Interviews, new shoes and wet suits, Friday 13th – Day 10


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I have now been actively looking for a new job for 2 whole weeks. This is Day 10. I’m counting the days as those on which I actively seek work, or at least should be. 2 weeks wow!! I remember sitting in the office on my last day thinking it is so cool to have August off – I can enjoy the summer and relax. I expect this is how pretty much everyone else would react too.

A few days later a bit of reality to my situation sunk in. Yep you guessed it. It was raining! Might as well find work in that case. So instead of being distracted by having a “summer holiday” I instantly started my new job; that of finding work. So here I am two weeks later. I’m not going to recap, other than to stay that I have been so busy for nearly 8-10 hours most days that it has not only flown past, but it has been a blast. I have enjoyed every minute of it! Well expect probably for Day 9!

Friday 13th! Couldn’t have a better day to travel by motorway, train, and shank’s pony to and in London and for important interviews at that. Something was bound to go wrong, dammit. To try and avoid any slipups or disasters I made sure I was prepared.

At the end of Day 9, I wasn’t acutely enthused by the prospect of going to London for Day 10. I hadn’t planned it very well and had a large gap of time from 12.30pm to 4 pm to kill between fixed appointments. I woke up very early 04:36 to be precise, for some reason I do not know. So by the time I got the train station I had that grainy real lack of sleep feeling. Needed to do something about that to ensure my game face was on by the time by first interview came around at 11:00. Readers of previous posts will know I like to listen to the 23 minutes worth of Suppers Ready by Genesis on the train. I find it incredibly relaxing. Not today though I needed loud and heavy. I have about 8 or 9 AC/DC albums on my iPod – shuffle time. And very loud too. I was pleased that the train was pretty empty so I didn’t feel guilty about annoying others.

By the time I got to my first Starbucks of the day I was with it and ready to go. I made sure I was there a good 40 minutes ahead of time. Whether I have been making a sales call in a previous life or going for an interview I have always arrived up to an hour early, found the exact location of where I need to be and then go and find somewhere close by to relax for at least half an hour, with the intention of getting to my appointment 5-10 minutes early. This half an hour is crucial. If hot it allows me to cool down; if wet it gives me a chance to dry of. If all ok, as it was today it gave me a chance to read through and understand the job descriptions one last time in preparation for the interview. There was no point in using the free Wifi at Starbucks to research the company at which I was interviewing – I had done that in advance. If you haven’t done it in good time you are not going to learn it in 30 minutes are you?

Game face on! Here we go. I have to say that this interview was with a Search firm, referred to me by Fiona Lander of Lander Associates (guess where I met her? Yes you guessed it, at a social networking event run by people I’d met online) and who had been retained by a vey large and impressive organisation. One thing that took me by surprise was being asked to fill out an application form. I’ve not filled one of those out for 25 years. I was so impressed by this firm. Not only did a spend a good hour with the owner of the company, but she introduced me to her whole team and asked me to give them a 5-10 minutes presentation to them so that they too understood my background and what I was looking for. I felt important, which I know doesn’t happen with most search or agency firms. They even offered to let me use their office so that I could go online and kill some time! How good is their customer and candidate experience? Whether successful via their efforts or not, I will gladly recommend them to others – once my process is over that is.

I declined their offer as I needed feeding and watering, so headed off to nearest Starbucks for the WiFi. But being lunch they were packed. So had to make do with a Costa instead. I checked email to find I have 4 interviews in my diary for next week. One a new opportunity and three of them will effectively be 3rd, 4th and 5th interviews, separately with their senior Global HR people, for a permanent job I’ve pursued since Day 1. This is a role that I was starting to twitch about as not heard from them for over a week, but I most certainly have now. Not bad at all and not even 1pm yet. As I was sitting down my phone starts to ring, another company, not an agency but a member of The FIRM following up an email exchange, calling to discuss a potential contract opportunity with them. 20 minutes later we finished the call by arranging to meet next week to discuss further. What a great few minutes. Coffee and Panini now cold but was I bothered?

I had two further calls whilst in the coffee shop, both to do with The FIRM and potential sponsorship of events. I had to check the date again – yes, still Friday 13th.

Three hours to kill and by now it was raining – really really raining hard and for all my preparedness I did not have an umbrella with me. Oh well only one thing for it – go spend half an hour waiting it out buying shoes! All very SATC aren’t I? But not sure black brogues are much to get excited about.

For my next interview I had to get across to the other side of London, but still with plenty of time, thankfully the rain had abated so was able to get to the Tube without getting wet.

Another location and another Starbucks. Result here too. I charged up my Starbuck card with £20 and got a free coffee into the bargain, a seat and free WiFi. I had less than an hour. First inkling that the date was going to get me was that I couldn’t check in to the location using 4square. Haha not a big deal is it.

Now I had a 10 minute walk to the company at which I was interviewing, so had to be sure not to rush. Oh yes it was raining, a drizzle but that light rain that makes you feel damp and raises the humidity level so that you add sweat to the mix too – how comfortable will I be in the interview? Good job I got there with 15 minutes to spare and was able to cool down, dry off (a little) and use the facilities to tidy up.

I had a really good interview with another member of The FIRM who has some really exciting plans and an exciting position, but we both agreed that the journey to their location each day was likely to be too much to be conducive for long term peak performance. I wasn’t disappointed and I hope neither was he. It is always good to attend interviews; you will learn more about the job and in qualifying it fully it might be perfect; you could also learn something about yourself and your behaviors in an interview – ready for the next one.

By the time I left for the walk back to the Tube it was raining very hard. I got soaked. It didn’t matter I was going home. I certainly wasn’t in a Jason kind of mood and slaughter wasn’t on he agenda no matter what the train was like. 2 hours later I was home and a very exciting and fruitful Day 10 was at an end.

Music of the Day – Fairies Wear Boots by Black Sabbath

Friday 13th didn’t get me and even getting as wet as I did it didn’t dampen my spirits at all.

Must remember to take suit to cleaners! I expect it will get a bit more use and the others I have are not interview quality. We all have a suit we feel more confident it, don’t we?

Thanks for all the continued good wishes and support, thanks for reading and have a good weekend.

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