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.