ImageAlongside the work I do with my lovely wife as part of Miller & Miller Consulting Ltd (check out our website for more information on the services we offer), I have been keeping an eye out on the job scene and applying my standard career development approach: applying for anything that looks interesting, challenging, and that I feel I could convince the recruiter and myself that I could do!

It was following this approach that I came across and applied for a role that I felt I had the skills set to be able to succeed in, though not necessarily all the desired experience. It looked like a really interesting and definitely a very challenging role!

So I thought “what the heck?!” and put in an application, thinking no more of it. Not long afterwards, I got a call to tell me that I had been short listed. I was a bit amazed, I have to tell you! But delighted as well, of course, so I set about preparing for the mammoth recruitment day. 

It was a bit like the Krypton Factor – the only test missing was the obstacle course! (Suggestion: don’t actually make that joke to your prospective employer, I got blank looks!) We had to lead two group activities, attend a couple of meetings, prepare for and deliver a case study interview, go on a tour of the site and, finally, have an interview. Phew!

During the day, I got to know the other 4 short listed candidates and was filled with ever increasing trepidation. They were all at least 15 years older than I, with more than double the work experience, and most of them had extensive experience in the job in question, or something very like it, or at least the appropriate sector. Uh oh. 

You know those property TV programmes where a couple go on and say “we’d like to buy a 3 bedroom house, with a large garden, in the middle of a (specific) town, and our budget is £x”? And then the hosts choose them 2 or 3 houses that meet that criteria at least more or less and take them to see them?

And then there’s always one “wildcard” property they chuck in at the end to try to sway them or show them other options if they’re willing to bend on some (or all!) of their criteria? And that wildcard is usually a barge moored up somewhere 50miles from their target area, no garden, no room to swing a cat, but COME ON! It’s a BARGE ferchrissakes! The whole countryside is your back garden!?

Well, that was me. 4 well-proportioned, mock Tudor, detached properties in suburbia with large gardens, off road parking and room for a pony. And me – a houseboat. 

Ah well, I thought, nothing to lose here but your dignity! Give yourself a talking to, pretend you’re confident, look everyone in the eye, and just give it your best shot. It’ll be great experience, if nothing else, but only if you try your hardest. 

So, with my loins duly girded, I carried on throughout the day, and – amazingly enough – made it through the whole process without making too much of a fool of myself. Hurrah! A success, and I could go home happy.