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Slummy Mummy's interview tips

Published by Jo Middleton
Published on 26 October 2010

Top tips for successful job interviews

This week I had an interview for a job. Although I haven’t been actively looking for a permanent job, I have been feeling a tad lonely working at home, and was thinking it would be nice to have some new work friends, a reason to wash my hair every day, and someone else to make my coffee now and again. So when this opportunity came along, and I was asked if I would be interested in applying, I thought I should go for it.

I’ve always enjoyed job interviews, with much the same perverse pleasure that I get from exams. At heart I am a over-competitive, under-confident exhibitionist. It sounds like an odd combination, but it isn’t really – I love being marked, being praised, and I strive to do well so that people will tell me how clever I am.

What fits slightly less well with this picture is the rather cocky, informal persona I often find myself adopting in these situations, the kind where you are supposed to make a good impression, like interviews and first dates. Perhaps it is a defence mechanism – a detached but challenging front put up to hide a fear of failure. Or maybe it is just my strong attention seeking streak – ‘Look at me! Look at how charming/borderline inappropriate I am!’

Just in case my potential future employers read this though… let’s just put it down to nerves…

Overall, it would be fair to say that I gave a true reflection of my personality. Whether of not it was a good one we will only know tomorrow when they have made their decision. The way I look at it though, these are people I would have to spend a large chunk of my working week with, so it’s only fair they know what they are letting themselves in for.

Throughout the interview I cracked a string of bad jokes and waffled terribly, much like I do when I have to leave a message on an answer phone – ‘so, um… yes, that was all really, give me a call back if you have time, or whatever… hope you’re well… I should probably stop now… by-eee!’

Here are a couple of questions I think I answered particularly well:

Director of Fundraising: So, can you tell us why you decided to apply for the job?

Me: Well, I’ve been working at home for a while now, and I really miss getting dressed up to come into an office…

Senior Trust Fundraiser: Can you tell me what you would expect from me as your line manager?

Me: [looks thoughtful] Treats?

I can only assume that this level of childishness must mean that subconsciously, I really want the job. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the highly competent yet decidedly immature combination is just what they are looking for.

By Jo Middleton

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