Advanced search

mumsnet work

Find the perfect family friendly job

Well, I didn't get the job. Not sure where to go from here. Anyone fancy commiserating with me?

(34 Posts)
Cloudhopper Thu 12-Jul-07 20:52:23

After an incredibly long saga, facing a 'sort of' demotion (more money but feels like a step back) following mat leave, I have really worked hard for 6 months to make an impression.

I have brought loads of loose ends together, motivated people, taken extra responsibility, been exceptionally flexible on my days off.

I thought I had really pulled it out of the bag, and loads of people were commenting on how great my work was. I made a key presentation at Board meetings with positive feedback from all quarters etc. Senior manager colleagues reckoned I would walk it.

Finally I went to the interview for the promotion. I came top in the occupational and ability tests but they said I was too nervous (!) and therefore gave the job to an external candidate.

How do I pick myself up from here and carry on?

MadEyemarthamooDy Thu 12-Jul-07 20:54:35

I'm so sorry. No advice but you sound like you did everything you could. Too nervous sounds like a bit of a crock - how did you feel you did in the interview?

SimplySparkling Thu 12-Jul-07 20:55:09

Sorry to hear about the situation. Too nervous is surely not sufficient reason for not giving someone a job! Do you have a union. Tbh, I think I know the answer to that!

Cloudhopper Thu 12-Jul-07 20:58:06

Thanks for responding marthamoo.

I could tell it was going badly. They kicked off with a really technical question that was way out of my scope at the moment. I had 'revised' it, but obviously didn't have too much hands on experience.

That threw me. Every question was specifically task-related about how I would handle a certain situation at work. There was no reference to my prior experience, no reference to any personal qualities or examples.

It was all "What if this happens, what would you do?"

It was a poor interview in all honesty, and I didn't establish any rapport with them. So I knew it had gone badly.

As you say, I did my best. Just feeling deflated really.

Cloudhopper Thu 12-Jul-07 21:01:01

simplysparkling, no - I'm not in a union. Lol - that in itself would probably disqualify me from getting the job.

They have to find some way of breaking the news I suppose, especially as I am an internal candidate.

If things were different, I would just keep applying for jobs at that level. The reason I won't is that I have tax deductible childcare on-site and don't want to move the children.

So I am pretty stuck - or so they think....

LittleLupin Thu 12-Jul-07 21:02:21

You know, it sounds like they had already settled on the external candidate, and were just interviewing you because they had to (no reflection on you).

Gittish behaviour by them, and gutting for you but you have obviously accomplished a lot and you should be proud of yourself!

MadEyemarthamooDy Thu 12-Jul-07 21:04:53

It sounds like a really tough interview - I think they could have cut you a bit of slack considering all the positive feedback you'd had in the previous 6 months.

Wine and some time to lick your wounds - that's my advice. I think your 6 months of proving yourself, plus coming top in the occupational and ability tests, have to count for something. Maybe it's a case of one door closing and another one opening? I hope so.

Cloudhopper Thu 12-Jul-07 23:53:21

I think you have hit the nail on the head littlelapin. I reckon it was a foregone conclusion that they would go for an external candidate.

Two days before the interview, I asked for the next day off as leave to brush up on my technical knowledge. He openly laughed at me and said "I don't think we are going to choose the right person for this role based on their knowledge of FRS17 (an accounting standard)" making out that brushing up on technical stuff was a ridiculous thing to do.

At the interview, there was no introduction, no warm up question. He said "Right, we will start with the technical questions." and asked me an incredibly obscure part of the accounting changes that are coming up in a year or two, followed by another very tricky technical question.

This started me off on a really bad note, because although I had done some technical background, it was nowhere near as comprehensive as it would have been if he hadn't made that comment earlier in the week. I felt so betrayed.

Throughout the interview, he was rude and dismissive, constantly checking his watch and saying "We must keep an eye on the time". I don't think he made any eye contact or listened to a word I said. As a result I kept my answers fairly concise, judging this to be the right thing to do. At the time I thought this was a tactic, but the other candidates interviews ran over massively.

Afterwards I was left with a feeling that they were just going through the motions.

Never mind, onwards and upwards eh? Life is like that I suppose - no point taking it too personally.

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 13-Jul-07 00:12:55

I hate it so much when they ask those "What would you do in situation X?" knowing full well if they'd bothered to read my CV that I never was in a positin to be in charge of situation X. So I'd only make something up from reading in books, which would sound like total bulshit in my ears and I wouldn't be able to pull it off. So I give up on it. I guess I come across as nervous too. You have all my sympathy, it would be useufl to get some external recognition for all the work you've put in.

Cloudhopper Fri 13-Jul-07 00:27:33

You're absolutely right Christina. I think it is a real bullshit way to interview. It just comes down to whoever on the day of the interview hits what they are looking for.

I felt like saying half way through - "I probably wouldn't really do these things, because I would judge the situation when I am in it."

I am much better at dealing with real life than making up bullshit scenarios. Actually I wish I had said that if I had known I wouldn't get the job.

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 13-Jul-07 00:32:58

CH, I did that on one occasion, totally innocently rather than planned. I was looking for a new job after maternity leave and they asked me something about "benchmarking". I just said I'd never heard of it and was this the latest jargon? I didn't get the job and never quite found out what benchmarking was all about in that context. I re-learnt though that some things you just don't say but go along with the pretence. Or else you're in a very similar position 7 years on. Oh well, soon off again on another maternity leave.

Good luck with your next interview. Something good will come along eventually.

RainbowWalker Fri 13-Jul-07 00:38:48

Probably the wrong thing to say bearing in mind how you must be feeling right now but I'm a firm believer in 'it was obviously not meant to be' which probably means there's something even better and more suited to you just around the next corner.... stay positive and proud of your achievements and see what comes your way next!

mozhe Fri 13-Jul-07 00:43:51

I have had interview like that when I was trying to get my first consultant post....very demoralising...but you are right...onwards and upwards is the only way to go...Good luck for next time..

Cloudhopper Fri 13-Jul-07 00:54:36

I think that's true rainbow. This job was three salary bands above where I am now - that's three bands, not three points. It's a lot more responsibility than now.

I knew I was chancing my arm - at least they have taken me seriously and I have raised my profile a bit. There is no harm in trying your luck, and I have a bit of a cheek in all honesty.

Maybe they were a bit scared that I would perform fairly well at interview and in the tests and then have absolutely no clue when it came to the job!!

To be honest, they were probably right not to give me the job. I think I get so sick of incompetent but confident men rise up the ranks that I suppose I am trying to emulate them.

hatwoman Fri 13-Jul-07 01:39:39

I didn't get an internal job I really really wanted recently. i was gutted becuase i genuinely thought i was right for it but think there were political reasons why they chose the other person. (ironically I am now doing the mat leave for the person who did get it). but you do just have to keep on. ask for a chat with the person who interviewed you, have some specific questions, see if you can get anything constructive out of it. Do you ever conduct interviews yourself? and/or is there internal training available on this? I did our internal interview training - not particularly because i want to do interviews but because i wanted to learn how they work for when I apply for things(interesingly hypotheticals are pretty much banned - apparently very bad practice). see if you can formulate some sort of plan - looking for something externally and internally. get out more socially with your colleagues - it helps to keep your spirits up if you hear all the bits of news about who's pg, who's leaving, who's going on sabbatical etc

Cloudhopper Fri 13-Jul-07 08:40:11

You know hatwoman, sometimes they do just want an external candidate. It is hard to be an internal candidate - you just can't make the same sort of impression at interview as someone fresh.

It is ironic really that they just always think that this imaginary external person is going to come in and wave a magic wand over everything. They always assume that the people outside are somehow better.

It's hard if you want to stay in the same workplace, but I suppose it is just life.

I have no sour grapes now - I am disappointed but I will work through that and get on with it. I am pleased to have done so well. Just a few months ago I was thinking about giving up work altogether!

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 13-Jul-07 08:43:53

That sounds like a positive attitude, Cloudhopper.

Cloudhopper Fri 13-Jul-07 08:48:50

Time taken to get over disappointment - 10 hours. Thank god for mumsnet! Thanks all for helping me to climb out of the hole so quickly.

SimplySparkling Fri 13-Jul-07 09:02:45

Cloudhopper Good to hear you sounding so positive. It's funny how it goes. Dh has been for 6 or so interviews in the last 12 years. One time, the other candidate got the job and he was disappointed. He continued with his current job then moved about a bit as you do (sorry, my memory is vague!) and now he is line manager for that particular candidate. From what I can see, sometimes the candidate who might well be the best one for the job doesn't get it, but it all sorts itself out further down the line when other jobs become available. Oh, and I applied for a job internally, the other candidate got it, he was surprised to get it over me and asked (jokingly!) how much I'd paid them not to give it to me (it was not a dream job, I shouldn't have gone for it really - would have been frying pan to fire) and then I got the other candidate's old job and I'm happy with the work. It was the right move for me, but what a carry on!

LittleLupin Fri 13-Jul-07 09:08:42

Hey Cloudhopper - I interviewed for a job in Corporate Finance years ago - it would have been an internal transfer, and I worked so hard to be ready for the interview and I was really upset when I didn't get it.

18 months later that whole department was made redundant!

Sometimes these things happen for a reason

Cloudhopper Fri 13-Jul-07 09:40:34

Pretty much the only lesson I have learned in life is that things never work out how you expect. There was a real risk that I would have crashed and burned in this job.

"It's not what happens, it's how you respond to it" and all that....

LittleLupin Fri 13-Jul-07 09:46:45

And it's all good experience

Oblomov Fri 13-Jul-07 09:54:11

Your attitude is.... fantastic. They don't understand what they have missed out.
Explain FRS 17 to me. I am impressed. If that helps.

Cloudhopper Fri 13-Jul-07 20:46:08

That's a really nice thing to say Oblomov, and when I go into work on Monday for the first time since the interview, I will have to remember that.

I reckon that I can do better with my skills elsewhere. Not necessarily in another similar job elsewhere, but something where the things I am good at are more valued, and the things that I am clearly missing are less important.

Who knows where this will lead me, and now I am trying to be philosophical about it.

I am just so crap at interviews. That's another action point from all of this - some kind of interview coaching!!!

Sobernow Fri 13-Jul-07 20:59:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: