This morning I shrugged off the apathetic state into which I have sunk since that redundancy thing that we don’t really talk about and went to London for my first proper interview (I don’t count registering with the agency as that didn’t involve a suit and serious self-doubt). It was with an organisation that represents the financial services sector – a sector that I have to admit I’m not really that clued up on. I worked on a pitch for the Woolwich account once, I recruited call centre staff for a leading insurance company (oh YEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSS) and I am anal about knowing how much money I have in the bank but that’s as far as my financial knowledge or interest goes.
But in this world of recession, bizarrely the only jobs that are in abundance are those in “the city”. Now, my interest in “the city” to date has mainly revolved around the Hills spin-off show that charts the progress of some wannabee fashionista girl in New York. The City of London has never held any appeal. I just don’t “do” corporate. Ironically today’s interview was a few yards away from the office building in which I tempted last time I was “resting” (i.e. the time I threw my toys out of my pram and quit my job with nothing to go to). That was just before the recession and, returning for the first time, it seems a lot quieter than back then. Maybe it’s a contrast with the West End but everything seems a lot more drab and functional.
There are no bankers quaffing champagne for breakfast and snorting coke with £50 notes. There were a few people (all in the same generic grey suit, or so it appeared) speed smoking a quick fag before going back into the faceless buildings that house our country’s financial heart. The city is such a disappointment. The roads have amazing names: Threadneedle Street, Cheapside, Poultry, Old Broad Street – suggesting a rich tapestry of fabulousness. In reality there is some fabulousness in the city but everybody is in too much of a hurry to look up and appreciate it.
Me being me, I walked the wrong way and took the scenic route to my interview. It wasn’t until I was sitting in Reception that I realised I had dressed up as the corporate branding – I’m surprised the HR lady could see me, I was that well camouflaged. The guy on Reception looked more corporate and professional than I could ever hope to appear – surely they’d see through me in seconds?
They didn’t. It was a surprisingly enjoyable interview for somebody who hasn’t had a proper interview in years (the one for my last job doesn’t count. Do you want this job then? Yes. Can you write? Yes. You’d have to sit next to a pair of bitches, could you cope with that? Yes. Can you wear less make-up for your second interview as our CEO wont like it? Er … no, screw you, you judgemental weirdo (I didn’t say that but I should have done)).
I didn’t swear. I didn’t say anything inappropriate. I didn’t talk about vampires, cats or lesbians and I only briefly touched on musical theatre (they asked me about my interests, I could not deny my true nature).
And – for some reason – they have now asked me back for a second interview. That’s quite scary as it means I have a chance of getting the job. Then I have to be grown up and corporate and professional forever. Am I that good an actress?
We shall see … but if I don’t get this job, I’ll view it as a very good and positive start and a sign that I do have a future that doesn’t involve re-reading the Twilight saga again and again because I can’t afford to buy a new book.
Watch this space …