The other day my good friend Flaxen Saxon wrote a piece about CVs and interview techniques and it occured to me that in my long and somewhat chequered years at the coal face I’ve probably worked for more companies and attended more interviews than most people have had hot dinners!
At a quick count I’ve held 9 permanent jobs (is there such a thing as a ‘permanent’job?). I’ve been fired twice by the same company, held two full time jobs simultaneously (I was trying to tell the boss I was leaving when he suspended me for attending the interview so I started the next day and drew two salaries for the next three weeks).
I’ve been made redundant 5 times. Each time I got at least three months money in lieu of notice. On one occasion I started at 09:00 and got made redundant at 09:40 with three months money in lieu of course!
Over the course of being a self employed consultant, I’ve seen the inside workings of no less than 37 different firms. But I digress! Here’s my expert tips on handling job interviews.
1. Don’t get hung up on the job description. I have never had a job that in reality bore any relation to the one I applied for.
2. Don’t feel you have to answer the question! One of my favourite responses is “I think you’ll find that self evident from my CV” because they won’t admit they haven’t read it…
3. Remember that interviews are two way. Do you really want to work for that tosser!?! If not, then close it down and leave. Try this one : “I’m sorry but I don’t want to waste any more of your time for a job I don’t want” or – and this is a personal favourite – “I’m afraid you don’t have the qualities I’m searching for in an employer.”
4. Always wear an expensive suit. It puts the interviewer right off his stride if you dress better than him! I’m lucky in that I went to a top public school so I aleays wear the old school tie. It boosts my confidence immeasurably knowing that I’m naturally superior!
5. Never ever ever come over as desperate!!!
6. And finally how to handle the old chestnut at the end. “Is there anything you’d like to ask us?” I usually reply “Yes. I have other interviews lined up so can you tell me what you can offer me to persuade me to come and work for you?”
Now you might think this is a load of old waffle and I’m just having a laugh, but it worked for me. All you need is the self confidence to pull it off.
I retired at the age of 52…