Tag Archives: interview

Why Interviewing Exhibitionists Is A Bad Idea

29 Jul

There’s a type of commercial that really annoys me. Wait, let me rephrase that. Most commercials annoy me, but I can live with being regarded as :

a) stupid, as advertisers need to aim at the average viewer
b) looking for a solution as offered by the product

Of course, there is a huge chance I don’t need the product you’re advertising for, but as long as you assume I might need it one day and you explain to me how your stuff works, we’re okay. If you would ever regard me as ignorant, I’m not amused. Unfortunately, nobody cares what I think. Nowaday’s, there is a trend towards a documentary style commercial that assumes people are ignorant. Really ignorant. The following commercial is the best example of this. It’s in Dutch, but don’t worry, you’ll catch my drift anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFhVVbDxogM

These people are being interviewed on how they handle their savings. Of course, it’s a commercial, so I know these aren’t real interviews. What bugs me, however, is how they are trying to fool me. Every couple that’s being interviewed is in a setting that feels awkard. The first couple is in bed. Call me conservative, but what people do in their bed is completely their business. If they choose to spend their pillow talk time on banking, that’s their problem. What creepy bank has a camera pointed at my cuddle time? I’m not relating to these exhibitionists, folks.

It gets worse with the second couple, driving a car. The man, who is being asked on his savings, reacts surprised. He probably thought the camera crew was merely hitchhiking and now looking for an interesting topic to talk about. I get the interview style, but why interview someone who is not prepared, taking total strangers in his car and have the camera crew disappear as another camera drives by? What’s the message, guys? I thought this was a serious interview. Let me remind myself to pick a bank for my savings account that lets me mind my own business.

What’s your worst commercial ever?

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Cover Letters: The Art of Rambling

23 Sep

One of the worst things when preparing for the job interview has got to be the endless list of qualifications you have to get through. Not only do you have to be good at what you will be doing, oh no, you have to be some kind of superhuman. First of all, you have got to be a team player. Of course I get this. Imagine somebody writing in their cover letter ‘I’m glad I found the first application that didn’t require me to be a team player, because I’m really, really selfish.’ Makes you wonder what kind of psychopath it is anyway. Apart from that, who cannot play in a team in the first place? Every team needs a hero that needs to excel when the rest supports him, in the end those guys always slot a win. Of course, you have to be detail-oriented as well. Have you ever seen a team win when everybody was nitpicking? Other required skills: effective oral, written and interpersonal skills. Most of the times, once you can understand the endless stream of nonsense these ads throw at you and manage to write a letter to someone after that, you have these communication areas covered.

Of course, it also gets really specific on the job itself. Most companies warn about the fact that you have to be able to manage a lot of projects while under pressure. Well, I’m checking my Facebook, composing a playlist, calling my mom and writing this letter at the same time. Speaking of pressure: I don’t have a job. Then, when you eventually get hired, it doesn’t stop. You’ll have to set targets, make a plan to guide your progress and do all that while managing your actual work projects at a fast approaching deadline. On top of that, there is the feedback. I think this is the only really important qualification. Think of it: you made your way in, so you can adapt to whatever they’re asking of you. You can learn, so everything new is not a problem, it’s a challenge. The only thing you’ll never learn is how to handle feedback. Think of it. How do you tell someone they should improve handling feedback? The first person who does that, will never have to write a cover letter again.