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Sixteen Interviews, and nothing. What can I do?

(81 Posts)
Notthesamepersonanymore Fri 12-Oct-18 18:26:52

That's it basically.

I took redundancy nearly two years ago after a period of depression caused by bullying. Once I left, I was fine - no need for ADs or anything.

I'm in my forties.

I was very well respected and good at what I did. I earned £40k

I've now interviewed for sixteen jobs over the past 18 months or so, and I haven't been able to get one.

I've had lots of second interviews, I've done lots of presentations and 'tasks' and had numerous feedback conversations where I'm told I was a very strong candidate, 'just pipped', someone else had a bit more experience in a certain area than I did.

About a year ago I was told by one company - after three rounds of interviews - that I just didn't have enough experience in a certain area. Over the past year I have worked solidly to build that up, and I applied again for them recently. Today I discovered I didn't even get a second interview.

I set myself up as self employed and I make a small amount of money that way. I don't claim any benefits, I work all the hours I can and have gained lots of additional skills and experience. It's not made a difference.

I have been offered one job - at the beginning. It was for £20k. I wish I'd taken it now.

My redundancy money is almost all gone, and I'm really frightened about how we're going to live. I don't want to let my family down.

Does anyone have any positive stories to cheer me up because right now I feel so completely and utterly miserable?


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winterwonderly Fri 12-Oct-18 19:32:03

Oh that's really tough. I'm in a similar situation trying to get back into work and I really think that interviews don't give a true impression of how well you would do a job, but unfortunately we have to go through them.

The only advice I would give is to talk to people you know, or people your friends/colleagues know as often that can lead to some temporary work which can then lead to something else. See if you can get onto any boards or become a school governor etc, things like that can sometimes give you a little extra to talk about at interview or some more experience that can give you the edge over another candidate. And register with some recruitment agencies in your field, they may be recruiting for jobs which aren't advertised in the public domain.

Good luck!!

meanieleanie Fri 12-Oct-18 19:33:29

I've started a thread today about jobs from home -'maybe see if any there would suit your skill set?

Notthesamepersonanymore Fri 12-Oct-18 20:08:46

Thank you for responding, and your suggestions are exactly what I'd recommend to someone in my position.

But I'm already a governor. And a trustee. And I do regular voluntary work. I've also taken an additional qualification. I'm flexible with hours and commute. I scrub up ok, I don't stink or have 666 tattooed on my head, and I'm quite confident (on the outside).

My friends and contacts have got me odd bits of work which I do on a self employed basis. They've done whatever they can for me, and I'm so lucky to have them.

But still no job. And no confidence.

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Parpulous Fri 12-Oct-18 20:35:47

OP do you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile? It might be worth writing articles/sharing articles/connecting to other people within your field on LinkedIn.

Similarly, have you tried attending networking events within your career field? I gained my job through a networking event, and was lucky to have struck up conversation with the write person!

As winterwonderly suggested, a recruiter is another good option as a talented recruiter may be able to not only find a job match that suits your skills, but also is a good company culture fit.

Wishing you all the best OP !

Parpulous Fri 12-Oct-18 20:36:50

Sorry had too much wine... obviously meant "with the right person". The advice still stands though!

Dontfeellikeamillenial Fri 12-Oct-18 20:41:29

Yes to LinkedIn.

What's your resume like? Do you mention any periods of unemployment?

imsorryiasked Fri 12-Oct-18 20:47:08

Would you be able to do temping? Is a good way to get a foot in the door and even if it's below your pay grade to start with once you're "in" it's often easier to move up to a more relevant permanent role?

Notthesamepersonanymore Fri 12-Oct-18 20:47:53

Hi, I've never had any periods of unemployment. I started freelancing as soon as I left my old job.

I've not really had much luck with recruiters. I've worked with a couple and had a couple of interviews....oh, oh, I completely forgot the three "coffee/interviews" I had for a job at the end of last year - first with a recruiter then twice with the hiring manager of the company which never came to fruition. So that's 17, not 16.

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Boyskeepswinging Fri 12-Oct-18 20:49:14

Yes, I have a positive story! I was you a decade ago. Always got excellent feedback but was always second choice, often to an internal candidate. It was getting harder and harder to motivate myself to continue with job hunting as I felt so demoralised. This went on for a good couple of years. And then one day I wasn't second choice - I got offered the job! Fast forward to today and I'm building a good career for myself.
So my advice would be to stick with it. Look at lots of different websites etc as some jobs are only advertised in quite obscure places! Are you looking at fixed term/mat leave positions? These can be a brilliant way in to an organisation and can be less competitive than a permanent job.
Have faith that one day it will be you.

Notthesamepersonanymore Fri 12-Oct-18 20:49:18

I try anything. Temp/perm/fixed term. I don't differentiate

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Makethisquick Fri 12-Oct-18 20:49:42

Can you have any practice interviews? Or do you interview well? I am a bag of nerves and screw it up at the second interview stage because of being so close! I always do well at the first interviews though confused

TeachesOfPeaches Fri 12-Oct-18 20:52:47

I've had around 10 interviews for five companies this year. Got a call from the recruiter representing a company I've been in to see five times and used the last of my holiday and told it is a no. Irony is that I work in executive search which is specialist senior recruitment blush

Luckily I am employed but I'm also a single parent so trending interviews is really hard. What's you field OP?

Notthesamepersonanymore Fri 12-Oct-18 20:53:09

Hi, I do have an up to date LinkedIn. And I go to networking events sometimes.

I am so grateful for all the lovely replies, and the positive stories, but more I write, the more I realise how much I have done and I just feel a complete and utter failure.

It will happen. I know. I know. I just wish it would be soon. sadsad

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Notthesamepersonanymore Fri 12-Oct-18 20:58:44

I don't think I interview badly, and the feedback I get doesn't suggest any differently.

I am not nervous - I've certainly had plenty of practice by this point, but I wonder if I am resigned to rejection and that shows. It's also a bit of a throwback to years of being bullied tbh. I'm always expecting criticism.

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Haireverywhere Fri 12-Oct-18 21:01:15

I wonder if you interview badly BECAUSE this defeatist mindset is coming across? Maybe you didn't interview badly and were just unlucky or not quite right etc at first but now after a year you're accidentally self sabotaging??

Notthesamepersonanymore Fri 12-Oct-18 21:02:39

Oh @TeachesOfPeaches that's awful. Five times.

I really hate managers who enjoy the power trip of recruitment. I know it's a generalisation, but I have found this more common in younger managers. They like to make you do all kinds of jumping through hoops, without seeming to care how time consuming it is to write a fifteen minute presentation, or design a workshop session, or put a draft business plan together.

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TeachesOfPeaches Fri 12-Oct-18 21:05:24

Yes I was absolutely gutted, have had a little cry and now drinking some gin in commiseration. It's even worse because I was rejected by one team at the same company but they thought I would be perfect for another team but they rejected me also confused and now they are seeing if another team might might want me. Would be too humiliating to go back I think.

Leobynature Fri 12-Oct-18 21:06:21

Keep on keeping on!

•Go over your CV and make sure it’s strong.
•Keep applying for all and any job you have the skills and experience to do
•research, research and research about the company
• read anything you can about job interviews
• read the linkin profile of the interviewers. Find out what their area of interest/expertise are and relate your answers accordingly
• practice being interviewed by your fam/friends
• continue to get feedback and take it on board
• whatever possible ask go into the company and spend time with the team prior to the interview.
• consider any further training
• Don’t let this impact on your confidence. You will find a job.

Good luck

keepmoving Fri 12-Oct-18 21:08:10

Not sure of your industry/specialism but recruitment processes seem to take forever which can often leave gaps in the team where they are recruiting. I went for an interview, empathised that the recruitment process was long (small affiliate with overseas HQ involved) so offered to support in a fixed term contract while they sorted out the process. Still there 3 years later!

Notthesamepersonanymore Fri 12-Oct-18 21:08:25

@Haireverywhere that's what I'm worried about. But I am conscious it might be happening, so I'm trying to address it.

I notice it in things like...when I get a chance to ask questions at the end, I feel like I'm wasting the interviewers time as they've already made up their mind (not to hire me). So I tend to curtail my questions, and I don't ask things like "when do you hope to make your decision" or things that are about how I would expect the first few days to look, or stuff about me in the role, if that makes sense.

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Notthesamepersonanymore Fri 12-Oct-18 21:13:30

Hi @Leobynature, do you really think that LinkedIn stalking and asking to spend time with the team would work? It would freak me out a bit if someone I was interviewing did that to me.

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Boyskeepswinging Fri 12-Oct-18 21:16:37

AHA! There you go ... you are squandering your chance to really sell yourself at the end of the interview! Google this - there is some really excellent advice on tinterweb (pretty sure it secured my last job because I was truly shite earlier in the interview but thankfully I remembered what I'd practised for the end bit).
Sounds like your negativity is affecting your performance so you need to find a way to act super positive. You can collapse in a sweaty mess once you are out of sight!

IfNotNowThenWhen1 Fri 12-Oct-18 21:16:58

You sound really competent and skilled. I'm so sorry it's been so hard.
Honestly, I think it's much harder for women to get a decent job after around mid thirties. It's really depressing but it feels true. There are a lot of preconceptions in recruitment; young men are ambitious and go getting, young women are pliable etc. Ageism is a bastard.
If I were you I would concentrate hard on organisations with a large proportion of middle aged women, and lots in management (if possible in your field).
Look at the company structure of places you think you might fit. And it's true networking (blee!) a lot does help.
Failing that, is there any way your freelance work could become a bigger business?
If you are the ceo you can hire yourself smile

Notthesamepersonanymore Fri 12-Oct-18 21:16:59

@keepmoving I've worked in a few different sectors, but most of the work around here is public and third sector. They seem very tied down with recruitment processes and not flexible st all

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