job needless to say, but hey, another, and better one came along soon after!

Relax, it wil happen for you.

Letty x

Although quite agree about people who don't need jobs, applying for them,

Akelamalu said...

Don't be downhearted, it's an achievement to get an interview these days. The right job for you will turn up. :)