• Andy Whysall

I haven't really got the job

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

It's really strange at the age of 60 to be swotting up for a mock job interview, and one that you'll be assessed on at that. It might be perverse, but I learned really quite a long time ago to enjoy job interviews. Yes, I still get nervous before the event; not getting nervous suggests you don't care, but once the hare's running I get over it and I do really enjoy the thrill of the chase.


The job I 'applied for' was a junior photographer at the big Science Museum store at Blythe House in London. It was a real job vacancy, and a job I would have love to had, but was advertised at the wrong time, and that meant a fair amount of swotting because while it was a mock interview it wasn't going to be a cake-walk . Basically they're moving the entire collection from Blythe House to a new storage site near Swindon, along with British Museum and V&A items as well, stuff that doesn't get seen much or ever but is still important to the collection. In the end 300,000 items need to be photographed so they can all go in the online collection to be used by researchers the world over.


I'm not going to guess how I scored on the mock interview, but when it was over I felt pretty confident of a job well done. I've felt that before and was wrong, but I've been on a roll in the last few years for doing well at interviews (except the Venice Biennale Fellowship, where I was a very strong also-ran apparently).


In the Professional Development part of the module we've covered a lot on the mechanics of how to look for and get jobs, CV development, statement writing and we've talked about developing and maintaining networks, which is how I got to do the pictures for a government department's annual report this spring.


There are so many ways to find employment possibilities (such as the Science Museum job mentioned above) that unless nobody's advertising, it seems to be hard not to find them. For those who don't want to work for themselves, at the time that job vacancy was online, there were adverts for two different levels of curators at the Science and Media Museum at Bradford; various property photography jobs; a company looking for photographers to take the medium into schools at various levels and several more (learning to be a wedding photographer is a way into some good money if it's your thing and you do it well). Some of the jobs might not look like much, but they're a start, they fill up the CV and they give you references for moving on.


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