Monday, 14 February 2011

Interview update

So, I went for my interview on Friday or let’s say my evaluation day as they call it! It was supposed to last from 9 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon (oh yes, 7 hours with an hour lunch break)!!! I had taken a day off work for that. I lied to them about taking the day off to enjoy the day by doing something different. That wasn’t totally untrue since I did something different but I didn’t really enjoy it.

Before going for the interview, I knew what the company would propose. They offer 10 - 12 weeks professional training and then a placement as an ‘IT Consultant’. The training is offered for free but for two years you would be an employee of that company which would ‘sell’ you as a contractor to clients. They sell you in much higher price than the money you are given but I hoped to be patient for two years to build my CV to the level I wanted. The deal seemed appealing, although I didn’t know the exact terms.

Anyway, I spent Thursday night feeling restless and I did wake up way earlier than I should to get dressed, shave and have plenty of time to arrive there in time. Upon arrival I met the three other candidates / opponents I would have to win / beat / kill over the next couple of hours. I didn’t know how many places were available so I had to be prepared for the worse.

What I wasn’t really prepared was what followed, the presentation of the ‘deal’ between us and the company! The latter wanted its candidates to be 100% flexible, meaning you couldn’t say ‘no’ to a job offering. That meant that you might end up anywhere in the UK (including Northern Ireland of course) working for any possible company. OK, the subject of the actual project would be relevant to the training stream you had chosen but I thought that this would include a huge leap of faith from my part and I was reluctant to say ‘yes’.

In addition to that, the money offered was a joke. They explained that the cost of the training offered is around £20k, which is ridiculous since any Msc in IT in the best universities costs much less. To give you an idea, my MSc in a very good university in London was priced £3.5k in 2007! I can’t believe that the same MSc would cost more than £10k today! Since that training money would at least have to be returned, every candidate would be given a fixed monthly salary which I believed was at least offensive.

At the end of the presentation I decided that the offer was not for me (but for younger totally inexperienced graduates) and I had my doubts of staying for the whole day. However, I couldn’t go back to work to reclaim at least half a day off and I thought that playing along would be a very good practice in being interviewed, so I stayed. I did the group exercise, I stayed for the actual interview, I passed the logic and grammar exams. My younger co candidates were very eager at being accepted although two of them failed and were sent home before the lunch break.

At some point in the afternoon, I started getting tired and I did really badly at the last part of the evaluation day (the technical evaluation). The evaluator was a total ass trying to be very difficult and I kind of lost it not replying to questions that I would normally know. While I’m typing this post an email arrived thanking me for taking part in the process but I didn’t pass to the next level. I’m not bothered at all to be honest. I had already decided not to accept an offer anyway, although it is a nice confidence boost to reject offers instead of being rejected but anyway I do have some other things in mind of what to do next.


Anyway, that’s what happened on Friday! I’m going to leave you now wishing you a ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’. We decided with JJ not to buy each other any cards, flowers or gifts although I did make desert. We have booked a table in a nice dim sum place and then we'll head back to my place for 'desert'.

I hope it tastes nice. That was my first ever attempt at baking a cake…


  1. u'll get the better one in future!

  2. What a strangely intensive process. I think you were wise to mentally check out of this process. I'm not sure what your situation is and what constitutes your 'ideal' job, but something so grueling upfront bodes ill for what would follow I think.

    Happy Vday to you as well.

  3. Nice cake; as for the job, what references do they come with? Sounds like a sales pitch - like timeshare stuff, best to avoid?


    ps - nice cake!

  4. Happy VD!
    When you are finished with desert, may I lick the plate?

  5. Happy Valentine's Day...Xronia Polla! The cake looks delicious!

  6. @Suf_n_Steve Thanks. I plan to

    @BosGuy Thanks. I know that a small change in my career will mean 'some' sacrifices from my part, but not that many...

    @MadeInScotland They are a well known company because they provide IT people to major companies. They are in some cases preferred because their graduates are quite cheap. I heard of them from a BA in HSBC. However they are more suitable for younger graduates with not many responsibilities or any work experience.

  7. @Cubby Sure. I'll send it to you...

    @Bobby Thanks