New Beginnings

After almost two years of unsuccessful job hunting (read: The Dreaded Job Hunt) I have finally landed myself a job!

After countless rejections I was beginning to think I’d never get a job. But then I received the miracle email. I was being considered for a Financial Services Traineeship I had recently applied for. I was told I would be interviewed over the phone by a member of the company that would be partnering with the bank to run the traineeship.

Naturally, I wasn’t getting my hopes up, I hadn’t been very lucky in the past. I was sent a list of questions I may be asked and I made sure I was prepared.

The phone interview was actually quite pleasant. My interviewer was a kind, understanding woman. First she asked me questions about myself, including my date of birth. When I told her I was born November 5th 1996, she said ‘oh my god! My daughter is born only a few days after you!’ This was perfect, I had a foothold already! The rest of the interview was made up of your average career questions; why should Westpac hire you? Give an example of a time that you succeeded under pressure? Where do you see yourself in five years? Etc etc. I had no reason to be nervous however. My interviewer provided endless praise, saying my answers were fantastic. Sweet.

Then came the long wait. Almost two months had passed and I still hadn’t heard anything. Great. Another job I didn’t have a chance at getting. I had finally had enough. I promptly arranged with my boyfriend to move away from my home town. I wasn’t going to find a job here anytime soon.

Or so I thought.

Sure enough, while the planning was well under way, I received a phone call letting me know that the manager of the bank wanted me to go in for an interview. ‘I’m sorry.’ I said. ‘I’ve made plans to move to the Central Coast soon.’

Over the next week I was at war with myself. I wanted to move to the Coast, away from my boring hometown. But after almost two years of unsuccessful job hunting, was I seriously going to say no when I’d finally gotten so close? A few days after the phone call I received a message from a women who worked at the bank, (let’s just say her name is Sonya). Sonya asked if it was true that I was planning on moving away, when I said yes she wished me the best of luck and told me ‘I hope we can find someone like you.’

Goddamn.

Even this woman who had never actually met me before believed I was right for the job. As each day passed the decision to turn down the job was eating me alive more and more until I couldn’t take it anymore! And that was that, I messaged Sonya and asked if someone else had been given the job yet and that I was still keen on the job if they still wanted me to go in for an interview. She told me they would be interviewing more people and she would see what she could do…

‘There’s no way I’ll get a second chance’ I kept thinking. But sure enough, I received another phone call asking me to go in for an interview. I couldn’t believe my luck! A few days later I got dressed up in a simple but professional outfit (grey blouse, black cigarette pants, low high heels) and went in for an interview with the branch manager (his name can be Alexander). Alexander proceeded to ask me questions and jot my answers down in a booklet. He seemed a little awkward with making eye contact, but apart from that it seemed to be going fine. We came to a question that I had to think about a little more, so I asked if we could leave it to the end. He asked me questions about my past experiences and about how I would handle certain situations. When he asked if I had any questions I hit him with ‘can you tell me the bank’s hiring process?’ Also, ‘what methods does the company use to give back to the community?’ He was both shocked and impressed at those questions.

Yes, I came prepared my friend.

In the weeks after the interview I began to worry that I wouldn’t even get the job. Not to mention the fact that we never went back to that page in the booklet I had asked to leave until the end… Was that enough for me to miss out? Thankfully, I was asked to come in for a final interview. This time it would be with the Regional Manager and it would be via video conference.

Going into this process, I had certain expectations. Applying for a job at a bank would surely be more daunting then applying at say, McDonalds for example. I was expecting the Regional Manager to be a serious business man with high expectations. Luckily however, the Regional Manager, Hank, wasn’t actually very intimidating. While sitting in front of a screen, chatting to Hank via video conference with Alexander sitting beside me, I quickly gathered that I had already been chosen for the job.

Within the next few days I was contacted by Maxima (the company hiring me on as a Trainee), saying that Alexander was eager for me to begin working the next week. I was mailed some paperwork to sign and that was that.

I finally had a job.

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