Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Day 92: I Review My Interview Technique

I don't think I'm very good at this. If you wanted someone who does what I do, you might look at my CV and ask me to 'pop in' for an interview. If you read my CV, you might not assume that I am a total fuckwit. Hell, you might even expect me to know what I'm talking about and be interesting and articulate and that.

But no. I had another interview today, and seem to have lost my mind.

Why did you leave advertising?

Correct answer: I decided, after eleven years in the industry, that I would benefit from a sabbatical and instead invested my time working tirelessly for Charidee.

My answer: "Well, to be honest, I was knackered."

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Correct answer: Continuing to build brands and differentiate parity products with my involvement in multi-award winning advertising campaigns that transform the fortunes of my clients.

Real answer: Being near fields, writing a book, with occasional visits from friends and family and, with any luck, a nice warm Gentleman Caller to play Scrabble and Hide the Sausage with.

My answer (to managing director of advertising agency): Well, I don't want to be the managing director of an advertising agency. I would like to enjoy what I do and be interested and happy.

Would you like a drink?

Correct answer: Yes please, black coffee, hold the sugar, cream and biscuits.

My answer: " Yes please, some water. I'm terribly hot (wiping sweat from brow). I've got a temperature, as it goes. Should probably be in bed. Have you got any Lemsip?"

What do you think of (insert name of universally reviled industry figure here)?

Correct answer: I have some admiration and personal loyalty for him, but have nothing but contempt for the way he behaved.

My answer: "I LOVE him. He was always very loyal to me, so I'm loyal to him. He's been very naughty though."

(Silence falls. Tumbleweed blows through Covent Garden. A distant gunshot is heard. The Worldwide Chief Executive talks, at length, about the importance of integrity. I look at my hands.)

So, how did you get your job at (insert name of  famous media brand here)?

Correct answer: It was great timing - I bumped into an old colleague and through him, met the marketing director who offered me the job, after which I had fifteen very enjoyable months.

My answer: "Oh, it was quite funny actually - I literally bumped into some old mates in the street ... an old client of mine was working there, which was funny ... met the marketing director ... yeah. It was good."

The interview lasted half an hour. I think this is called 'self-sabotage'. I reckon if I sell one of my kidneys I'll be OK for another couple of months.

I shall eat some soup and consider my options.


Anonymous said...

Is this thing on?

I hate interviews - well done on surviving the the half hour though.

Anyone who asks the 5 year question doesn't know much about interviewing.

See also: Sell me this pencil

Anonymous said...

It went well then?

Dave Shelton said...

But surely if you say things like:

"Continuing to build brands and differentiate parity products with my involvement in multi-award winning advertising campaigns that transform the fortunes of my clients."

then you're trying to sell a lie. Not only that but you're trying to sell the same lie as every other interviewee. And it'll only be what they want to hear if they're twats you don't want to work for in any case. And if you did get to work for them you would presumably have to continue the lie, live the lie and live and breathe twattiness all the livelong day.

Whereas if you say:

"Well, I don't want to be the managing director of an advertising agency. I would like to enjoy what I do and be interested and happy."

then you're selling your unique self (unique = worth more) to a potentially non-twat employer and might end up working among human beings.

apprentice said...

Yes what sort of outfit was this, an up their own arses one?
Sounds like you really didn't want it, and it's healthy to know that. Doesn't pay the bills obviously, but it's healthy.

I know nothing of your industry, is there no scope for free lancing?

BTW approve of it being a single malt hangover, did Easy Jet do duty free, ;)

Anonymous said...

Here's one I said years ago. It was in the Meejah, hence the following question ~
Interviewer: "How do you handle working with difficult people?"
Me: "Well, I've worked with some real wankers..."

Needless to say, I didn't get the job.

mist1 said...

Am copying down the answer to "Would you like a drink?" question.

My previous answer would have been, "no thanks, I brought my flask."

I would have gotten that one wrong. Thanks for the tip.

Z said...

I do a fair bit of interviewing. I like your answers. I don't go for the *correct* answers as I don't want to be told what someone thinks I want to hear.

I haven't got any jobs going in advertising I'm afraid though.

Tired Dad said...

You may be surprised.

Most recent job.

TM: You're late for your interview. Have a shower.

Me: Had one last night.

TM: You stink of booze.

Me: Don't.

TM: What? Christ. You can't talk. Have a shower.

One shower, five minutes late for interview. So hungover do not recall interview at all.

Got the job.

If I can do it (I was in a bad place at the time)I have no doubt you can. Were I the interviewer, I would put you at the top of the list.

Anonymous said...

There was the office holiday party-three months after I was hired. Boss said "and what are you wishing for the new year?. I said..a better job. Was using my caustic Freudian wit. They fired me two months later


Dear Everyone,
Thank you for your comments of wonderment. Very kind TD, also very kind Z. Apprentice: yes, freelancing is the way forward. I actually enjoy doing the advertising and the marketing quite a lot, and liked my last job v. much almost all the time, but not all places are right for me, and I am not right for all places. Also I have a terrible habit of telling the Truth in interviews, which I hope will mean I work with people I like (Dave) and if they want the made-up answers, I wouldn't want to work for them anyway. So there. Nerr.
Yours unemployedly,


Dear Anonymous
Thank you for making me laugh immeasurably. As my brother once said, "you know the problem with working? I hate working." If you have to do it, try at least to work with people you like, that's what I reckon. The rest will come naturally. Of this I am sure. Strangely, I am looking forward to going back to work.

Davenelli said...

But NWM if you get a job this joyous place may cease to exist.

Please keep fucking up the interviews (I mean that in the nicest possible way.

When you get to the kidney selling stage simply post an appeal for food and I for one will donate a multi-pack of your favourite crisps.


Davenelli, for this comment alone I shall remain a Pauper forever, and have my house repossessed. If I am freelance,I still count as basically non-working, I reckon.

Front of House - You get the prize.


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