Having decided to work until January the next obstacle to overcome was finding a job. Admittedly, my career history was a little patchy; after school hours reserved for homework, Saturdays were filled with sports, and Sundays were necessary for sleep. I had never considered this a problem, since dependent on the generous bank of mum and dad, my finances, or lack of, as never a noticeable deficiency. However, to my dismay, most places asked for and expected experience, experience which I was woefully lacking. Still, I persisted, adamant that somewhere a company would see past this deficit and would still hire me. I focussed principally upon cafes, shops and restaurants - establishments focussed in the city centre, in the hope that employers would be enticed by my flexible working hours (or perhaps, desperation). Thus, I trawled around both York and Hull handing out my sparse, but heavily and creatively embellished, CV, a process which in itself is a little daunting. Friends who had been a little more proactive in their spare time and had held jobs previously informed me that first impressions are vital. Atypically, this led to me overthinking the unnecessary and normally straightforward. For example, how much should you smile? Clearly the answer lies between a grimace and a manic grin that screams escaped asylum victim, but where? Similarly, how do you walk? What do you do with your arms? Yes, these are the embarrassing questions that I now admit repeatedly ran through my head during this time. However, something must have worked as I received two job interview call backs - one from Levis and the other from Joules.
The Levis one was first. I was asked pretty predictable questions; how much did I know about the brand? Did I own any Levis?(Unfortunately no, my parents were not quite that generous with their budget). What did I like about the store design? What were my strengths? Personally, I thought the interview went well, I was chatty and I built a rapport with the interviewer that I hoped would play in my favour. I left content, informed that I would hear a decision within the next week or two.
The Joules interview was a week later, and so I approached the process very much in the same way - researching the brand, looking up other interview experiences and preparing general responses. The introductory questions were identical, as I imagine they are for most retail interviews; how much did I know about the brand? However, they also threw a few curveballs; where did I think Joules lost the most money as a company? And, could I describe an experience where I had helped someone in an adverse position? Yet despite the unexpected difficulty of such questions, I enjoyed the challenge of being forced to think on my feet.
So how did they go? Levis called up a few days later to break the news that I had been unsuccessful. When pressed for feedback, apparently I had not been knowledgeable enough of the brand; a criticism made by the manager who had informed me that Levis was created in the 1800s sometime (he was pretty certain), but in a blatant attempt to balance this out also told me I was a good communicator. Fortunately, Joules had better news; I had been successful and had landed the job. News which I am glad was relayed through the telephone as I probably would have looked slightly mad with happiness.