Job interview

It’s always difficult to be 100% sure with these things, but I think I did OK. I was slightly blind-sided by realising at 10.05 that the interview was at 10.30 not 11.00, but still made it over to the European quarter in time to step through the door on the stroke of half past and find that the previous candidate was still being interviewed. Found important bits of paper lying around the office including the list of candidates; I know one of the others quite well, and one of the other two had a familiar sounding name though not sure where from.

Interview panel was huge – the two current senior staff members (both younger than me) and six members of the Board (mostly older than me). They zeroed in on my lack of fund-raising experience, which is my biggest weakness in terms of the profile they are looking for. They also probed me about weapons of mass destruction, partly in French to test my French, and then coaxed out of me my own rather few encounters with the issue (basically from three years ago when I was interviewing people who’d worked on the Yugoslav nuclear weapons programme to see if anything could have gone from there to Iraq).

However, on a depressing note, one of the other pieces of paper I saw lying around the office before the interview indicated the likely range for the salary. Admittedly the responsibilities are less – half the number of staff, a quarter of the budget that I’m currently responsible for – but I’m keen to maintain my current lifestyle, and in addition my boss has been much nicer to me recently so I’m no longer quite as incentivised to move as I was in January. I rather expect that if they do make me an offer, it will probably not be (quite) enough to tempt me to accept.

Having said that, my boss and I are driving to Mons together tomorrow to see SACEUR (the Supreme Allied Commander Europe – yes, there is such a person), so we’ll see if my current good mood towards him survives the encounter. And, of course, there’s still the other plan.

Hearty congratulations to the other person reading this who has just managed to negotiate a new job in the Brussels maelstrom…

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