UNPRECEDENTED: Interview (Encouragement)
In this series ‘UNPRECEDENTED’ – we’re going to be hearing from a range of people who have different experiences of this pandemic, so you can have a read, a think, and hopefully find some encouragement, inspiration or just community in knowing you’re not alone.
We’re are aware of someone who’d like to remain anonymous, but who has an interview story we thought you may be interested to know, and may provide some encouragement in this uncertain time.
I was in isolation before the lockdown. I was due to have an interview, and wasn’t quite sure whether to try and go, but I knew I wasn’t well and wanted to take the government advice seriously. I rang and explained my situation, and they completely understood, and offered to do a Skype call instead. I woke up on the day, and put my suit on. I’d read that you should dress for the part even if you’re at home as it helps to get you in the right mindset. They’d emailed me to let me know that their office had just closed too, so they were doing all interviews remotely. Each of the interviewers sat in their own home. They rang me at the allotted time, and set me a task: I had 20 minutes to prepare a presentation. I got straight onto my laptop, and made some notes. After 20 minutes, they rang me back. I did a phone call presentation and then the interview. Their Skype wasn’t working so I couldn’t see them which felt really odd, but I did the best I could over the phone. Not seeing them in one sense gave me a bit more confidence, and made me less nervous to begin with, but it’s really hard not getting that smile or nod of feedback so that you know how you’re doing. I had no idea, but you just have to continue as normal, and try to not be put off by the silence on the other end of the phone – they’re probably just making notes. Afterwards I laughed because I’d sat so smartly dressed, despite never seeing anyone! But I definitely think it does change how you think and act when you’re dressed for work. I then had the wait to hear back from them… it always feels so long when you’re waiting for an interview result, but because I was isolated, it felt even longer and I was sat by the phone waiting for it to ring!
A few days went past, then the phone rang… they offered me the job! I didn’t even know it was possible to be offered a job without being seen in person, but clearly the world is changing now, and I’m delighted. They even told my in my feedback how well I’d come across. At the time, you feel like it’s going to be really hard to get to know them over the phone to make a good impression, but it is possible! I could tell they were really nice people too, and I’m just waiting for the contract.
I’d really encourage anyone worrying about the job market at the moment to not get complacent and keep looking. There are some great opportunities out there. I’m looking forward to e-meeting my new team until I can do in person, and getting started remotely.
Are you still maximising opportunities to prepare yourself for work?
Are you prepared for an interview?
Have you had a go at our online Interview Simulator on the Careers and Enterprise Hub? If not, look here – Access the Interview Simulator.
We want to hear your stories! Tell us about your experience of working from home, any interviews or processes you’re going through…
You can get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting further support from The Careers and Enterprise Team at CCCU
You can get ongoing careers support via the following ways:
- Email email@example.com
- Log onto the Careers and Enterprise Online Hub to access resources such as CV360, Interview Simulator and more. Our Live Chat function will be launching very soon!
- Register for GradForce if you are a final year student that wants to gain a graduate level job in the local area (Kent and Medway)