Having a laugh

A little light relief is called for in the form of my job interview.

Little being the operative word, as in a very little time was spent on it. Some of you may remember my previous post on roughseas where I completed TWELVE PAGES of dead trees, including my spelling test details from Lower Transition, submitted my school photos, and everything else under the sun. Oh and a two and a bit page covering letter and a one and a bit page CV. Couldn’t reduce them further 😦

Well that was all a waste of time. Certainly took longer than today’s interview.

Example questions:

‘Why do you want this job?’

I think it would be really interesting, fascinating blah blah and It’s the best paid job I’ve seen advertised in Gib for my skills, why do you think?

‘Do you have experience as a newspaper journalist?’

FFS. I understand the concept of asking questions so the candidate can amplify their CV – but a yes/no question about a CV that endlessly bleats on about print journalism leaves one a tad disillusioned.

How tempted was I to say – I refer you to my CV. Or, have you read my CV? Or, why am I here?

Next up…

‘Have you dealt with journalists?’

No. I’m not one so clearly I haven’t. I wasn’t a government press officer either.

‘Oh!! A government press officer!! Which one?’

The UK.

‘No which department?’

Whereupon someone else who was trying to read my CV spotted the health authority and helpfully mentioned that.

No, I sighed, the Health and Safety Executive. Not the same as the NHS.

I tell you when I interviewed people, at least I had in my head who the hell they had worked for. Maybe that’s because I was considering employing them.

‘Have you organised a press conference?’

No, I was a government press officer and an NHS PR manager and we never organised press conferences.

And the one I knew was coming. Remember this is Gibraltar and I do not have a Gibbo name.

‘Hablas español?’

‘Si, claro.’

‘Y lo apprendiste aqui?’

(for purists out there I’ve been too idle to add the accents)

‘Non, en inglaterra y en españa, donde tenemos una pequena finca.’

And the transation goes – do you speak spanish, yes of course, did you learn it here, no in England and in Spain where we have a small finca.

‘Do you understand the local political situation?’

Well, how the hell do you answer that one?

‘With Spain, the border, the frontier queues…’

Yes, I have a pequeña finca in Spain so I understand that.

I read the news, I replied, feeling my way on this one.

‘The Chronicle? Panorama?’

And Vox I added. And the government press releases and official notices. (How else would I have applied for this job that I never saw in the job centre?)

I threw what little caution I had to the winds.

~ Do you mean all the backbiting?~

I received a gracious acknowledgement that I vaguely understood the local political situation.

Meanwhile the clock on the wall was stuck.

Oh, I forgot to say when I arrived I thought I was triple booked. Two other guys in front of me waiting for interviews, one at 12.15 and one at 12.30. Turned out to be customs posts. I was called in early.

I can see why. Ten minutes in and they had done with me.

Did I want to add anything or suggest some questions they should have asked? No, but I thought I would interrogate them for ten minutes and waste their time as they had wasted my morning.

I did raise a laugh though.

~ How many press officers do you have?~ [to the media director]

‘Just me.’ [That might explain a lot]

~You need some help~

With which I concluded their interview.

Golden rule for interviews that I always forget, remember to explain the obvious.

The showerhead bust and the lightbulb in the bathroom went too. I forgot to add that. Just as well I wasn’t putting on make-up.

Jennifer Lopez – Qué hiciste – What did you do

Because I love this song and sometimes thinking, speaking, singing, and dancing in Spanish is easier.

About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
This entry was posted in gibraltar, journalism, life, media, music, musings, public relations, thoughts, work, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Having a laugh

  1. Vicky says:

    I can feel your anger at what looks like a wasted morning, I would have thought the least you’d have got was 30-45 minutes, but 10 minutes?!!
    You never know though, perhaps your CV said it all, and they just wanted to see if you were feisty enough for the job 🙂


    • When I rang originally I was told 40 minutes. Anyway, I didn’t want to a) talk myself out of a job b) waste more of my time than I had done.

      It’s not just the wasted morning though is it, it’s all the prep too 😦


  2. Kyanite Blue says:

    So, so long since I did /had an interview but 10 mins! Speechless!


  3. The very reasons why I don’t intend to apply for a job ever again. Recruitment consultants (and I use the term consultants in its loosest sense) have muscled in on the whole recruitment process and have over complicated the whole thing to justify their fees. On line application forms are rarely formatted correctly and interviews are run by half wit HR officers. I’d rather be unemployed!


    • The (government) HR manager didn’t ask much. Most of the stupid questions ie not reading my CV so clearly not interested in me, came from the um professionals 😀

      I’d rather be unemployed but I need an income 😦


  4. EllaDee says:

    If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry or drink far too much wine… Something to consider is if you did get the job it would be more of the same, I imagine. I don’t know whether to wish you luck, or not.


  5. free penny press says:

    That’s enough to make one never want to interview again.. Did they at least look you in the eye when talking during that long interview? That is a must for me. Look at me, have had a few that never once looked up..Ugh!


    • Actually they did. Probably one of the few plus points out of the morning. And there was a nice bottle of water for me and a glass, most of which I polished off.
      They did have that rather arrogant, men-in-striped-shirts sitting back in chair attitude though 😀 I’m sure you’ve come across the one.
      I think today was the first time I realised how confrontational and intimidating interviews are. Not designed to get the best out of people.


  6. pix & kardz says:

    oh wow, that is unbelievable. so sorry to hear about this. how disappointing!
    and now i must call it a day.


  7. Blu says:

    I don’t get this ten minute interview thing. Although I always hated interviewing people myself (because I wasn’t much good at it), I always did my research before hand then a quick 5 min re-read through the CV just before the candidate was ushered in. My Interviews usually lasted 30 mins, but if I decided earlier they weren’t getting the job I used to ask them nice easy things so we’d chat for the requisite time.

    Unintended consequence of this was that a lot of people thought they’d got the job because I was being nice to them and they’d phone up HR and ask when I wanted them to start, only to be told they weren’t successful.


    • I didn’t mind when there were decent candidates available. Although in fact, invariably you didn’t even need to interview people for the sort of jobs I was looking to hire in, their CVs said it all, which was why I was puzzled (and disappointed) at the banality of the questions.

      There is some cheesy cliche about it being a two-way thing, but it surely should be. When I have spent considerable time filling in (to me – stupid) forms, and added additional info, I think it would be courteous and respectful to at least work out that I have been employed as a print journalist and a UK govt press officer.

      In a way though, there isn’t really much to ask for a job like this. But I think interviewers should be able to do better than asking yes/no questions. There is more stress on me than on them, so it would be helpful if they could word things openly so I am not having to do their job.

      Half an hour is pretty reasonable, even 20 minutes might not be too bad but ten?!!

      Had to laugh at your nice approach making people think they had got it. In fact, most of the jobs I have got didn’t include nice chat, and, you are right, we all fall into the bit of chat about nothing routine when there is no more to ask.

      Oh well, the blogging world will not be deprived of my presence in the near future 😀


  8. pendantry says:

    Thanks for the laugh 🙂 these people clearly didn’t deserve you anyway. It’s so sad that Those All-Too-Often Smug Gits On The Other Side Of The Deliberately Imposing Desk tend to forget (if they ever knew) that the word ‘interview’ implies two-way communication. Not that I claim to any expertise at the things myself — but the point is that TATOSGOTOSOTDID do claim such expertise, simply by sitting there.


  9. pendantry says:

    Missed this, as ever
    I’m increasingly intriqued by the fact that the innerwebz and associated technology enables miscommunication at the speed of light.

    — “Did you get my email?” (Which one?)
    — “But I sent you a text about that!” (You are aware that the telcos don’t guarantee delivery of txt messages, right? Oh, and by the way, my phone and I aren’t joined at the hip)
    — “Blah blah blah blah, incidentally I left a message on your answerphone saying this, so you can just ignore that now” (great, so now I have another fun and fruitful trash clearing interaction with a soulless machine to look forward to…).


    • pendantry says:

      Oh, joy. Browser crashes while composing the post above; restarts with my text in the input box intact, which surprises the heck outta me (I’m used to losing posts as a result of machine error) — but as all seems well I don’t notice that the reply is no longer in the right thread.

      The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. Scotty.


    • I tend to rely on the orange box at the top and it has a limit of nine, ie nine latest. But I tend to check back through comments or through posts to ensure I’ve not missed someone’s comment, but I may be a few days late.

      Love your first sentence. Too true. I would patent or copyright that one.


      • pendantry says:

        You mean “the innerwebz and associated technology enables miscommunication at the speed of light”? <smug>I am rather proud of that snippet :)</smug> But patent? Copyright? Even if I could, I wouldn’t. Patents, copyrights and ‘intellectual property’ are simply the latest extension of the enclosure acts stifling free expression and ensuring that wealth remains in the control of the rich (YMMV).


        • Yes. I thought it was good. Copyright however I have to argue with you about. I do not think it is related to the enclosure acts (did my school ever do that one to death!!) but it is about respecting someone’s work as a tradesperson.


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