Interview Initiations : Redundancy update

A little bit of white heather to bring me luck

In an attempt to mitigate my forthcoming redundancy, I have now had three interviews for various vacancies within the firm.  All three are in different sectors of the law and two of them entail an hour’s travel by train, each way, consisting of one change as there is no direct line.    I know that in the current economic situation I am lucky to be in a position that there are vacancies and to be offered interviews.   Also a lot of people have a lengthy travel  to work and would be more than happy to only have an hour travel time each way.

When I am use leaving the house at 8:30 a.m. and walking to work, it would be a shock to the system to have to leave home at a time when I would normally be falling out of bed.  Some people jump out of bed, bright and breezy,  able to get from slumber mode to front door, having washed and breakfasted well within an hour.   Me?  I like, actually make that – need,  to rise slowly, have my tea, gently come to and generally potter about.  It normally takes me about two hours to be ready for work, especially in the Summer when I like to wander around the garden, dead head and slug/snail collect, as well as water the pots.

I digress –  back to interviews, which is what this post is all about.  It is some years since I have had to experience  such a stressful event and things have changed somewhat.   Although the questions still consist of  the standard:  “Tell me a little about yourself”  and “What interests you about this job?” , now it is not just down to whether they like the candidate, if they will fit into the team and are capable of undertaking the job.  There are stock questions asked of all candidates:

  •  Open-ended – more than a yes or no answer.
  • Closed-ended – requiring a brief and solid answer,
  • Hypothetical – assess your problem-solving skills and your experience; and
  • Leading – designed to get a specific response

Every interviewee is asked the same questions with their responses carefully noted and afterwards are compared and taken into consideration when choosing who will be the successful candidate.

I found it all a bit bizarre, because the same person from HR sat in at all three interviews and I was asked the same questions on each occasion.   Amongst the questions were:-

Tell me about a difficult scenario at work and how you dealt with it?
Testing how you cope under pressure as well as your problem-solving and communication skills.

Tell me about an achievement of which you are proud?
Assessing how you would be a tangible benefit to the business.

Describe a situation where you worked as part of a team?
This gives them an idea as to competency and team leadership.

What has been your greatest achievement?
Evaluating what drives and motivates you.

Initially, totally unprepared, I was a little flummoxed and thrown, babbling out what I thought were sensible replies.   As my interview experience has grown, I have found it easier to answer the questions, although I am sure I gave different answers each time.   However, it was only HR who would know that, because it was the first time of meeting each interviewer.  The feedback I got after each interview was –  “You interviewed very well” and “They were most impressed and felt you would be very suitable”.   I have to wait now until the middle of March when the others have completed their consultation period and those, unfortunate enough to be made redundant, have the opportunity, if they wish, to be interviewed for the vacancies.

I am taking the next week off from work, I need some rest and recuperation, with necessary time to regroup and recharge my batteries.    It’s been an exceptionally stressful time since January and the whole process has been a ghastly experience.   Hopefully, it will soon be over and I will have the offer of a job.  Meanwhile, I will be out and about next week with my camera, so watch out for some new and exciting photographs.

16 thoughts on “Interview Initiations : Redundancy update

  1. Gosh, the standard interview questions that I have been asked over the years and then heard myself asking of other people…
    I used to walk to work. This was my wake-up time and got me prepared for the start of the day. All that travelling will be quite a change for you. Hope it goes well.

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  2. I’ve had interviews where they’ve asked ‘behavioral’ interview questions and they knocked me off my feet. It’s just that I’ve worked in so many places that the question made me wonder – shall I talk about this or that, here or there … and I came across as flighty. Imagine if they gave you the question ahead of time — I’d knock it out of the ballpark!

    Good luck to you!

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  3. Enjoy your time off with your camera, you certainly need a break from all your stress. Thank goodness I’m passed retirement age and never need to go for another interview. Do hope you are successful with your interviews, hope everything goes well for you.

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  4. Life has become way too complicated! You almost need a degree in passing interviews. My own children are used to being tested all the time. School was just one exam after another. And they are much more comfortable with “blowing their own trumpet.” But I was brought up to be modest and self-effacing. I don’t really fit in to the cut and thrust times we live in. Good luck Ronnie. I will be thinking of you. xx

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  5. Hi,

    Oh tell me about interviews! They’re absolutely mental and most of the time barely even gauge your skills and competencies! Lots of them have hidden meanings and it can take a while before you grow wise to what they actually want from you. For example the classic ‘why do you want this job’ isn’t only time to kiss up to them and talk about how much you know about the place but also to sing your own praises and to tell them how suitable you are and how absolutely amazingly good you are.
    Grrrr, they’re so annoying. And no matter how much I prepare myself and research before to get a good idea of the types of things they’re going to ask, they always manage to take me be surprise.
    I’ve had interviews which almost totally consisted of talking about how I deal with change. And not once did they seem to want to know my past experience or what I’ve done.
    Then there’s also the ‘buzz’ words you need to remember to say and then you can watch as they manically scribble down! 😀

    Anyway, good luck with the interviews! It’s tough times for us all and also so difficult not to be totally demoralised.

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    1. Hi Liz I know what you mean about telling them how amazing you are. I said at the last interview that I felt uncomfortable blowing my own trumpet because it smacked of “look at me, aren’t I great” to which they replied, well if you don’t say that who will and how will we know the best person to employ. Thank you for the best wishes 🙂

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  6. Well I certainly hope all goes well for you. There are, certainly, Some strange and seemingly odd questions in an interview but these really just boil down to the points you have raised. Their response to your sessions seem to offer hope. Good luck.

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  7. Ronnie I do so understand what you are feeling. It is unnerving to go through this process at this point in our careers. My job could be cut at any point and I am one year away from retiring from my career and starting over at something I want to pursue as a passion. The time away will help some…best wishes…

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    1. It really has come at the wrong time, although now at retirement age, I thought I could get another five years out of my job little thinking that I would have to be going for interviews at my age. All the more difficult because I would love to afford to retire so any job I go for I don’t really want.

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