The interview fail

It was my first interview in years and I was running late – not seriously late, but time had marched forwards, leaving me with about 30 minutes to get dressed, shovel on some make-up and find my portfolio at the back of the cupboard.

I may have put a little more mascara on than usual, because my pink-rimmed eyes looked like I’d been up all night (which is not surprising, because I had). I’d landed back in Dubai at 6am that morning, slept a little and was heading down to Media City for an interview on a fashion magazine.

It had to be that afternoon; it was the only time they could do. And, while a part of me yelled, ‘You’re a mum now. What do you think you’re doing? You left the high-profile stuff behind years ago,” I was excited – the thought of working once again on a beautiful glossy magazine setting my brain alight with possibilities.

As I waited nervously in the foyer, I marvelled at the rows of magazines on display, the glamorous receptionist, the fake-smile PR girl flicking her blonde hair and the overall swishness of the place.

The editor appeared, looking trim and trendy in a metallic skirt, and led me to the canteen. Decked out in white, my eyes were drawn to the green, grass-like herbs on the formica counters, the ping-pong table and the view outside.

You could even get a massage upstairs (I’m not kidding). It beat my kitchen, where I boil the kettle and battle endlessly to feed my children, hands down.

I must have ended up in the right-hand tray
She put me in the right-hand tray!

We seemed to get along; she was nice, interested (and at least didn’t take one look at my hurriedly thrown together outfit and rather dated boots and step back into the elevator).

But there were some stumbling blocks.

“We sometimes have to work at the weekend,” she told me, eyeing me squarely. “I realise you have children, but I need to know you wouldn’t let us down.”

“Umm, that should be okay,” I faltered, “although if my husband and nanny are gone, I’m really stuck,” I blurted.

“I’ll be in touch later,” she said at the end. And sure enough she was – with a writing test she wanted by the next day.

I did the test and sent it at 1.30am, ploughing through severe fatigue, but jet lag at least working in my favour (the position, covering a two-month absence, was to start on Monday, hence the urgency).

And you know what? They haven’t even been in touch. I don’t need to tell you that it’s Tuesday today, and that the deafening silence obviously means I was rejected.

But it would have been nice to have been told [she says, in a depressed little voice].

My DH tells me not to worry, that something else – more family friendly – will come along if a proper, more regular job is what I want, and can’t fully understand why I’m so upset. “I’m a mummy, not an Airbus,” I tell him. “There’s no quick-fix for a mummy who’s conflicted about her career being in tatters.”

And then my mum’s words (of reason) come into my head. “These things, they tend to work out for the best, you know,” she says.

She’s right, isn’t she?

EDITED TO ADD: I finally heard from them – still a big fat ‘no’, but feel so much better to know the reason!

16 thoughts on “The interview fail

  1. Camille says:

    Right I’m crossing this magazine out of my monthly shopping list. Which one was it?
    If they treat people this way it’s definitely not the right company to work for. You wouldn’t have to work ‘occasionally’ on the weekend but ‘EVERY’ weekend. Best keeping away from them, yet I can understand how frustrating it must be….
    All the best!

    Camille

    • Thank you for the best wishes! Much appreciated 🙂 I’d better not name the magazine here, and now I’m feeling guilty coz they did get back to me (eventually!), but I really did think I’d committed some terrible faux pas!

  2. Your mum is a wise woman, and DH is correct. It sounds like it might have been an exciting place to work and an interesting job, but I think in this case you dodged a bullet. You probably would have ended up stressing every single weekend for the entire time you worked there. So sorry you had to sit around in limbo, though. Adding insult to injury. I’m sure that the perfect job is out there for you – just may take a bit of searching!

    • My job search continues! That elusive job, that pays enough to make it worthwhile, allows me time off to do school stuff/travel, is interesting, not too far away and lets me leave for the whole summer has GOT to be out there somewhere (LOL!)

  3. Your mum is probably right. I would imagine that job would have put a huge amount of pressure on you and you would never have been comfortable saying you could / could not do something because of your kids. The perfect job is out there. When you find it, can you see if they need someone else as well? I need the perfect job too. 😉

  4. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes one closed door points you to an open one. If nothing else, it dusted off your interview skills for the next, and better, opportunity! Mama is always right, you know?

  5. Jo_B says:

    I know exactly which company it was though! (The canteen description gave it away…) But what about just freelancing? You can write when you want, manage your workload and take the summer off. If you miss having an office, try one of the freelance hubs like Make in JBR – you’ll meet lots of other freelancers, which staves off the loneliness. Failing that, come round the corner and work with me. I work from home 4 out of 5 days, so we can create a mini-office at my dining room table. It will be just like our MEED days, but on a smaller scale! xx

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