Interviews galore

Well, today was officially my day off, but as is my habit of late, I spent it at interview. Having been unable to locate my interview suit I have been switching between my pinstripe trousers and my beautiful red jacket for interviews at more traditional companies and my navy knitted dress, navy tights, navy shoes and the same beloved red jacket for more creative roles. Today’s interview was for a role with a combination of print and web publishing, so I figured creativity would be expected.

The interview did not go well. This is very rare for me, as interviewing is one of my few talents. It’s pretty much the only situation I don’t feel embarrassed about bigging myself up in, and I’m usually fairly good at anticipating what it is that people are really asking behind their questions. Plus, it’s the one area of my life in which I have complete confidence – I know that I am good at what I do. I ask for feedback from failed interviews, and have never yet been told that my interview technique is anything but excellent.

Today’s interview started out the usual way. I arrived 10 minutes early, and sat in reception with a glass of water until the pre-interview test was ready. I followed the girl through to a side-room where I read the test through, panicked, then calmed down, reread it and completed it without a problem. I went through to be interviewed, shook everyone’s hand, made myself comfortable, fielded the first few questions without problem… then one member of the panel handed me over to answer questions from another. And his first question threw me.

I couldn’t make what he was saying make sense to me. I didn’t know what he wanted from a literal answer, let alone what he was getting at in the subtext. I could see he was completely unimpressed, and though I got straight back on track and answered the rest of the interview questions without problem, he looked bored throughout. Like I knew I’d failed and he knew I’d failed, and he wasn’t sure there was any point continuing with the farce. It didn’t help.

This is the third company I’ve interviewed with  so far since R-day, and will probably be the first I don’t get a callback from. I have second interviews next Wednesday and Thursday, both in Oxford, both for jobs which would look decent on my CV… And I have a couple of further opportunities to chase up. The most important thing for me to do right now is ensure that I don’t let today’s bad experience knock me. As I said, I know I’m good at what I do – I just need to cling to that and say that today’s? Was not meant to be!


8 thoughts on “Interviews galore

  1. I think you probably did great
    his lack of clarity is on him–not you
    you’re not a mind-reader unless I was mistaken about what you do for a living

  2. Hello lovely Cie – well I say, indeed it was not meant to be! Actually, would you really want to work with/for someone who appeared bored at what you had to say? It is clearly their loss and most definitely not yours – especially with all the other leads you have right now.

    Oh, and if this was your worst interview be grateful – I generally get so nervous that I’ve forgotten my own name at interviews before now, and I once left one feeling as if I’d done rather well, only to turn after shaking my interviewer’s hand to leave and promptly fell down a small flight of stairs. The shame of it!

    So stay your positive, confident and all round wonderful self, and the right role will find you.

    A x

  3. Love the outfit! Don’t worry about the rogue question – in cases like that the interviewer often has a hidden agenda and it’s usually nothing to do with the interviewee!

    Great that you have call backsfrom two companies. xxx

  4. Hey Cie, don’t forget that an interview is your chance to judge them as much as it is their chance to judge you, and it sounds like his interview skills certainly need polishing up! There’s no point feeling bad, when you probably wouldn’t have wanted to work there anyway.

    I have only once had an interview like that, and the attitude of the guy interviewing me was rotten at best (I think they’d already picked someone and were doing other interviews for form). Knowing I wouldn’t have taken the job even if it was offered, I simply stood up in the middle of the interview, explained that the job wasn’t what I was looking for, apologised for wasting their time and left with my dignity intact.

    Don’t let the bastards grind you down! xx

  5. You should always remember an interview is as much for you to decide if you want to work for an employer as it is for an employer to decide if you can!

    Your in the driving seat. They need someone and you could be the one to help them out!

    Lossa love


  6. Love the jacket, it’s a great choice for interviews as it makes you stand out.

    Sorry yesterday didn’t go so well, but like the others said, it wasn’t you with the problem, it was that man – his problem being that he couldn’t see how fabulous you are!

    At least you have Waterstone’s which you enjoy & they are paying you. Fingers crossed for the second interviews and the other opportunities you mentioned.

  7. Sorry they made you feel bad – that sounds very unprofessional to me. You may yet be surprised if everything else went well 🙂

    Good luck with the call-backs! What time is the Wednesday one? I’ll be getting the 0838 train to Oxford if you want company! xx

  8. He sounds like a silly man, massaging his ego by belittling nice women. Maybe he did the same with all of the other candidates too…
    I like that jacket! I always flounder with interview attire, whatever I go for it always seems a touch too flamboyant.
    Good luck with the recalls!

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