Thank You For Your Time. But You Wasted Mine.

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As the economy rises from the crisis, the job portals now have some good profiles posted. At a slow pace, but you get interview calls these days. Now, if you are really looking forward to a job change, then you would go for the interview.

Yes, interview. Let’s talk about the interview session. If it goes well, you are happy, but keep speculating why they did not call you back (which is not unusual these days.) If it went bad, you will crib and sulk till you appear the next.

I recently had an interesting interview for the post of Assistant Brand Manager. The interviewer was Head – Marketing. After 20 minutes of HR discussion and paper exchange and waiting for 40 minutes, I finally meet this person. The interview goes on for around 25 minutes and through out the interview either he snaps at me or the vice versa. The initial five minutes was annoying, but got interesting over the following fifteen minutes (at least at my end).

Now what went wrong? When you work in a team, at times you tend to talk as WE did, WE achieved, WE… and some more We’s. This person was like, “You are using ‘WE’, what have you done as ‘I’? I have a 300 slide presentation indicating what I have done as ‘I’ in the last two years and probably more than 3000 slides portfolio and several publications for the last 6 years. The irony was, on the whiteboard in his cabin, in huge black fonts, the expansion of the word ‘TEAM’ was written in a very clear writing.

TEAM

Like seriously dude??? 😛

There where many mini snap Q&As, but the final was interesting, “Besides going through the organisation website and internet research, you should have done more homework on the organisation?” (The company website is incomplete. No Social Media Presence. Barely any information when you Google it. And I understand that this is why they need a brand manager in first place.) This time my answer to his stupid remark was a question, “And how do you do that?” In the 21st century, the man is expecting the candidate to chitchat and find about the organisation; or was I suppose to call Holmes and Dr. Watson?

Being old school is fine, but being ancient is unacceptable, especially, if you are in charge of the branding segment of an organisation. Digital media is ‘the media’ today—with which your presence can be felt globally despite you being located in just a corner of a country. Without a complete web presence, you are on your way towards extinction and will be fossilized soon. You may be an old and established service firm with an excellent word-of-mouth publicity, but with the competition around, just PR is not a sufficient promotional means. As a Head Marketing achieving sales target is great, but branding is a totally different ball game. No doubt both are interdependent, but applying sales principles to branding will not work most of the times—this is what I got to learn from the 25 minutes snip-snap session. Though we departed cordially, I really wanted to tell him, “Thank you for your time. But you wasted mine.”

However, there is no point crying over the time wasted. You will always get to learn something from an interview – be it good or bad. You learn by wining, but sometimes you learn more by losing. It is part of life. I have decided to apply what I have learnt to my work…and also to be prepared for clever as well as brainless prehistoric questions for my next interview! 🙂

…Ashu Bolar

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