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Job interview dilemma

(17 Posts)
alazuli Thu 10-Nov-16 12:07:45

So I have been with my company for a long time. I used to hold a senior position but I went on sabbatical and in that time we were bought by a different company, who went on to bring in their own management so when I came back I was effectively demoted.

The issue is I'm trying to get a new job. I included both positions on my CV so it looks a bit vague and most people will assume I'm still senior (which is probably getting me interviews) but when I turn up I always explain the situation as I don't want to lie... But then I don't get the job.

Most of my experience at this company is in my senior position. I've only been in my new role over 6 months. Could I not mention the demotion and get away with it? I read that some companies phone up your old one after offering you a job to check you work there - would that catch me out? Anyone work in HR and can shed some light?

HeyMacWey Thu 10-Nov-16 12:12:57

Are you sure it's the reason you're not getting the job?

Are you making it clear on your cv that your new role is 'since tupe/restructuring'?

Are you giving them too much information about the change in roles? Could it come across that you've been demoted for other reasons?

If the interviews are competency based then surely you can use examples from your more senior role.

Do you think it could be the sabbatical that's putting people off? Are you explaining what you did on your sabbatical?

HeyMacWey Thu 10-Nov-16 12:14:33

But definitely don't not mention the demotion.

alazuli Thu 10-Nov-16 12:38:45

I don't know it's because of that but I always think I sense a slight change when I tell them. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

I don't think it's the sabbatical. That's the thing, I haven't put my sabbatical on my CV as I'd rather explain that in person and if I did I'd have to split it up in old role v new role.

Also if I tell people my new role it's obvious I've been demoted.

HeyMacWey Thu 10-Nov-16 12:42:31

How are you bringing your new role into the interview? Is it a case of an opening question - ie tell us what you're doing atm? Why do you want this role? type question?

alazuli Thu 10-Nov-16 12:44:43

Yes exactly that. Or maybe I shouldn't be mentioning roles at all? I just don't want to be caught out later if they offer it to me and then check with my work what role I actually do. Would they do that?

HeyMacWey Thu 10-Nov-16 13:08:19

I'd just say something like 'I've been doing' old role for x years but since restructuring in x I've been doing x for a short amount of time. I'm keen to get back into x role hence applying for this role. Talk about your senior role when you give your answers

Perhaps you're overthinking it - don't refer to it as a demotion in interviews.

HeyMacWey Thu 10-Nov-16 13:10:34

It's normal for things like this to knock your confidence a bit and if you've been with the same company for a while it can feel weird going to interviews again.
Btw - did they handle your restructuring appropriately? Were you given the opportunity to apply for your old job?

alazuli Thu 10-Nov-16 13:29:57

No, they rehired while I was away.

'I'd just say something like 'I've been doing' old role for x years but since restructuring in x I've been doing x for a short amount of time. I'm keen to get back into x role hence applying for this role. Talk about your senior role when you give your answers' - This is pretty much what I've been saying.

It's pretty obvious it's a demotion from the job title.

HeyMacWey Thu 10-Nov-16 14:09:46

Maybe just say that you were on sabbatical at the time of restructuring and the only position available when you returned was your current role.

Is a tricky one, but if you concentrate on your skills and experience you'll get there.

What feedback have you had from the unsuccessful interviews?

OllyBJolly Thu 10-Nov-16 16:14:44

Did you actually have a break in employment? If not, I wouldn't mention the sabbatical on a CV (unless what you did was relevant to the role). I wouldn't expect an employee to have episodes of mat leave on a CV.

I would think carefully about how you describe the change in responsibilities. Bear in mind that an interview is a selling opportunity with yourself as product. What have you got to offer that is of value to the prospective employer? Don't muddy the water with stuff that isn't relevant.

You did x role. There has been a restructure and you are now in y role. Role y not as interesting under new ownership. Role z with the new company sounds more in line with your strengths.

Give them reasons to hire you, don't talk yourself down.

alazuli Thu 24-Nov-16 10:10:08

so i have an interview tomorrow. it's my dream job. could i get away with not saying anything about the new role?? any hr people out there?

EBearhug Fri 25-Nov-16 00:55:26

It depends on the questions they ask. If they focus on stuff lke, "tell us about a situation where you dealt with..." you should be fine.

If they ask something like, "tell us about what you do currently," I think that's where you need to be more careful about answering. Don't volunteer more than you need to and put it in as positive light as possible, and try to focus on how the things you do are transferable and will make you good at the new job, and help them do their business. I would probably focus on examples from the old job, and as someone up thread said, explain that the new role after restructuring is why you want to get back to a role with more responsibility where you have the opportunity to drive success and all that sort of wonderousness. grin

God luck!

EBearhug Fri 25-Nov-16 00:55:44

Good luck, too!

alazuli Fri 25-Nov-16 01:48:07

Thanks! The first question is always so tell me about yourselves and I always feel like I should mention it there so I guess I'll just explain it but not over-explain. I had another interview this week and brought it up but left out the sabbatical. Looks like I get through to the second round so I probably need to stop fixating on this one thing.

Fingers crossed!

EBearhug Fri 25-Nov-16 21:11:19

Hope it went well.

CartwheelGirl Fri 25-Nov-16 23:26:40

I think it's anxiety talking. Listen carefully to the question and answer that. Don't hold this thing about demotion (what a negative word as well!) in your mind throughout the interview looking for a 'good' place to slot it in. There won't be a good place - but it is possible that you will be lucky and will be able to avoid it altogether - definitely don't volunteer it at the first opportunity.

Also, more broadly, don't assume that people have read your CV and know your background really well (based on what's in your CV). Sometimes people do, most of the time they don't, because they look through so many CVs it's all a bit of a blur. Repeat and focus on all your strengths as if they have never seen your CV at all.

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