“Taken out of context, I must seem so strange!”

It was all very strange.  I think I may have applied for a job last night.

Someone who I follow on twitter posted that they had a long-term admin position available to someone who had the necessary experience in event management.  It was apparently an immediate start.  So I said yes, I was interested and I got a direct message asking me to give the person a call.  I thought that was a bit strange because this person hadn’t asked to see my CV first.  But I thought giving this person a call was worth the punt.

And that’s where it became slightly weird.  I called the interviewer and it was nicey-nicey in the beginning (all of the first 20 seconds, I think).  But there was a niggling feeling that I was already at a disadvantage before the interview started.  30 seconds in I think the interviewer had already decided I wasn’t suitable and that I was looking for something to tide me over until I found THE dream job because of something I said.  I think she thought I was only interested in the glamorous side of the job.  What I think I wasn’t able to put across was that I understood how hard it was to run a trade exhibition.  I understand the hard work that goes into managing an event.  I understand the elbow grease involved in the pre-event preparation, the work involved in managing everything behind the scenes during the event and the post-event wash up work.  I think I allowed myself to be too excited at the prospect at working in the industry that the interviewer worked in.  I don’t think I was able to express effectively that events management was what I did for a living, that I worked in customer services and most of the work I used to do centred on coordination.  I was excellent at my job and people told my boss so.

In hindsight, I should have probably asked more questions about the job, what it was about, what the salary was like, what the working hours were like and what the employer’s expectations were.  But I’ve never had to interview the employer because I always thought that the whole point of being interviewed was that I was going to be asked questions so that the employer could decide whether I was suitable.  I had this feeling that the whole conversation was back to front; that I was expected to ask the questions and say the right things at the same time.

But hey, it was a novel experience.  It’s something that will allow me to expand my interviewing experience.  I also realised something: I’ve always been interviewed in a traditional settings and most of the interviews I’ve had followed the expected formula.  I learned that there are times when an interviewee has to take control of the situation, so that she (or he) is able to put herself in the best light possible.  I didn’t do that last night.  And that is a vital lesson learned!  It is important that when you put yourself forward for anything, you make sure you do it so that your capabilities are put in the best light possible.  I would’ve have been good at the job that was being offered, but because I didn’t take control, that person will never know.

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