Since my decision to go into freelance writing and move away from actually having a real life job, I have started to reflect on how exactly I got here. A question I think have been avoiding for a while. After the birth of Isabelle, my second child I gave up work to stay at home for a little bit and hopefully pick up something that didn’t involve a four hour round trek into town and coming home just after the kids have gone to bed. I have found working pretty essential in the whole, trying not to lose your mind being at home with a baby thing so put it before myself to re-enter the workforce.
Two days a week I said. Something flexible I said. I was not behind the door in my thinking, the door was at the other side of a large room with a pit of sharks swimming in it. And yes readers, I am as good at building bridges as you are – I’m talking the pyshical ones this time, not the metaphorical ones… those ones are under construction.
So, as I embark on my freelance expedition the ultimate in flexible working– I have been reflecting on some of my interview experiences, and here I present, the most ridiculous things that I have been asked in an interview. Working previously in the NGO sector, I have of course come across the CEO of five people who thinks Bill Gates is going to call for business advice, the communications jobs that specify excellent attention to detail that have spelling mistakes in them and the idea that by even just getting and interview you should be eternally grateful. The competition for social policy jobs has been fierce since the end of social partnership, with budgets slashed and the emphasis turning to fundraising, but the sector is at an all time low –and I for one, have had enough. I’m not sure when it became appropriate for the following to occur in interviews, but here is a run down.
- How ballsy are you
- What I said: Pretty ballsy, but not in an aggressive way, in an assertive way.
- What I wanted to say: Do you want that on a scale of one to ten? One being pretty meek, eight being where I am right now, and ten being, why don’t you stuff your twelve hour a week job up your hole and hire a bulldog. I write good quality policy, I don’t need to be ballsy – it speaks for itself and has done many times at a senior government level. I don’t have any nuts to grab as I swagger around dropping names. I’m just good at my job.
- I ask this as I am trying to get into your head
- What I said: I said nothing in an attempt to not blurt out what I was thinking
- What I wanted to say: Really, the last person that went in there has yet to make a comeback, but I do hear screams of urgency periodically. Oh and if you do happen across my short term memory rambling around in there can you do me a favour and tie it on to something.
- How would your last boss describe you
- What I said: Friendly, outgoing and reliable
- What I was thinking: I don’t know, I left because everyone kept looking at the clock when I was the last one in and it brought me so close to the edge I was waving at the seagulls nesting in the cliff face. Amazing they had time for that, given how busy everyone kept telling me they were….
Oh and for a laugh, if you ever want to see what peoples face look like just before a nuclear bomb goes off, ask about family friendly working in your next interview, go on, I dare ya….