Students – share your stories and win a £20 Amazon voucher! We’d love to hear your best anecdotes about job hunting, career aspirations, work experience... you name it. Each month we’ll pose a question and ask you to send in your story. It can be as short as 20 words and no longer than 200 words please. The winning entry will be published on targetjobs.co.uk, under a first name and university.
The question we'd like you to answer for July is: What’s the most unusual volunteering activity, part-time job or work experience you’ve ever done?
Did you enjoy it? What did you learn from it? Did it equip you with any transferable skills? Tell us about it! Please send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on 10 July, under the subject 'TARGETjobs writing competition'. Good luck!
June's competition winner
For June’s competition, we asked you to tell us about the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked at an interview... and some of them were pretty weird! Thank you to everyone who entered this month. Congratulations to Laura, from De Montfort University, who is our winner for June.
Short and snappy
They asked: ‘What dinosaur would you be and why?’
I answered: ‘One that doesn’t get eaten!’
Laura, De Montfort University
Meet the runners up in June
Looking for the escape route
During a workshop to practise interview skills my ‘interviewer’, after careful consideration, asked me: ‘If you were to be shrunk down and placed in a blender, how would you escape?’
To say that I was lost for words is an extreme understatement. It also put the fear of God into me for any future interviews I may be invited to.
Future employer – if you’re reading this, please be kind!
Helen, Swansea University
A life in film
The weirdest interview question I’ve been asked at interview was: ‘If your life was a movie, what type of movie would it be?’ I’m still not sure what answer they wanted to hear from me – did they just want a genre? Or did they want me to name a dream director, cast and cinematographer? In the end, I think I gabbled something about wanting it to be a musical; my thinking being that, as it was a publishing company, I should show that I could pick out stories from everyday life to turn into flashy song-and-dance numbers – that’s basically how books work too, right? Looking back, I think my honest answer would have been: ‘It would be a horror movie… about this interview.’
Ashley, University of Exeter
The million-dollar question
I was once asked in an interview, ‘What would you do if you won the lottery?’ It was weird not because of the question itself but because of how I was expected to answer it. What were they trying to find out? Was I expected to ask them how much I would have won, as that could affect my answer? Was I expected to say, ‘Of course I would stay working for you in an entry-level job even if I won billions!’? Was I supposed to say that I would leave my job and, I don’t know, cure the common cold? As it happened, I told the truth – that I would pay off my parents’ mortgage and buy myself a house with an indoor pool – and the interviewers looked really disappointed.
Abbie, University of Warwick
May's competition winner
We asked you what your dream job would be if money didn't matter and the answers were surprising! May's winner was Georgie, from Sheffield Hallam University.
I'd be a postwoman
I would be a local postwoman for a rural area. This has been my dream job (if money didn’t matter) for a long time, because there is nothing that gives me greater pleasure than talking to people and hearing their life stories. Growing up in a rural area we really got to know our postman and would always have a cuppa before he moved on for the day. I like the idea of being able to impact someone’s day for the better in a small way and be able to share a cup of tea or just a smile. This is not the profession I am working towards right now, however, as I feel that being a postwoman is what I would like to do in the later years of my working life, when I have achieved all I want to achieve in my life and can share not only a smile with the people I meet but the odd life story as well.
Georgie, Sheffield Hallam University
Meet the runners-up in May
Discovering new places: the archaeologist
I would work as an archaeologist. I would love to do this because I would always be in contact with nature, discovering new places every day and being able to visit unique landscapes. I do not plan to pursue this because I feel it’s better to focus on something that I also like but that gives me certainty at the same time. I can always escape from the world over the weekend, maybe a trip up a mountain or to the forest!
Anna, Robert Gordon University
Flying in the open skies: the pilot
I would pursue a career as a commercial airline pilot. The best thing about this job would be flying in the open skies and experiencing something that very few people will ever experience. Every day, my skill and expertise could potentially transport hundreds of passengers safely to their destinations.
Zareen, University of Aberdeen
Doing something creative: the hatmaker
I’d make hats. They can transform and empower people. It’s engineering, architecture and design all rolled in one. It would be doing something creative without sitting in front of a computer and I could listen to Radio 4 all day.
Jane, University of Reading