Tag Archives: interviews

Job patience is my virtue…

After a short blogging break to deal with some important family stuff, I’m back!

Since my last post, I have struck lucky and returned (for the fourth time!) to my favourite temping haunt at the Exhibition Company. Even luckier than that, I’m there ’til Christmas (which means the family is guaranteed a pressie under the tree) AND I’m doing interesting marketing work for a lovely boss too!

On top of all that, I have an interview for a full-time, permanent post as a Content Co-ordinator for a fashion brand – yes I know, excitingly, I have a shot at a genuinely-interesting-job-with-a-future! In the past, people have laughed or thrown me a pitying look when I tell them I’m temping until a job I really want to do comes along. Why is it so naive to believe that your work life can be as enjoyable as your home life?!?

If this year has taught me one thing in particular, it’s to seize opportunities as they come along. That way, you have no regrets and can cherish every brilliant moment you experience. Which was exactly my line of thinking when a small lump sum unexpectedly came my way. It has been sensibly sitting in my savings account as emergency bill money should the temping dry up. Now I’m employed ’til Christmas, it has transformed itself into a wonderful down payment for a Florida villa, for two weeks over my birthday in March… 😮


Note to self: sign contract before celebrating…

After the fantastic high of verbally being offered my ‘dream job’ as a Web Editor 5 weeks a go, my spirits now resemble a brightly coloured helium balloon that has slowly started to wrinkle and deflate, hanging there with hope that it may become its former robust, skys-the-limit self. The reason for this is I still have no contract, nothing in writing whether paper or email, not even a quick scribbled note on the back of a beer mat – nada!

 The delays have arisen, so I’m told by agency girl, because;

a) They thought the whole cv sorting/two-step interview process would
take 6-8 weeks. As I also had another potential job lurking, they turned the whole process round in a couple of weeks to get me

b) The guy currently in post has ‘contractual issues’ which have been in the process of being sorted out since I got the offer

I’m constantly reassured by agency girl and the guy who hired me that I am ‘perfect for the role’, would ‘fit in well with the team’ and ‘they really don’t want to lose me’, despite the inordinate amount of time it is taking for me to be issued with a contract. I put up with these assurances for 3 weeks, no longer wanting people to ask, “When do you start your new job?” as I genuinely wondered whether I actually had a job anymore. During this time of doubt, I was contacted by another agency girl with a potential PR/Copywriters role within a lifestyle brand for 12 months. Mentally cheered by the fact people think I’m still worth offering an actual contract to, I read the job description and asked her to put me forward for it.

At this point, I thought it would be useful leverage to use with (as I now lovingly refer to it)  ‘fake job’ agency girl; she could pass on the fact that other people were contacting me as this is what had got them moving so fast originally. I told her the next time she called and it had the desired effect(?) that a whole week later, she came back with a potential solution: would I do freelance there while the contractual problems got sorted? I said I would consider it as long as the hourly rate matched the offered salary and off she went to present her findings. The same day, PR job agency girl called to say they want to see me for interview and would ring with dates the next week. On Friday, potential interview dates for 28th April and 4th May were sent to me with exact times to follow on Monday, still no word from ‘fake job’ agency girl about the freelancing.

Being incredibly truthful, patient and more than a bit fed up at this stage, I emailed PR agency girl to say her job had evolved from potential leverage into front-runner, if the interview went well and the vibe felt right (I honestly believe the interview is as much for your benefit as it is theirs when it comes to checking each other out). So it’s a question of once again becoming that enthusiastic, brightly filled balloon of energy that people want to hire, contract and all..!

Playing the waiting game…

So, I’ve had both interviews and am currently dangling, waiting for the decisions that will shape my long-term job future (and chances of us affording a holiday this year!)

The first interview for the specialist retailer went well although in 35 minutes, I only spoke in total for about 5 mins, (if you know me then you are currently thinking this is very unusual!) It was not the “Give me an example when…” type of interview I expected, it was more that my potential boss was laying down exactly what would be expected of the new person in post, warts and all. The emphasis was on managing people effectively, being flexible when relying on others to submit work and making sure you hit your deadlines, no matter how much extra (unpaid) hours and work you needed to do. It sounded very much like my last marketing job where there was no work/life balance and I turned into a pretty rubbish girlfriend – no time to exercise, eating on the go, early mornings/late finishes, health problems… the list goes on and no amount of money can replace time for yourself and your family. Although this interview was first, it quickly became my second choice of job…

The second interview with the fashion retailer was totally different. We met in a cafe and had a 40 minute general chat about what the job entailed and the changes envisioned when the new person moves into post. I had taken a portfolio of work with me which he read through and in exchange, he showed me projects that are currently underway for Easter promotions. We exchanged thoughts and ideas about the job and at one point he said, “I think you would fit in very well” which made me think, don’t say that if you don’t mean it lol! 

I’m expecting a call from both agencies this week so all I can do now is play the waiting game…

Timing and decisions…

Amongst all the drama happening back Up North, a job interview has finally reared its hopeful head. Originally scheduled for 2 weeks ago but rearranged twice due to sickness of the interviewer, it is booked in for 8 am this Wednesday (eek!) It’s a long-term temping role which involves doing the kind of work I like to do, carries a great salary and offers stability for the next 12 months. Needless to say, I would really love to get it! However, another permanent role (great salary, stuff I really want to do, PERMANENT!) was advertised last week on Wednesday night which I applied for, got a phone call on Thursday to register with the agency and a first telephone interview on Friday! I have a second interview set up for next Monday and potentially, a dream scenario of 2 job offers… or a nightmare of 2 interviews, no job offers!

I have been determined to stick to my resolution that I will only apply for permanent jobs that I really want to stay in but, if I get a job offer this week for the year-long post, how do I balance that against stalling for time to see how the second interview works out? It’s a dilemma I’m dreading but  really hoping to face over the weekend, time to book in for an advice/lunch session with friends…

Rescheduled interview…

Got my rescheduled interview tomorrow afternoon, the poor woman is out of hospital now, hope she is ok. Strange feeling this time round, not as nervous as usual as have the comfort of this nice temping job to fall on if it doesn’t work out. My agency lady told me it’s always best to be last in the interview queue as you are the one they remember most fresh in their mind and any problems that have been thrown up earlier can be mentioned. She said that’s the way X Factor works, they always put the person they want to keep on last… She then laughed and told me I would watch it now to see if she was right but apparently, she was taught that a long time ago in sale school!

What do you think? Is going last the best way to come first?

Preparing for interview 1…

I was up early this morning to be ready for my interview with the company I could be temping for. I arrived with loads of time to spare as the traffic was kind to me on the way and, was prepared to face intense questioning about the organisation, having pored over their website last night. I was greeted by a lovely lady (who I assumed would be my interrogator) and she asked about my last job. As I proceeded to explain a bit about the company and my role there, it turns out my old boss used to work at this company and so they already knew everything about me!

I had never made the connection when my old boss talked about working near to where I live, but it’s a small world! Turns out my website cramming was to be untested as she explains what the role would involve and then asks me if I want to accept. I say yes and wonder if I can send a basket of ‘thank you’ muffins to my last boss, who has obviously given me a great reference (I saw it in an episode of ‘Friends’ once!)

Time off for another interview tomorrow is no problem either and I am wondering if a job quandary is about to appear in the next couple of weeks…

Jobs are like buses…

Turns out job interviews are like buses, you apply for hundreds of online jobs (I am starting to suspect some don’t even exist) without a sniff and then multiple opportunities come hurtling your way. While wondering if I should have turned down five days work at my old company, I get a phone call from the temping agency I joined last week to say a locally based events company want to see  me on Monday. At last, a breakthrough in the jobs market! Am feeling very pleased with myself and buy a one shot skinny latte at Starbucks to celebrate (any excuse, I know!) Then, this afternoon, I get another call from another agency to say I have an interview for an online job next Tuesday. I can’t believe it, I’ve had the employment cold shoulder for the last three months and now two people can see some I’m not totally rubbish!

Confidence is a funny thing, I know I am good at what I do but you do start to doubt yourself as time goes by, with no positive feedback from people with the power to employ you. Three months out of work has had its fun times but I understand why people can feel ground down over time and lose the energy or enthusiasm to keep trying. Time for a cheesey magnet quote, me thinks:

Risk more than others think is safe,

Care more than others think is wise,

Dream more than others think is practical,

Expect more than others think are possible.

I bought this in America because essentially, it’s actually quite inspiring once you get past the ‘eeeeeuuuuuwwwww’ factor. Sometimes you just need a little reminder to keep things in perspective and your goals intact (here ends this pep talk.)

Do you have a saying or a little reminder that perks you up when you are feeling down? Sometimes we just need to think about how lucky we are and something short and sweet can lift can lift your spirits, please share!