Job Seeking Success
Sarah Pittaway

Posted: 2nd Jul 2020

Job Seeking Success During Lockdown

Former officer Sarah Pittaway has successfully secured her next role during lockdown.  Her advice is to continue to network, apply and interview for roles.

Securing a new job or employee during lockdown is a daunting, but not impossible, prospect.  I was lucky enough to see a role advertised on the OA Jobs Board with the Union Jack Club that looked an amazing opportunity.  I was impressed that they were still hiring during the pandemic, making sure they were ready for business when things start to ease.

I applied for the role of Deputy Chief Executive, and had an hour-long telephone interview.  Telephone interviews are not the easiest way to build a rapport but I really enjoyed the chat and progressed through to the next round.  As it was a role in a client facing business the next round was a panel interview in London.  I was asked if I was comfortable doing this and was assured social distancing would be rigorously applied.  I was also offered a parking space to avoid using public transport.

I went to London for the interview on a deserted train that in normal times would have been heaving and impossible to get a seat.  London was eerie; it was strange to see the heartbeat of our country and economy still and silent.

At interview, all social distancing measures were adhered to and handshakes were strictly off limits. I was treated to a tour of the Club, seeing the full range of bedrooms from single rooms to family suites, as well as meeting rooms; the bar and restaurant.  When we used the lifts, we had one each, with 24 floors stairs were not an option.  The Club is open for key workers and the social distancing measures were impressive and effective.  After the tour, I proceeded to interview.  I enjoyed meeting the panel (three in person and one via Zoom) and we had a pleasant and wide ranging discussion.

I was impressed at the attention taken to ensure compliance with Covid-19 guidelines combined with a resilient approach to ensuring business as usual and a strong return albeit in a new landscape. I was delighted to be offered the role and look forward to starting on 1st July 2020.

The recruitment process always gives candidates an insight into the culture of a business.  Companies that are hiring now will be resilient and confident about the future and keen to help kick start the economy.  It is possible to recruit either using the various online platforms or face to face - or a mix of the two. Networking is still key and the famed coffee chats can still take place.

By continuing to network, applying and interviewing, proactive candidates will get noticed and hired by like-minded businesses.

The UJC re-opens for members on 4th July 2020.

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