How to get in the door?

amonstro Registered Posts: 5
Hello ATT people,

I am currently living in my car and I am out of work due to hardship caused by many variables. I have good grades in my level 2 AAT certificate, but I just cannot get in the door for work. Any suggestions on the following issues that might help out would be appreciated.
Ps this is written on my phone so sorry for any mistakes. I’m Off to find a free recharge at library or somewhere. Low battery.

Issue 1.) C.V’s today seem redundant due to application forms with strict application criteria for either Apprenticeship or Graduate roles and I seem to be in between with criteria.
Issue 2.) Certain interview processes require a numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning assessment and this holds me back, however I have been practicing, it’s hard overcompensating for a high school education where the school changed names and shut down due to ofsted, so I withdrew an application for a job, so I could practice these tests. Due to lack of sleep it’s hard to do these tests under pressure as I found out after my first attempt even after I have improved my ability but does anyone have any tips on these type of tests?
Issue 3.) After raising claims against a previous employer they have since gone into liquidation. So good references is out the question. I was thinking of trying to get some work experience by offering to work for free, has anyone got any tips of how to go about this?
Issue 4.) I am ambitious but sometimes it seems employers want someone to just fit a role, it’s like they are encouraging the candidates to lie eg it’s very common for someone to not be with the same employer after 5 years anymore and sometimes I find it hard to gauge even after reading the job description and tailoring my C.V. what they are after until it is too late, how do you deal with this?
Issue 5.) A lot of information is online about how to be a great interviewee but how do you deal with bad interviewers? Eg they want to just try find holes and interrogate rather than interview. I found it hard when I even had one interviewer tell me randomly he is gay. I ignored this and tried to talk about positive things of my C.V. but sometimes it’s hard to gauge when an interviewer wants to be relaxed and becomes less formal in an interview but I don’t break protocol or disclose adversity because it does create more of a prejudice consciously or not on the interviewers behalf.
Issue 6.) I find it hard to deflect when asked about my hobbies on my cv because say I enjoy the gym and documentaries etc. However since homelessness in no longer have that 6 pack gym addict mentality or have a t.v. and I feel like a fraud, when talking about these subjects such as training even though I hold a person training qualification it’s the same issue when they ask me where I live or why I left my other job because from the get go I’m seen as higher risk to other candidates, so I try to deflect these questions.
Issue 7.) I have been out of work for a few months however I did my level 2 AAT part-time and my health wasn’t very good and I had a family dependent who is also now cancer free. How would you explain this period of absent to a potential employer? I feel interviewers today want to focus on negative aspects rather than let me put across the good qualities, and it seems they want a perfect fit candidate rather than let me expand on the things I can do and can offer with limited experience in accounting for assistant roles etc

Kind regards,


  • amonstro
    amonstro Registered Posts: 5
    Hello PhilhallAAT,

    Thank you for your reply. The links offer advice, but only what I already know or they cannot provide answers within respect to my situation. I think the only way to tackle my current situation is to try and work for free to get experience, there seems to be no government help or magic answer to my problems. I will just have to take the rough with the 'rough'. I ended-up getting a distinction in my AAT level 2, so it might help get me in the door for work experience.

    I might, for the longterm, try and save-up for a slightly bigger car so I can sleep more comfortably (this will take time) and then sign-up to a gym so I can shower this way I can try apply for work experience for free somewhere until I can get sorted, it is just the finances holding me back at the moment.


  • PhilHallAAT
    PhilHallAAT Registered, Moderator Posts: 80 mod
    Tens of thousands of people from all income backgrounds, including many who were previously unemployed, have managed to secure a foot on the ladder and go on to have successful careers in the sector. I very much hope you join them.

    Here are 20 jobs for those are part- qualified AAT:

    In addition, AAT’s “getmyfirstjob” website currently has dozens AAT vacancies advertised:

    Hope that’s helpful, good luck!
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