Hi everyone! Thank you so SO much for all your lovely empathetic comments on my interview disappointment. Very much appreciated, every word : )
You might like to hear why I didn't get the job...? And if you don't care, come back tomorrow and laugh at my fugly sewing!
I asked for feedback (natch) and had a clandestine meeting in a darkened room with the chair of the interview panel.
They were looking for "three key skillsets" and I failed on all three counts.
1 They wanted people to demonstrate not only that they had a passion but they could inspire others to feel that passion too. It was not enough that I was passionate about knitting: they had to leave the room inspired to take it up themselves.
Now... the phrase that comes to mind is "You can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink"! If asking them to fondle and sniff yarn and showing them what it can do, and talking about how calm the process of knitting makes me feel (I may have used the words "takes me to my zen place"!) were not enough, they are never going to want to learn to knit! My tactic was "experiential learning"...
2 She said I didn't teach them anything. Actually, she backed down on this one - because she admitted I did actually teach them to recognise knit and purl stitches on a chart and see how that translated into fabric, and I asked them to "be" knits and purls in 3 dimensions. Now, given that the whole thing lasted only 15 minutes.... uh huh.
And considering where we work , it was somewhat surprising to be expected to "teach" in the old-style dictation-of-facts way. I didn't think it was the done thing to "teach" anymore: we "facilitate learning" (see previous comment about experiential wotsits...) It occurs to me that there were no academic staff on the panel, so they were not actually qualified to judge me on this one... and in any case, I was not applying for a teaching post. Go figure.
3. (This is the biggie.) I was "too empathetic". They wanted people who would NOT take "no" for an answer. They wanted me to say that if a Director refused to change their departmental working practices, I would stand my ground until they changed their mind and agreed to accept the New Regime.
I told them I would listen to the Director and try to persuade them of the Way the Truth and the Light, but that I would accept that sometimes a compromise is necessary. I would negotiate.
This was the Wrong Answer. I must NEVER back down.
Seriously?! Even though I am a low-grade admin person and they are HUGE in the hierarchy?! REALLY? Wow - that's a great way never to get past their PA ever again! If I behaved like that to certain key individuals they would delete all my emails unread and refuse to talk to me on the phone.Good luck with that approach!
Thank goodness I didn't get the job! Lucky escape!
OK - that's me done. I promise to get back to the interesting stitchy stuff at the weekend! ; )