All entries for December 2004

December 22, 2004


Today, I took a trip for the third time down to Birmingham for another interview in the tiresome quest to get a work placement for the summer holidays. In the past, holidays have been generally spent sleeping, eating and sitting in front of the computer. Given that next year, job hunting begins in earnest it doesn't hurt to get some practice in beforehand.

The interview revolved around skills the company desires in employees; client responsiveness, task management, effective communication, etc, etc. One wonders whether interviewers actually care about the responses to questions such as, 'Tell me a time when you were able to influence others'. After all, it's possible to take even the most mundane of life experiences and to craft answers which would make one appear to be God's gift to the sector in question.

The process of talking about oneself continuously brings back memories of personal statements back when I was applying for university. People who had made one appearance for the football team suddenly became keen sportsmen who had made valuable contributions to the school over many years, and so on. According to their personal statement that is. Exaggeration is rife when future opportunities are on the line.

Interviews are probably more an opportunity for interviewers to make intuitive judgements about whether you'd be a good person to work with on a day to day basis; whether you'd be someone who'd get along with other members of the team; whether you know how to talk without stuttering; whether you know how to dress correctly, etc. They know as well as the interviewee the artificial nature of the responses given to common interview questions.

Overall, there isn't much of a problem with these interviews nor should anyone neglect preparation for them. The more information recruiters have about you, the better able they are to make a sensible decision. One just hopes that inevitable subjective judgements work out in your favour in the long run.

December 2004

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