The Top Secret Job Interview Operation
Our protagonist is looking anxiously in the rear-view mirror. He checks the side mirrors. As he drives along he looks out at the streets flashing by — it’s OK, it’ll be OK, relax.
What’s the time? Put your foot down, man, it’s late! Breathe.
This is not a spy story. This is someone going for a job interview.
The phone interview
If a recruitment person believes you are the right fit they will generally want to interview you.
More often than not, employers offer a phone interview as the first stage.
Shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The phone interview is usually 30–45 minutes long so you can fit it into your lunch-break.
The face to face interview
For the second stage, however, employers want to meet you for a face to face interview. Why does it have to be face to face? Do they want to feel how sweat-free your handshake is? With video calling so commonplace, why is it that a Skype call is not good enough?
“What time do you finish work?”
“OK — how long will it take you to get to us?”
“Well, I guess with the rush-hour traffic it’ll be around an hour.”
“No problem. Shall we say 6:30 then?”
“That will be great, thank you!”
That’s a conversation I’ve never had with a recruitment person in my fifteen year work history. They never seem to wonder how you’re going to make the interview when you’re already working full-time (I think they should always care, if you’re unemployed or working part-time or have other commitments).
How exactly are you supposed to make it? Teleport from the work toilets? Suddenly fall ill around 1pm? Construct a helicopter in your spare time and take off from the rooftop? Freeze time?
Therefore, you need to be armed with reasons why you need time off work.
I’m sick with-
- food poisoning
My boiler broke down
My car broke down
I’m having emergency repairs of my-
- washing machine
I’ve got a hospital appointment
- wife is sick
- kid is sick
- parent is sick
- pet is sick
I got burgled
I got mugged and beaten up
And the thing is you need to give your reason with the necessary swagger. You can’t sound guilty, oh God no, otherwise your boss will cotton on to your dastardly plans.
All through the evening and the following day, on your way to the interview, at the interview, driving home, when you’re back in the office… you’re going to be full of remorse.
It’s a bit like committing adultery (can’t confirm that to be factually true as I’ve not committed adultery).
Sometimes, I don’t go for an interview because I don’t want to feel guilty. I don’t want to come up with excuses. I don’t want to deal with consequences. I simply don’t want the hassle thereby missing out on certain opportunities.
The open economy
We live in an uncertain world with uncertain economies where people, from what I’ve seen, don’t tend to stay in a job for life. We’re all likely to look for different jobs during most of our working lives. Which begs the question: why does going for an interview feel like betrayal or a secret undercover operation?
I’m going for an interview, not drug dealing. I’m going for an interview, not strangling the wife. I’m going for an interview, not plotting the downfall of the human race.
Employers should encourage openness. They shouldn’t bat an eyelid if an employee was to say they’ve got an interview lined up. It might serve to make them less complacent.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to stop whispering in the shadows?