Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The interview

The night before the interview I discover the trousers I am planning to wear the next day are:-  a) a little on the snug side, and b) almost threadbare.  Not really the interview look I am aiming for. 

Over to the the back-up plan - the smart black dress.  Which of course, the following morning I have to hastily mend with the life saver that is 'wonder-web' after pulling a loose thread hanging from the hem.  Not the best start to interview day.  However, a final read of my notes and I'm out of the house.

Sat on the bus, my mind begins to wander...after being off work for the past year I begin to doubt if I'm still capable of holding a work based conversation let alone survive an interview.

Half an hour later, I'm sat alone in a room in front of a lap-top doing what turns out to be quite a challenging 'intray exercise'.  After sitting like a rabbit caught in the headlights for a few minutes i launch into action and begin to relax. 

Next up is the interview with a panel of three senior managers.  They are experienced and relatively gentle in their interviewing technique which makes the whole thing easier than anticipated.  By the end of the interview I find that I've quite enjoyed it - weird, I know.

Having survived and been released - in the knowledge that I will be informed of the outcome later the same day - I meet a good friend to eat cake and to dissect the whole interview experience.  By the end of this meet-up, the friend thinks I'll be offered the job.  I, on the other hand now believe I've made a complete hash of the intray exercise and have talked utter rubbish throughout the whole interview.

I take myself off for a spot of retail therapy before returning home.

The phone call informing me of the interview outcome doesn't come until 6.45pm.  I've already opened the wine.

"I'm very sorry to say that you didn't get the job.  Your interview performance was excellent.  You were 'very appointable'.  Please don't be put off applying for jobs in our department in the future as we'd very much like to work with you.  But on this occasion, we've chosen a candidate who was more experienced overall in this area of work".

Hmmm.  The Husband offers tea.  And more wine. And makes encouraging noises about all the positive feedback.  I sulk.  And dwell on the fact that it almost feels worse to have nearly got the job rather than not even being considered to be a serious contender. It's a bit like 'almost' winning the lottery.  Or losing the all  important football match in extra time - I know some of you out there are still feeling that particular pain from the past weekends events.

I remind myself that I do at least still have a job - albeit not necessarily the job I would like - to return to and that I should be grateful for that in the current economic climate.  The recent rejection is still hard to take though. 

One week to go now until I go in to work to meet the team I'll be managing in the job I've never done before but have been 'matched' to in a reorganisation whilst I've been on maternity leave.  Watch this space - but be warned...it may not be pretty!!

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