Quidnunc (kneeshooter) wrote,

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Yesterday I had a job interview. I've not had one for a while, but I can remember being nervous. ill-prepared and generally flying by the seat of my pants. But this one was different.

To start with I'm not sure I want the job. It's ~75 miles from where I live and is only for 14 months, but it looked interesting enough to apply.

So anyway, there I am, in the county education centre, on-top of a Primary school in a small village, and off we go...

The paperwork said "we'll give you a document to read for 15 minutes, then we'll talk to you for half an hour". Ok. Easy. First then they dump me in a room, from the paperwork I guess it's the boss's office from the name tag on his laptop bag, and learn he has an obvious liking for Tesco Ginger Beer. They give me this bundle of paperwork and say "Here's a pencil". What am I supposed to do with this? No instructions, just some background stuff marginally more in depth than the stuff they have on their public website - and surely anyone going for the interview would have read up?

Anyway, time passes, and rather than 15 minutes, I get about 25 - and after 10 I'm bored and carry on scribbling more and more on the paperwork - after all the contents really are the bread-and-butter of my current job, and actually its quite interesting from that perspective.

Eventually I'm rescued and head to the interview. The lead chap opens the door and goes "Don't I know you?" and I say "Yes" thinking "Ooops, I've taken this man's plans apart on behalf of DfES - I hope he doesn't know that...". Is this good or bad - I guess we'll find out later...

Onward. Lead chap plus two - one to talk about technical, the other to talk about Project Management. Start with the technical. Fluff the first question on NetBIOS naming. Arse. Fluff the second question on Spanning Trees. Arse. Just about get the third question on Thin Client. Phew.

Project Management next. "What stresses you at work?" "My Boss". At least thats what a I thought. "How do you resolve stress at work?" "Dream of cutting the brake-cables on his BMW". Just about get through that.

Finally the lead chap, and potential line manager. Usual types of questions, and I think I handle them pretty well - talking about getting close to teachers and pupils, communication and other common sense stuff. Pretty happy with that.

The tone of it was really strange - for the last part of the discussion, talking about the doc they'd gave me to read it was almost like I was visiting them as part of my normal job to talk about their network rather than them interviewing me. I also had to admit that when this county had "pulled a fast one" and opted-out of national policy with the very project this job is concerned with - I was sent all their reports to "take-apart" on behalf of the Minister. When I dropeed that into conversation it obviously threw them. And the timing was thrown too - rather than in and out in 45 minutes total, it was more like an hour and 15.

Do I want the job? I'm not sure. It was a very interesting and useful hour or so. But it did highlight to me how my skills have changed - I'm not the network techie I used to be - I've added all sorts of _useful_ skills like being able to bullshit politics and think national strategy - which is going to have to reflect in future planned escape routes.

And anyway - while they said "We'll let you know by Wednesday" it's now 23 minutes past 9 and if they wanted me I'm sure they'd have phoned by now :-)

Still, did another letter of application for an internal move last night - "Same money, less responsibility and stress, longer term contract and better boss" - bit of a no-brainer...

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