Sunday, 9 September 2012

Job interview at the call centre

Saturday 6th June (Day 97)Job interview at the call centre

Here is something I wrote ages ago that I thought I would upload....

It has been a while since I have had a job, and looking back I don’t really count fundraising as a job.  Going round on the streets trying to stop strangers to get them to sign up for charities really wasn’t as good as I made it out to be. 

So I have been applying for engineering jobs over the course of the last few weeks, but with no luck.  To find engineering work was actually the reason why I came in Sydney to the first place.  I was expecting to just arrive in Sydney and pick up an engineering job within days, but I am clearly not as in demand as I thought I was.

Oh well, there is always plan B.

Plan B

Plan B was a job at a call centre just down the road.  I heard my chances of at least getting an interview there were good.  Apparently they are always looking for people who can speak English.  My house mate Nick has been working there for a while and has just recently been sponsored (means he can stay in Australia for as long as his job).  So they definitely seemed like an good company to work for.  I filled out their online application form very late one night and I was awoken very early the next morning by a phone call.

“Hi Michael, sorry to call you so early, just wondering if you would like to come for an interview this morning at 9:30?”

Wow, that was quick.
I wasn’t the only person being interviewed that morning.  They had invited 2 other people for the interview this morning, although they received the phone call several days ago.
After waiting in the reception area for something like 40 minutes the three of us were finally led into the interview room.  I don’t think I have ever had a job interview that started on time, but having said that I don’t think I have ever showed up for a job interview on time, so it kind of works in my favour.

The interview room was dull and grey with a large frosted glass table in the middle.  The 3 of us interviewees were sat on one side of the frosty table whilst the boss of the company and a girl who was going to be our supervisor should we get the job were sat on the other side.  The interview started with the boss of the company introducing himself and his company.  After about 5 minutes of the boss flexing his corporate muscles the spotlight moved to us and we were asked to talk a bit about ourselves and why we were suitable for the job.

Sell yourself

They started off with the guy who was sat at the end of the row.  He introduced himself very calmly and then went on to list all his previous customer service experience, and there was a lot of it.  He had a variety of impressive customer service jobs including when he worked for apple where he made over $100,000 in sales!  Damn, this guy was good. He was really not the kind of guy you want to pit yourself against in a group interview.

They then turned to the girl who was sat between myself and the guy at the end.  Although her job history revolved entirely around working at McDonalds, she made up for this in confidence and enthusiasm.  She was pretty good to.

Now the spot light was turned to me and by this point I was not feeling confident.  I was extremely tired and probably looked awful.  I didn’t have a shower that morning either, in fact my last shower was several days ago so I certainly wasn’t smelling fresh.

I managed to cobble something together regarding my previous experience in customer service that sounded reasonably convincing.

I left the interview not feeling particularly confident on my chances.

Later that day...

Later that day, after a good few hours after the interview I got the inevitable phone call.  It was the girl from the call centre to tell me whether I had the job or not.  She started off the phone conversation all happy and cheery.  

She asked me: “so, how are you?” 

“Why don’t you tell me if I got the damn job or not?!  Then I will tell you how I am feeling”.  This is what I said in my mind, my actual reply was something more like “yes, I am fine, thanks”.

Her tone of voice then changed to a more serious tone and there was a long pause.  The type of pause you get just before someone tells you some bad news....

“Yeah, we were very impressed with you Mike and we were wondering if you would like to come in tomorrow to meet the client?” she said.

“Oh, ok, sure” I said in response in a somewhat surprised manner.

It appears I actually have a job now.  A proper job as well, not going around the streets acting all happy and friendly to raise money for charity.  A job I can actually keep for longer than a week.  It’s about time as well.


  1. That's awesome, I always have to shower to get jobs. I must be really dumb.

    1. It's not dumb if you are applying for a job as a shower tester

  2. Hey Mike, congratulations on bagging a real job; hope everything is going smoothly for you out there, I'm in a similar position to you (as are many others) so don't feel too disheartened - you start off with everything mapped out, you went to university, tried your best to get the best grades / best work experience and become as employable as possible and think now the hard work's over I should just be able to pick up a job / PhD (in my case) easily but unfortunately there's always going to be some kind of competition in every job (some more than others) and whilst there may be plenty of engineering jobs in Australia, there are an AWFUL LOT of people travelling to Australia at the moment - I've just met an Irish guy whilst I was doing my latest uni course and he said everyone except his dad and his grandmother in his family will be travelling to Australia to work because apparently it's the place to be ... so pretty soon it's gonna be extremely overcrowded in that country, probably why they have to be so strict with visas / sponsorships because they don't want everybody migrating to Australia. So where else have you been in Australia? I saw some pictures of you travelling in the barrier reef but have you been elsewhere too? Glad you're enjoying the travelling - I may do a bit in 2013, but it will probably be classed as short holidays rather than real travelling, we'll see though :)