A job vs a pub-quiz prize? Hmmnn....

“Hi Lily, I wanted to ask – my temporary contract just keeps rolling forward and now my boss has said they should be able to make it permanent in a month or so. The thing is, I’ve got an interview coming up in a week’s time – is it worth going? Angie.”

Congratulations, Angie! In my experience people generally mean what they say, at the time they say it. Sadly, things can change unexpectedly, beyond your boss’s control. This is what happened to me.

As you’ve followed my previous posts, you know that I’ve been chasing a permie role for a while. Normally, just before Christmas, I find that job boards and recruitment agents go eerily quiet, but for me it seemed to get a little busier. A number of suitable and really interesting job roles became available online.

I applied to each of them, conscious that I should probably apply before Christmas to give myself the piece of mind that I’d done as much as I could. Later, I’d know I hadn’t just wasted the whole of what was left of December, eating the north-east out of its supply of Turkey!

That's just great news!

Another surprise was a call from my recruitment agent. An old work colleague of hers was looking for a Group Marketing Executive and she’d put my name forward. After scanning my CV against their job description, they decided they’d like to see me.

An automatic interview - amazing Christmas news! And it only got better.

The company itself was a leading international infrastructure group. The role looked very challenging but the amount I could learn and the level at which I could work was something I couldn’t resist. This was as well as the job being in a brilliant location, close to my house.

It all seemed too good to be true.

I started my general preparation for the interview earlier than I normally would due to an upcoming hectic Christmas schedule. (I already mentioned the turkey, right?)

I followed up my research by re-reading personal notes I had written previously. In the days leading up to the interview, I reviewed my achievements to date and endlessly repeated my three biggest strengths and three biggest weaknesses whilst doing things like the washing up.

The day before I was due to have the interview I received an email from my recruitment agent. The company had decided to cover the role internally and so all interviews had to be cancelled.

It turned out that yes; it was all too good to be true and so, disappointingly, I knew my search would go on into 2015 …

Anyone for a takeaway?

I think there are two things to learn from that experience.

Firstly, it was no-one’s fault (so far as I know), something somewhere down the line changed and ‘poof’ my opportunity just evaporated. So my suggestion to you, Angie, if you don't want to end up as the turkey, completely stuffed, is to be very cautious and play it safe. Continue with your other interview – you just might need it.

Secondly, in my own case, and on the bright side, I do now have some great pub quiz knowledge on the company, should I ever need it! I think that does point to the fact that no interview opportunity and no preparation is ever really wasted, no matter what the eventual outcome.

That’s handy, but not as handy as a permanent wage or career prospects, so let’s both keep on keeping on!

Lily Johnson

Determined Job-hunter

The journey of a job-hunter - Blog 3

For more detail on how best to manage your chances of selection, read “Winning That Job: A kill or be-killed guide to job-search and interview preparation.” You can pick up it up as an e-book or paperback here on Amazon >>>

Keywords: job search, job-hunt, career, marketing, interview, recruitment agency