So I recently applied for an administrative role with a well known higher education organisation. The role was a commutable distance but didn’t quite pay enough to warrant the cost of travel. I applied as I wanted to be recognised by this organisation and see what kind of feedback I would be able to get from them. I consider myself very lucky if I am able to land an interview at all.
So I was surprised when I had a voice mail message on my phone from them asking me to give them a call back.
“BRILLIANT! An interview!” I thought
I was wrong.
What followed was surprising.
So after some “phone tennis” I managed to get back in touch with the person who had called. They asked whether I had realised the cost of commuting (I had, I played dumb thinking UH-OH, BUSTED!!) The person on the phone was kind enough to look it up and asked me whether I would still like my application to be considered… in my mind I was thinking “well, yes! I want an interview please!” but after talking it over with them I felt as though it would be a waste of time for both parties if I were to come for an interview for something I had no intention of accepting…
I explained how valuable I find feedback from applications and I was lucky enough for them to go over my application with me highlighting the positives and negatives and concluding that one of the things they wondered about was whether or not I would actually want such a “basic” role given my current one and my interests.
Why did they call?! At first I thought it might have been to try and catch me out or for them to suss out how much I had properly considered this role before applying. But it was actually because they’ve had high staff turn over in the role and have had people bail on it after a couple of months before.
What did I learn from this? First up, if you’re willing to commute put it in your CV or cover letter. Also I think this is a glint of hope that some large organisations do take the time to give detailed feedback IF you ask for it. I was lucky in this instance that the person called my application up on screen and went through it with me. I was sort of just expecting a follow up email though…