First interview in 12 years

[image]I was facing my first interview in donkey’s years. The big question was ‘What on Earth should I wear?’

I got the call on my mobile and heard the cherished words: ‘Will you come in for an interview, please?’

It was my first job interview in 12 years. Since the birth of one and only son I had worked from home as a freelance journalist and had made a decent living. But that decent living had come to an indecent end thanks to the credit crunch. Commissions to write features had dried up and my only regular source of income closed down. So that was that. I’d always had some work on the go, but now I needed to become a person with a ‘proper’ job, and, most importantly, a salary which popped up in the bank at the end of the month.

Looking back, I put the wrong emphasis on the interview. I didn’t think much about what I was going to say. Instead, I put all my efforts into how I was going to look.

The first port of call was the make-up salon. I had an eyebrow shape – I normally never bother. But I was going to show I could pass muster. The last time I’d had one done was when I was involved in introducing authors at a literary festival. I reasoned then that lots of eyes would be looking at me, so I had to look as if I’d made an effort. And I did make an effort.

The next port of call was the hairdresser’s. ‘Make me look 10 years younger,’ I commanded. So I came out with a feathery-type hairstyle which ‘emphasised cheek bones’. Apparently. At the school gates another mum stared at me and said: ‘Ooh, you look much younger.’

Job done, I thought.

The big question was what should I wear? The floaty dress I’d worn at the literary festival with my killer eyebrows? Or should I be more business-like? I tried on the dress because I’d spent a lot of money on it and had only given it a whirl at the literary festival and school prize-giving. But I had to concede that it just wasn’t the thing for a job interview. Something more sober was required.

I rifled through my wardrobe. I found a straight-forward conventional beige jacket. Just the job for the job. I slowly put my arms through the sleeves and stood up, shoulders back, parade-like in the mirror. Looking good, I thought. But then, disaster. I tried the button. It would not stretch enough to reach the button hole – or, to be more accurate, my thickening girth stretched too much to allow the button to meet up with the button hole. I calculated quickly in my head and realised I could not lose half a stone before the interview.

So I rifled some more. Soon the duvet was blotted out with a mountain of discarded clothes. I was running out of ideas. At the very depths of the wardrobe I spotted a pair of trusty black trousers. I teamed them with a white shirt and a black jacket with subtle white stripes. I preened in front of the mirror once more. There was nothing particularly wrong with the outfit, but it screamed out ‘boring’ and ‘drab’.

So I rifled again. This time I found a cerise top to go with the black trousers and black jacket. I could hear an imaginary voice from Trinny telling me: ‘Ooh, just the thing. It lifts your face.’

So my job outfit was chosen. I was business-like but that hint of pink just lifted me out of the ‘boring’ zone. How could they resist me?

To be continued…

Comments [1]

  • says:

    I have been trying to get a job since 2006, but no one is willing to take me on, I always hear those words you dread "we will keep you on file". Yeah I hear that a lot these days. I’ve got two kids, one aged 7 and one at ten months. I have a sitter but no job! I’m a single mum and I’ve applied for every position going, but still no such luck. It’s now 2010 and i’m still trying to get back into work.

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