Yesterday I went in for a job interview with a company looking for a technical salesman. I've been around; I know how these things work and I've learned the hard way that you want to be 110% honest at these things. I am currently employed so I have some breathing space - I don't have to leap at the first job that comes along and I can be a little choosey. I go into these things now where I interview the potential employer as well.
These guys were a waste or my time. I sat down with exactly what you would expect from a modern (hork, spit) corporation: the senior area manager was a skinny little runt with Little Man Syndrome.
Kinda looked like this twerp...
Wearing a matching casual/dress shirt and slacks was a younger man who was the office manager. He was obviously scared shitless of his boss. And of course, there was the arrogant HR bint.
And of course the whole shebang was about intimidation. While they were sizing me up, I was sizing them up - and to be honest I wasn't all that impressed. The interview was in the area manager's office and it was a big, sprawling affair right out of Mad Men with posh furniture and décor. The HR bint? Up here, company CEO's and Presidents are answering their own phones because they had to lay off the receptionist and they're doing everything they can to keep the doors open. And these guys were paying out cash for an HR bint? I know the market they're in and it is absolutely cut-throat. These guys expected and required immediate results and growth - no doubt because somebody had to pay for the lavish office and overhead
"Describe an occasion when you went above and beyond the call of duty, Mr. Filthie...". How do ya answer something stupid like that? Only a 9 to 5 HR bint would ask something like that! In my job there is no 'above and beyond'. My customers call in after hours and on weekends and I go and help them if it's something I can do. "What are your weaknesses, Mr. Filthie?" Welp - that depends on who is hating on me and why. I'm overweight and slowly moving to address that. All I ask is that people do their jobs and let me know if they can't and the reasons for that - I will help if I can. Some might say I am too aggressive, others will say I am not aggressive enough, others will say something else entirely. I am not perfect and don't pretend to be. "How do you do call reports and handle your customer information Mr. Filthie?" I don't do call reports, we dispensed with them years ago because my company trusts me to make my rounds and they had their hands full with the business I brought them. Of course, all that changed after the oil crash...but I have a computer program with notes, alarms, reminders and contact info that I keep for every client I meet and do business with.
When it was my turn to ask questions, I had a few. "What is the territory? Who are your target clients? Do you have a business plan to address those clients? Your website says you can repair and fab replacement parts for your valves - do you do that yourself or farm it out...? How do YOU handle your client information and get that information from the inside sales to the outside sales?" The area manager got pissy and refused to even discuss their strategy for expanding sales, they don't actually fab their own parts, the territory is kinda sorta north eastern Alberta - and the attitude just dripped off him as if he regarded my questions as impertinent. The kid looked scared, so I just wrapped it up and had no more questions after that and we hastily parted ways.
I don't think they were any more impressed by me than I was with them. If they do ask me back for a second interview I may just decline. Don't get me wrong - I want to work... but I don't see these guys doing well for themselves long term.
I have a telephone interview set up for Monday so maybe I will luck out on that. The search continues apace.
From your description, it's not a place where I would work, even temporarily. Even as a contractor. When they can't (or won't) tell you who their target clients are and what they're doing to get them, you're late for the door. And they can't afford a receptionist? The company is circling the drain. The young manager knows it, and truly does not have any idea what he's going to do when the place finally closes down for good. How do you move from a failed company into a successful one? You don't.ReplyDelete