July 27th, 2005

gamiila sig #2

Waiting for the phone to ring

I'm waiting for the phone to ring. They promised me they'd let me know whether or not to invite me through to the next round (the assessment centre round, more trying to force square shapes into round holes) later today, and so it's out of my hands for the time being.

I can't really say whether the interview went well or not. I babbled. I hadn't read enough of their annual report and couldn't really discuss it in depth. I remembered bits and pieces of it, and talked about a number of things I'd heard on the news or read in the papers regarding the recent London and Sharm-el-Sheikh bombings -- but when asked what my colleagues would have to say about me if they were asked to describe me, I could only say something to the effect that that would depend on who they would ask. I tried to show myself enthusiastic and eager to learn more about the organisation, but what do you answer when they ask you what you would say to those who portray the Secret Service in a negative light (i.e. the media, and friends who may think it's sneaky)? Or how I would feel working for an organisation that has this rather bad reputation, whether I would still enjoy coming to work if people around me IRL were constantly badmouthing the service? So I said I thought I wasn't supposed to mention the fact that I worked for the Secret Service but that if anyone asked, I'd work in the Home Office as a civil servant; and that I could only try and set the record straight in the vaguest of terms by inviting people to consider that there might be another way of looking at it -- and that moreover, what other people thought didn't matter to me, as long as I was convinced that the work I was doing had merit.

On balance, I think I did alright. Not brilliantly, but alright. And now, I'll just have to wait for that bloody phone to ring. Note: they specifically and emphatically told me they would ring me on my mobile, not my landline. Hee -- they're a Secret Service, alright.
pleased with herself

I'm through!

Coming out of the interview room, and whilst I was escorted to the stairs by the HR representative, I spotted another applicant I'd seen and spoken with the first time I was invited to the Home Office premises. So I greeted him and took two minutes to talk to him, and of course he asked me how I thought I'd done. And I told him truthfully that I thought it was really too early to tell, but that I had to own that I could have prepared myself better. All the while, of course, the HR man was standing there listening to me, too.

Anyway, I have just received the eagerly awaited phone call. I'm through to the next round; they said they were very positive they wanted me, but...the selection committee chairman who gave me the news also said that they had two caveats:

1) teamwork
2) preparation

He told me that they will place special emphasis on gauging how I perform in a team during the assessment round, because the work I do at HP at the moment does not appear to them to be so much team-related. Fair enough. I'll just read up on working in a team in the next week or so, and see if anything sticks in my mind.

He also said I could have prepared myself for the interview better, and it had been a special point of concern to him personally, but that I had redeemed myself by making that remark to the next interviewee that I could have done better if only I'd taken more time to read up on things.

But who cares?

I'm through!!!!!