The week before last was a big week for me. I am currently on a temporary contract, and with a mortgage to pay etc, I am keen to get a permanent job. But that week, I had two important dates in my diary: firstly, a series of tests to find out if I’m the best candidate for a permanent position for the job I’m already doing (I’ve already passed the interview stage), and two days later, and two days later an interview for a totally different job (yeah, I know, it sounds pretty complicated – see my previous post at https://theepilepsyblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/interviews/). Now I know what the results were.
Interview 1: The Tests
I am always more confident in tests than in an oral interview situation. It gives me time to think about my answer, and retract any mistakes. Plus, it’s just me so I feel less pressure. Due to the epilepsy, I was entitled to 25% extra time (I would urge everyone who is entitled to this time to make sure you get it – you just don’t know how your brain will be working on the day).
I had a series of tests: to write a letter, a proof-reading exercise and a scenarios based exercise. I’d been doing my research on the scenarios (as I’m pretty okay with the other two) – but I was thrown when I went in. I thought my letter was ok, but I knew I didn’t get 100% on the proof-reading – maybe one error? I was counting on getting 100% so that I didn’t have to do so well in other areas(!). The scenarios was totally different to what I’d been preparing for so that totally threw me. I interpreted one of the questions wrong but I think I did okay with the others – I was just honest. I went out feeling a little dejected and told my colleagues (who I was competing against) that I’d messed up.
Interview 2: The Verbal Interview
Now, I knew I’d passed my previous interview, but this one was for a different business area – one I’d spent only six months working in previously – so I had to change all my prepared answers to the role I was applying for (NB: I take answers in for all the possible competency based questions they could ask, as I know that I will babble on and not answer the question without the support of these notes!). This is how I’ve adjusted to support my disability and I don’t have a choice BUT to take these extra measures.
I wasn’t sure how the interview went. It was a mixture of competency and non-competency – which made me feel more relaxed, but wasn’t what I was expected.
I found about both of my jobs on Monday morning of this week.
Firstly, I had a phone call from the Manager who conducted the verbal interview. She said I hadn’t got through to the next stage because I hadn’t used enough specific examples from that business area (other people used more) – but I was very close. That’s far enough – I used all the ones that I had!!! Six months isn’t long… I probably wasn’t the most experienced candidate. I wasn’t too disappointed.
About an hour later, I received an email from my own Manager asking for me to go into the office. There were both Managers who interviewed me for the permanent position that I am currently doing. They advised me that I had been successful (wooohoooooooooooooo!!!!!!!) but I had to keep it hush hush until it was officially announced. I’d just like to reiterate that I was going up against my colleagues for this job so hopefully they see my potential and hard-working ability – not the epilepsy = and that the notes were there to support me during the interview.
So, I now have a permanent job.
But it wasn’t that easy. Apparently the unsuccessful candidates got told the same day, and whispers were going around. I could cut the tension with a knife. Only one person asked – I think he knew that I had got it – but I couldn’t say anything.
The next day, it was announced. I was flooded with “Congratulations!” emails, but many of my colleagues who work in the same room as me have not even mentioned it. Ah, they’ll get over it. Out of everyone, I was the only one who did not have a job to go back to – so I was the happiest, and I was the most relieved!!! I also strongly believe that I was the best candidate and that the recruitment process was fair. I just know that I would have been very happy for whoever got it if it wasn’t me… but they obviously can’t be. On the other hand, I do understand their disappointment. It’s never good getting told you haven’t been successful. I’ve also got a feeling they said to each other (during the whispers) that I had an unfair advantage to the extra time blah-de-blah – which is unfair – it just brings me onto an even playing field.
Hopefully by Monday things will be better – but I’m happy. I know I can pay the mortgage and bills for as long as I want, and I know that I am going on holiday in September!