Compromise. Or is it admitting that I was wrong?

Maybe I am not suitable for HR. Maybe it is just not “meant to be”. I am not giving up. Until I am employed I will going.

I have another interview tomorrow. Is 8:30 am too early for an interview? It sounds wrong to me. The position is in a shop, it is entry level but contains the promise of scope for progression and overtime. It is not what I would have chosen but with apologies to Terry Hall I long to be “wasting my time…working for the rat race”.

Among the things that suck about being unemployed is having nothing more specific to aim for than get a job. And the biggest problem with having that as your only goal is that each “unfortunately your application…”, or worse: “you interviewed well, but…” is a failure. Imagine you have a job (I barely can) and you have this target, that target and every day/week/ year you fail…

So it ought to be counter intuitive to increase the volume of your potential failures…no wonder there are so many long term unemployed! Who can take this kind of rejection?

Another job I’ve applied to, I applied to because it has the same job title I did. This is immensely appealing and even though it is in an industry I know little about, I know that I can do it. It is all the parts of my previous job that I liked: Improving services, helping others to fulfill their ambitions, meeting and impressing people and sometimes burying the bonce in a spreadsheet.

Please, wish me luck on that one.


Cover your ears, turn the page, you don’t have to read this

It’s probably boring.

Interview #3, preparation stage.

So far:

  • Not something I should be owning up to but I looked up a word that makes part of the job title. Poor start I know.
  • Read JD (I can call them “JD”, we are on intimate terms by now).
  • Read it again (you saw that coming didn’t you?).
  • Start to relate to my experience – list form: heading, list. Simple…

“Support the whole recruitment process…” Not  a problem:

I have recruited people at all levels and using many methods. Reception, waiting teams, supervisors. I helped to interview for team managers and even got my way with one controversial choice. Posting self designed ads on memo boards, in the press and on recruitment websites, I have built contacts and had success using various methods. We have tried to tailor the means to the job and demographic; I personally, I feel, was a fierce proponent of fairness, transparency and merit, even though it was commonly perceived (with some justification) that the organisation I worked for was an “old boys network” of cronyism.

In old CV’s I used to boast that I changed the basis on which we recruited people, placing the focus on attitude and customer service, rather than, well, availability. The boast isn’t there any more (it has been replaced by another) but I stand by it. If I’m asked something that gives me the chance I will be making this pronouncement. I know the details, you are spared.

“Check accuracy of paperwork…” Attention to detail is my ridiculous middle name.

How to demonstrate. I have a certificate gained from the Open University that part-qualifies me as an accountant. In my exams I had to  balance the financial statements of medium-sized organisations.

“Assist and advise…shortlisting criteria for posts…monitor on &@~…” Oh, crap! Relax it’ll be common sense. To blag or not to blag? Joke. Always be truthful and ask questions about what you don’t know.

Aha! “Attend &@~ training…” I can do that.

On a roll: “Attend job matching training…” these people think of everything.

“Assist with ESR system…” Nuts! Just when your feeling good, they knock you back down again. A job for the omnipotent…

“erythrocyte sedimentation rate”, yeah, thanks Google.

Question: “There is a bewildering array of abbreviations and acronyms in this job description. Am I supposed to know what they all mean, or shall I just get my coat?”

“To prepare…confidential/ sensitive nature…” Best I don’t supply any detail on this most public of forums!

“So, why do you want to work here?”

“…undertake projects on behalf…including…”

There follows a list, I have read again and again and I am flattered beyond belief to be considered for this post…

  • Say a prayer.



The time I was dragged from dreamspace by the remnants of Hurricane Bertha this morning and began to search for jobs…

This is becoming a little obsessive:

  • I am currently applying for approximately 3 jobs per hour.
  • I have 29 CVs – at least 6 complete rewrites.
  • MINIMUM of 20 cover letters but they are too numerous and too jumbled to count.
  • My “radius for travel” has grown from 30 to 60 miles.
  • My response to the question: “Are you willing to relocate?” has changed.

I am not disheartened, I am not desperate.

I am not Jack’s inflamed sense of rejection.

There is another window tomorrow.

Your Next Job Interview: Preparing For the Dreaded “Do You Have Any Questions For Me?”

Genuine advice from someone we are fortunate to be sharing job search time with

Allen's Blog

unemployment14In my ongoing quest for meaningful employment, I was privileged to participate in three job interviews last week. One interview was with a professional association and two interviews were with an international corporation with a gross revenue of $1.4 billion per year.

While I sit here waiting to hear back from them, in fulfillment of their promise to respond “the first part of next week”, I find myself, once again, being circumspect in how I handled myself during these interviews, which, immediately afterward, I felt like I aced.

I firmly believed that I had my act together, as I reviewed my “Job Interview Checklist” before leaving…

Professional Appearance? Check.

Arrived Early? Check.

Brought Copies of Resume and References? Check.

Researched the History and Financials of the Association/Corporation? Check.

During the interviews, I was on point, affable, yet professional, knowledgeable, but not overbearing.

Then…came the moment that we have all experienced…when the…

View original post 567 more words


Oh loyal, scarce, so valuable reader, here I write again.

Spent all day hanging on the telephone. Walked my dogs (one of whom makes up the title, looking suitably fed up), forgot my phone.

The singleton knows best how I have felt: You met someone when out the night before, gave them your number in exchange for the promise that they will patronise you with some confabulation the next day and so begins the game…

I received judgement on my return, I need not repeat it here.

It feels bad; in embryonic dating terms, like the call never comes – you never get that kind of call, do you? “I’m really sorry but I met someone else last night and they were just a bit more suited to my needs. You came a close second and if I was looking for two partners, you’d almost certainly be the second…”

I use the these words because they were the gist of my rejection. Did it make me feel any better? Yes. In a previous life I’ve had to make those calls and whilst I can’t speak for everyone, I speak for the honest and you don’t say that to everyone. I was always prepared to give feedback (prepare, prepare, prepare) and to give good and bad about the interview. I feel better that I wasn’t told that I had done this well, was among the strongest at that but

What now?

  • Prepare (prepare,prepare) for Monday. Another interview, another shot at the title (I could have been a contender!).
  • Hit the websites hard (although they’re now sparse). Dig deeper. Aim lower?
  • Look back at the CV, polish further, careful not to take the varnish off.
  • Write better cover letters. Better tailored, better written, better for selling my personal product.
  • Don’t feel dejected. Do what I have always done: bounce back harder, more determined…

What is the world’s worst game?



If Channel 5 ever make one of those list programs: “100 World’s Worst Games”, hosted by Jonathan Ross or some other has been, the winner would almost certainly have a certain irony.

The world’s worst game is the waiting game.

Went to an interview on Monday. Went well too. Should find out today exactly how well.

I sold myself, something I am not given to doing (despite the rumours) and I think I built a little rapport with my interviewers. There were a few questions about personality, as well as a personality test, and this more than the fact that I am under-qualified and lack the necessary experience that is casting doubts in my mind!

And the doubts grow as each hour crawls by. If it were good news you would get it out there straight away, wouldn’t you? Am I right to think that the first person you ring is the winner? Or do you, like a talent show judge go in reverse order?

Will I post here again..?


At the risk provoking accusations narcissism I have decided to undertake some of my interview preparation here.

I am in danger of creating a rod for my own back, as my inner self warned me. If I fail to keep this up to date and post regularly, more regularly perhaps, or if it is crap then it won’t:

  1. be an advert selling the idea of me,
  2. it won’t help with focus,
  3. inspire me,
  4. be fun.

I’d still enjoy it but that is not really the purpose. I want it to make me look good  – nothing narcissistic there, GaGa eat y’ ‘art owt!

Posting though has taken not so much 2nd fiddle as 4th kettle drum lately, particularly because I have an interview tomorrow. And part of the purpose of this is, of course, to get interviews. Have my prospective employers cast their inquisitive gaze upon these pages I wonder? Would they admit if they had? Might be a bit creepy…”I just happened upon your Facebook/ LinkedIn/ Twitter page and, well, I like your blog…” Awkward! No, I’m sure they haven’t seen it, else they wouldn’t have given me an interview!

Anyway, reason number 2, focus!

90 second intro TICK

Read as much background as is needed without becoming an authority on the subject.

Interviews are in the interests of fairness usually structured and uniform. If you want an accurate comparison between candidates ask the same or similar questions, in the same conditions.

Questions are likely to be for the purpose of showing competence, so competency based questions, e.g.:

“Can you give me an example of when you have diverted potential conflict with a close colleague?” Or

“Tell me about a situation where you have had to appear calm? What did you do following the incident?”

These are genuine questions. I was intending to write alternative answers to those I gave which can not have been that impressive, I didn’t get the job.

I’m not going to write any answer though, I’ve run out ti-