In October 1997, I was sitting across from a Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) that was conducting my entry interview to join the Australian Army. I was 20 years old at the time. I remember feeling excited but confident during the interview and the WO2 gave no indication of his impression of me during the interview. I was one of about 50 applicants being interviewed that day and saw a variety of dress from jeans and t-shirts to poorly fitting suits with ugly ties (I wore slacks and a collared shirt). I remember how nervous everyone was and how that bolstered my own confidence.
After the initial interview, an Officer came into the waiting area and called out about half the names and instructed those called to come with him into another area. At this point, I wondered if I was wrong about how successful my interview was. Around fifteen minutes later, the Officer came back into the waiting room and told us that our interviews were successful and we would undergo further psychological and aptitude testing. This meant the others that were lead out were told, “Thanks for coming.”
Reflecting back on the significance of that interview, it was the start of a career in the Australian Army spanning 19 years.
I realise that interview techniques and processes will have changed since then and individual experiences will vary, but the core of job interviews will be largely the same. An employer requires someone to do a job and it is very important to screen them to assess their suitability for the position.
Important Life Lessons
One lesson that my military career taught me is that working for a tyrant or an incompetent boss is very stressful. It doesn’t matter how hard you work for these character types because your hard work will never be appreciated, or worse still, they will take the credit for it. It is for this very reason that I have decided that I prefer to work in a freelance capacity or to work in an equal partnership of any venture that I undertake in the future.
Secondly, I learned that I work very well with others in large or small teams or even by myself, to achieve complex tasks under extreme pressure. I know this is true because I have been truly pushed to my very limits, as most war veterans can attest.
Another lesson that I learned from that interview is that your presentation and self-confidence are as important as the qualifications that you hold. A prospective employer needs assurance that you are the one above all others that they need for the job, and it is up to you to convince them. It seems like common sense but there are a lot of people that just don’t get it.
Everyone I have met in the audio engineering field has a shared passion for what we do. It makes everyone very happy, myself included, to be doing what we love and it’s a completely different environment to the military. So much more fulfilling.
What the Future Holds
I anticipate that a job interview scenario in my immediate future will be when I apply for an intern position for a recording studio, possibly via Skype. There plenty of audio engineers that I admire and most of them are in the USA, so it is likely that I will have to live there for the duration of the internship (or longer). The prospect is extremely exciting and the learning experience to be gained from it is extremely valuable.
For now, I will limit myself to contacting Sphere Studios LA and Fensesco Camelli. I admire his work on a variety of projects, and Sphere Studios is one of the most respected recording studios in the world. It would be a dream come true that Francesco Camelli and Sphere Studios LA are willing to give me the opportunity to work for them as an intern. I think that the most likely way to get a response will be to contact the studio manager, Megan Milius. I posted a message on Sphere’s Facebook wall, now hopefully if I make enough noise, I will get noticed.