Job hunting and that first interview

Job hunting and that first interview

I appear to have been a little bit preoccupied over the past few weeks. Crazy shifts, assisting Mr Photographer and job hunting seem to have dominated my life and I completely forgot that not only do I have a blog but these distractions are all the things I should be blogging about!

Recently I have been working in a typical bar job to make sure the rent is paid and I can generally have a bit of a life, albeit a frugal one. However, I have been put in the position of closing the pub so I get home around 3:00am and having to wake up again at 8:00 to get back to the pub where more often than not I have to stay on a 'few' hours because there's never enough staff. On top of this, a new system has been introduced where no matter what shift you're working you'll only get a 20 minute break. All of this has been the final smack round the face that I need to start pulling my finger out and really start applying myself to this whole job hunting thing.
As I don't have the internet at home, the downside to this is that I now spend even more time at the pub; using free wifi and drinking a disgusting amount of free tea and coffee. But... I had my first interview within a week of solid hunting and getting various people to have a look at and help me tweak my CV.

My first problem with being, in my eyes, completely unemployable was my CV. I have the problem of not knowing how to 'sell myself' to employers and as a result my CV was very generic with no personalised cover letter and would eventually only lead to more retail based jobs. Thanks to my Mum who previously worked for recruitment consultants Kelly's Services and my friend Miss C who's also a recent graduate and recently uploaded job hunting tips on her blog, my CV has finally started to take shape and instead of receiving either no reply or emailed rejections from employers and recruitment sites, people have finally started to call me!

One of the most important parts of the job hunting process is not to slack off, look every single day and in more than one location. When I first started to job hunt i was silly enough to think that I would be noticed through things like Reed and Guardian Jobs. These are obviously great websites but what with little experience and no employment history outside of retail there was absolutely nothing to make me stand out from the crowd when applying through these sites. I was just another CV. Recently I have been having more luck with InternWise which is now by far my favourite recruitment site. Not only does it focus on more than just the corporate 9-5 positions, it advertises positions for most industries paid/unpaid (including film! YAY!) and is extremely user friendly. It was also through this that I was able to battle through the issue of my cover letter. It is through InternWise that I have been able to receive more positive feedback from potential employers.

When it came to the interview itself I was so nervous it's a little bit ridiculous. I have always been pretty shy so when it came around to not only having an interview for a grown up job but also an assessment I really did not know what to do. I did find that the assessment was the easiest of the two. I was able to ignore my shyness and let the stronger aspects of my personality come out, some of which I didn't even know was there! My confidence and competitive nature came out which, for the first tie in a while, made me able to finally stand out a little more and become more than just a CV or an extra body in a room; I was a personality and I knew what I wanted. However, it was the interview itself where I think I fell down. I had two in the end, one after the other, during the first interview I was a little more shy than I had shown previously, probably because it was just little ol' me and one other person in a massive echoey room. However, once the questions started pouring I felt myself feeling stronger, more confident and unable to shut up. The interviewer left me after that feeling extremely positive until the second interview where I felt I was stuck in the middle of a good cop/bad cop scenario. Even though I was a little more confident in this interview, the interviewer this time round was much more negative and I felt myself either swerving around or smacking through her negativity. I always had an answer/response ready but it was obvious that some the things I said she either didn't expect or didn't want to hear. I did start todeflate when all the questions she asked were exactly the same as in the previous interview and I started to feel like a  well used CD on repeat. I felt a huge wave of relief sweep over me when I was finally allowed to get in the lift to the lobby and out.

I think two interviews in a row is a little intense for a first experience and I certainly have no naive expectations on getting the job but this is the first step. I know what's coming now and now that I have had one interview there should be more coming, I just need to keep looking!