Saturday, 30 June 2007

the imperfect art of the interview

since i took up residence in the uk, i have spent most of my time as one of the unemployed. not that this is an unusual state of affairs for me! due to the circumstances into which i was born, i was expected to be a stay at home mom,believe me.... i was happy to comply, when it comes to going out to work...there ain't a liberated bone in my female body. so, my beloved man went out and sweated at the coal face whilst i looked after the children and "did" coffee with my similarly inclined friends.

when the children were in high school and varsity, i did indeed sojourn in the world of the entrepreneur for a couple of years .... but that, is another story!

i arrived in the uk with nine years experience in banking ... experience gained back in the good old days when banks were banks ... yeah the golden olden days...before bank employees were expected to be super sales people, achieving targets and generally conning joe public into buying "products" he neither needs nor wants.Two years experience in the management of video stores, selling, buying, marketing, advertising and counseling. ah, nearly forgot, kept the books for manfred's consultancy. not that i would dare claim to have any experience as a "book keeper", i ran a tight ship, everything always balanced, every detail noted, sales, purchases,salaries, taxes, vat ...
i produced my own system, our accountant was a patient man and he adapted to my system!

so .... i step off the plane, i need to work ... the uk is not a cheap place to live and south african rands do not translate well into british pounds.
now i am fifty eight years old and i understand a thing or two about myself. i am what might be known as personable, i have been described as charming. truth is, i am in love with the human race, their subtleties, their nuances. my fellow humans simply fascinate me, every life a journey, every journey a possible book.

i was married for thirty six years to a man who excelled in the field of human relations, he was a master of the art of the interview, an unbeatable negotiator, an all round smart cookie when it came to understanding the human, i have picked up a few tips when it comes to being interviewed! of course there is also the fact that each business has certain needs and requirements and similar businesses will ask similar questions at an interview. anyone with a smidgen of common sense can give them whatever they are looking for. so... if i do not aim too high in the job market and apply for positions within the scope of my education, experience and abilities, if i am granted an interview ... nine times out of ten i will be offered the position. lest my reader decides that i am unbearably smug and big headed, i should point out that as i have very little work experience or education and my abilities tend to fall within the realm of the phantasmal (other than the fine art of blether, at which i am a master!), i tend to set my sights really low...

i have moved around a fair amount since i landed on the shores of old blighty. resulting in some frequency when it comes to my attending interviews. i now find tidy little homilies tripping off my tongue, such as " no, that would not be a problem, i have wide ranging abilities and experience in many fields". ..."i enjoy dealing with difficult customers"..."my people skills are excellent" ..."team work inspires me" ..."i enjoy people contact"
and "they" believe every word... omg!

when posed the question " is there a type of person you have difficulty communicating with", i once admitted to the manager who was interviewing me that i had some problems with very shy people as i was shy myself. he stopped scribbling notes and looked straight into my once big, blue eyes ... "i don't believe that at all, not for one minute!" my mask is a wonderful protector, totally impenetrable to the casual interviewer. he still offered me the position, even though he believed i was an incorrigible liar. i learned that being completely honest whilst being interviewed is not always necessary!

the art of the interview from the view point of the "interviewee"...(whoops that word looks incredibly wrong, let's try again)... from the view point of the person being interviewed...ah, much better...yeah, what was i saying?

The art of successfully concluding a job interview is... dress smartly, arrive on time, try and look intelligent, if within the realm of the possible...looking gorgeous helps. smile, laugh, put your interviewer at ease, they are often tense and nervous! relax, enjoy yourself, minimize you faults and exaggerate your strengths.once you know what "they" want .... give it to 'em! the ignominy of being unemployed and poverty stricken is no longer necessary. employ the imperfect art of the interview and become master your destiny.,

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