Despite going through the interviewing process in Spain, it wasn’t until I returned to Australia and began interviewing for jobs here, that I began to see the similarities between job interviews, and dog shows, particularly the farcical kind.
Even before I left Spain, it had become apparent I was not going to land a job there unless I got really lucky. As a result, I’ve been submitting applications for jobs in Australia in the hope I could potentially have interviews lined up for the first weeks of my return. Between arriving home, and the arrival of Christmas, there was a flurry of activity from recruiters and employers alike, and I was buoyed by the prospect of re-entering the workforce quickly and replenishing my devastated finances.
But then Christmas arrived and suddenly everything shut down. I had a couple of interviews prior to the break, and then nothing. The slow grind of business slowly building up a head of steam in early January has only served to add to the discomfort of waiting to hear back about jobs I applied for months ago. Suddenly I’m thinking that applying for jobs in Australia isn’t so different to Spain after all.
Initially I had no difficulty in recalling which personnel at which recruitment agency were representing me for which job, and I new which of the jobs I’d applied for directly to the employer. My knowledge was so thorough that when any of them called me I could give a status update as to where each application had reached in the selection process. Now, I’m finding myself having to undergo a mini-refresher course when someone calls about a job I’ve applied for. There are the standouts of course; the jobs I’m either really keen on, or I’ve had regular, continual contact about, but there’s only a handful of these.
I’ve interviewed for plenty, with most of them being face-to-face interviews, usually two or three of them per day. When traveling from Warrnambool, that means a 5:45am train ride to Melbourne, and often, a 9:45pm return that night. I even had a small segue to Sydney in the first week of the year, as I’d not been to Sydney for twenty years, and am keen to try on a new Australian city, that was until some Sydney jobs became live prospects and I looked at the cost of renting there…yoiks!
So with each interview that swings my way, I do my best to make myself look respectable by way of some freshly washed and pressed business-type clothes, a token effort at grooming, and I trundle off to the city in the hope of impressing them enough to ask me back for another look, or perhaps even the big prize—a job.
Every time I walk into another meeting room, I circle the table trying to identify the seat they’ve selected for me, or choosing the seat that suits me best, before they have a chance to direct me to one. So far I’ve largely got it right, picking the seat closest to the computer terminal so I can demonstrate my work, or sitting with my back to the outside view so I don’t get distracted by what’s going on outside. Likewise, they circle the table as well, or they watch me circling, judging me from the minute I get in there, assessing whether I’m at ease with the situation, assertive, or timid. Every time without fail, I find myself thinking of the judging scene in Best in Show, when the dogs get primped up, and run around the rink for their final judging.