My main objective for Brisbane was to live here for a few months, find a job and experience the Australian lifestyle. The first day I spent getting a new sim card, opening my bank account and sorting out my medical care. The next day the job hunt commenced!
I browsed the Internet cafes in the area to see if any were cheaper than my hostel (charging $5 / hour) and I found a ‘reasonable’ one for $3 / hour and after the mandatory Facebook check it was game time! It was a painful search going through hundred and hundreds of adverts but I sent my CV off to about ten of them. As soon as I plopped on my hostel bed, my phone started ringing. What’s this?? Who would have my Aussie number?? It was a recruitment agent, Kelly, who wanted to meet with me on Tuesday. I badly timed as the weekend was looming and no one would be in work to look at my CV! It did buy me some time to buy some work clothes and shoes as I couldn’t fit all that rubbish in my initial packing of my backpack. On the Saturday I paid a visit to Target to get some stylish threads that came to a total of $80. Everything seems so expensive when you’re unemployed.
The Tuesday I dressed in my new attire and met with Kelly and it went well. She said she might have two jobs to line me up with. At the end of the day I fell on my hostel bed ripping the interview clothes off my body where by sheer coincidence my phone started ringing again. It was ANOTHER recruitment agent, Dawn, who of course wanted to meet with me tomorrow. This is promising I though to myself…the phone rang again!! This time it was, Caitlin, another recruitment agent…but she had a REAL interview already lined up for me, the job I really wanted out of all those I applied for! “Fantastic,” I told her. I was going to meet her at 11 am the next morning followed by the interview with the employer. So I went to the hostel’s laundry room and washed all my clothes for the first time since China and cleaned up well.
Early the next morning I had breakfast and got ready for a grueling day. Walking to town was tricky in the heat as I strategically planned it to spend the majority of the time walking in the shade to keep myself fresh. I met with the lovely Caitlin and she told me I had a very impressive CV and she asked me questions about my career and skills. Chicks dig guys with skills. I asked her for some advice and she told me just to be myself and sent me on my merry way.
Thirty minutes later I was sitting across the table from two interviewers in a typical office boardroom, they had their questions at the ready. They asked me technical questions and what I would do in certain scenarios. A few threw me but I did my best to answer them. Randomly they asked me what my three favourite movies were, perhaps to get an indication of my personality. “Jurassic Park of course as my first as it’s a classic,” they nodded in approval. “Fight Club”…”well of course,” they replied. “—and for my third…The Matrix”. “Ahh very good but did you like The Matrix 2 and 3?” A big landmine! For a fact I know The Matrix 2 and 3 are not well received in IT circles but I stuck to my guns…
“Yes! I liked them.”
“I know they’re not popular but I love them.”
[Pause] “…you stood up for yourself. I like that.”
Would that cost me the job?? The last question was very interesting. He handed me his pen and asked me with a straight face, “In a technical environment, name FIVE ways you would use this pen.” A real doozy of a question when under pressure. After deliberation with myself I answered:
1.) Use it to take notes from the client
2.) To point at the screen
3.) Use the lid as a bookmark in documentation
4.) If I couldn’t reach my PC, to use it to hit the power button
5.) Use it as a stress toy
He told me he used the question to see if people could think outside of the box. Most people he had interviewed could only name three and one guy could not name any. I thanked them for their time but one of them said he still needed to interview a few more people and would get to me by the end of the week. I really want that job.
On the walk back to the hostel I noticed I had a new voice message on my phone. I decided I was too hot and bothered to listen to it now so I waited until I was relaxed and comfortable before I played the message. It was Caitlin, she forgot to tell me to give her a call after the interview to let her know how it went. Once she answered, we spoke about how it was. “It went OK” I said, “there were a few tricky questions but I got through them.” She paused for a moment before replying, “it went better than OK You got the job! They called back right after you had left and would like to offer you the position.” Result.
A couple of days later I was signing a six week contract for a IT support role for a respectable Australian company that will look good on my CV. It is much more money than I was back on in the UK and it is only a fifteen minute walk from my hostel. I start Monday!