Whilst searching for a placement I had a few different interviews with a variety of companies but one stands out to me the most within the process. I left the interview feeling confused, frustrated and disappointed that the position had not been all it cracked up to be. On paper it seemed great but when more details were revealed and once I got a feel for the company culture and the people I would be working with I knew it wasn’t right for me.
I had a telephone interview with the company and the position sounded great, allowing me to learn a lot whilst getting training and hands on experience. I was able to explain my placement year and discuss how I was made redundant but was ready to get stuck in to a new position. I was looking forward to my interview however it didn’t go as I expected.
During the interview I was honest about my degree, the subjects I covered and what I thought my degree hadn’t been able to provide. I told my interviewer how a placement within their company would provide me with more knowledge, experience and confidence however I felt continuously criticised for the lack of marketing within my degree even though I explained it was only my pathway and there were numerous other core subjects I had to study.
I realised I had made a mistake when preparing for my interview when my interviewer asked if I had looked her up on LinkedIn. I was honest and told her I had looked up the company on LinkedIn as well as their website but had not looked into individual profiles. This was met with a comment which I brushed off as I knew I had not taken full advantage of the information available.
As the interview wore on, I felt more and more patronised. My interviewer told me their partner had never been to an interview and not been offered the job because they take along criticisms and recommendations for the business as well as a SWOT analysis. After telling me this, I was asked if I knew what a SWOT analysis was. (For anyone who has studied business or works in a business knows this is a very simple and commonly used tool.) I had already completed two years of my business degree but felt consistently patronised about the knowledge I held.
However some good came out of that interview. Firstly, it showed me the position and company was not right for me and allowed me to carry on my search. I also learnt a lesson, ironically, about marketing – in particular, self-marketing. The experience showed me you are only as good as you show you are. I had made silly mistakes and should have prepared different examples that I could have given for various questions demonstrating my skills and past achievements.
It also made me consider what people would see if they searched my name on LinkedIn, Google or social media sites. At that moment in time I didn’t have a blog or any other online presence apart from my personal social media pages and it spurred me on to create this blog and improve my LinkedIn. Companies will not recognise your value or know if you are right for the position unless you show them you are right for the job.
Have you had bad interview experiences? What would people find if they searched your name?