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After reading the title of this post you may be wondering how one could possibly go to a job interview by accident. Granted it’s not something you hear of often but this week I managed to do just that.
Let me explain…
Over the 6 years I have been self employed I have worked with a variety of different companies on a variety of different projects. I regularly get emails asking me if I can come and meet them to discuss how we could work together. That is how my business works.
Last week I got one of these emails. They were a local company that were looking to recruit someone to create content for them. Something that I have done a lot of in the past. Nothing odd about that. I responded with some dates that I was available for a meeting, the word meeting is important in this story hence the highlight. After a bit of back and forward of emails we agreed on a day and time. After that I thought no more of it.
The day for our ‘meeting’ came, I arrived in good time as I always do for my meetings and I sat in the waiting room ready to go in to meet the guy who had contacted me.
My suspicions arose when I walked into the room and saw the clip boards and panel of people all sat in a row. I started to sense that there may have been a communication error but in true British style I obediently sat down in front of them. Here I think it’s important to reference the scene from Notting Hill where Hugh Grant accidentally ends up interviewing the entire cast of the movie for Hare & Hounds magazine. That was me but in reverse!
I had to answer your typical interview questions like “What would you say is your biggest achievement?” Luckily I went with the answer ‘winning a national blog award’ and not what I was thinking in my head… ‘Getting my toddler to eat broccoli?’
One question that did stump me though was “Why do you want to leave your current job?” I’m pretty sure that an answer of ‘Well I didn’t actually know I wanted to’ would not have gone down well. Instead I managed to mutter something along the lines of expanding my CV and new opportunities.
The weird thing is about half way through the ‘interview’ when I finally realised that I was infact in an interview, I suddenly got nervous. I’m talking full on sweaty palms and stuttering vocal chords, which was slightly odd considering I didn’t even want the job in the first place. Then the doubt set in, ‘Well maybe I do want this job?’. I was so confused!
After what felt like an eternity the interrogation ended and they asked me if I had any questions for them, err where do I start with that one! Some of the questions I wanted to ask were “What the hell is going on here?”. “Have I come to the wrong place?”. “Had I been sleep emailing them and applied for a job?”. Luckily I didn’t ask any of these questions and instead ask some sensible ones like “What is the package like?” At this point I thought I might as well see what they’re offering as they had made all this effort to conduct an interview.
The ladies closing line was “Thank you for coming, obviously we have lots of other people to interview over the next week but if you have been successful we shall contact you and you’ll go through to the next round.” I left feeling like I’d just audition for XFactor!
After my ‘interview’ I came out feeling perplexed. I rang the other half and said “I think I just accidentally had an job interview”. Once he had stopped laughing he asked the same question that I had been asking myself in my head throughout the whole ordeal, “Why didn’t you just say that you hadn’t realised it was going to be an interview for a job?” The answer to that question is I have no idea! I have no idea why I went through the entire process, completely unprepared, and just dutifully answered their question. I have no idea why I pretended I wanted this job that I knew nothing about. I have no idea why I didn’t just say I think there has been a miscommunication here.
When I got home I started to think about it more and I think the only real answer to that question is that I went into full blown British mode and didn’t want to appear to be rude. Basically what I’m saying is that I went through with an interview for a job that I didn’t want or need so as not to offend anyone. You can’t get more British than that right?
Now I’m back at my home office working I find myself thinking I wonder if I’ll get that job although I think the answer is pretty clear. I won’t hold my breathe for that call back as I’m sure they thought I was a nutter! I mean who goes to an interview in their flip flops, clutching a few Tesco bags (I popped in before hand to get some bits for supper, killing two birds with one stone before my meeting and all that).