Another job-hunting tale of woe

Employers. What are they like? Just a voice level test, reading out the weather.

Really? So today’s ‘audition’ for a radio presenter post wasn’t quite what I had been led to believe. Oh no.

The 20 minute voice level test turned out to be 45 minutes, of which the first 20 minutes were:

  • sifting through the eight news stories to put them in newsworthy order
  • writing a headline to introduce the news bulletin that captured the main news points
  • rewriting the said weather summary in ‘your own conversational way (see, not even that was what it had been portrayed to be)
  • identifying photographs of nine people by name and position
  • and preparing to introduce my own mock radio show with three songs and include a What’s On Diary after the second.

Unless I am missing something, that was not what I was told to expect. At all.

I am really pissed off with this. I don’t think it’s clever to throw something at people and see how they react, I think it is rude and discourteous. There would have been nothing wrong with saying – you’ll be expected to write an intro to the news bulletin, put stories in newsworthy order, summarise the weather forecast, and then do a more popular light-hearted intro to a few records. Let alone identifying poor photos of nine people, I only managed three, and I might point out only one of them was a woman who looked like any other porn TV/film star or celebrity under the sun.

But a voice level test just reading out weather? No. It was duplicitous in the extreme. Or incompetent. After the last disastrous interview where corporate services apparently meant spraying cockroaches, when I got the ‘phone call for this one I even had the presence of mind to ask if this ‘audition’ was an interview, or involved anything else. I mean, what do you have to do to drag information out of people?

Also, if people are doing a voice level test – ha!! – I think water would be courteous. Was there any? I had to ask for it at reception and was told I could have some on the way downstairs.

Great. I’d just walked 25 minutes in baking heat, uphill, and there was no fucking water. I was finally given a cup, escorted to my cell to prepare for the test, and decided I wanted some more, so I cleared off to get another two cups, thereby losing a few minutes of prep time because they were so fucking inconsiderate they didn’t provide water for people.

I thought the instructions were unclear, so I went to ask. When I went into the studio, I asked some more questions.

Yeah, it’s great to get an interview, but I don’t like being treated like an idiot and given misleading information that means I’m not properly prepared.

‘We got a lot of applications,’ blah blah said Head Sherang. ‘We interviewed some people last week and we are seeing some more this week.’

Yes. I know. I took a peek at the list on the receptionist’s desk. I was second out of seven today. I’m a journalist remember? I read papers on people’s desks upside down. I walk over to ask for the time when I realise I didn’t clock the number of candidates. Not that it matters apart from curiosity.

Then I did my usual trick and chatted to the non-chatty escort on the way out and asked how long the interviews were going on for. Just today, the others were a couple of days ago. Ah. Don’t you love the different stories you always get??

When I did interviews I invariably went to fetch the candidate myself, a) it shows some respect and b) it saves an office oik giving away useful information. Or misinformation.

I actually offered to find my own way out – I’d already wandered around the place to get extra water so it wasn’t much further to go up the stairs to get out.

‘No, no, you can be escorted out, we need to bring the next candidate down anyway,’ said Head Sherang.

‘She’s not there,’ piped up escort.

‘What?’ (HS)

‘She’s NOT there,’ said escort, clearly thinking he was losing it.

I figured they must be doing a rather clever appointment system, whereby the first candidate got twenty minutes prep time and then went into the studio for twenty minutes while the next candidate (me) got on with my prep. When I went into the studio the next candidate would be prepping. So candidates every twenty minutes for a 40 minute interview voice level test. Either that or they were dragging the process out until well after 7pm!

Despite candidate no 3 (or 4?) not being in reception, I was still escorted out. Well, part way ie along a couple of corridors out of sight of the HS.

Whereupon, escort said: ‘You can find your own way out now can’t you?’

Yes dear, I offered to do that in the first place……

Back at reception, I noticed a couple of women on the sofa who looked like they were applying for a job with a modelling agency.

I didn’t. Because I was only going for a voice level test (ha!!), and it was mid afternoon, in hot sun, 25 mins walk away, I had on a pair of shorts, a vest (it did have sparkly sequins on though), and training shoes. The HS had on a shirt and dark trousers. The escort had on a rather tight short dress.

It would be a while before I would hear whether or not I was short-listed for an actual interview, the HS had said. Another one to put down to experience.

About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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18 Responses to Another job-hunting tale of woe

  1. Vicky says:

    A very odd interview I must say. I don’t understand the gain to them in not giving you more info about the position, unless it was to drop you in at the deep end to see if you sink, struggle or swim.

    The only thing I would guess, and it is a guess, on the preparation side, would a position like that allow you time for preparation, or would it be the fact that breaking news happens ‘now’ with sometimes probably less than 20 minutes to prepare the order of your broadcast.
    The identification of photographs, I find rather odd, some folk are interested in the ‘glam’ set, others in political issues, others sports personalities etc, and I wouldn’t expect someone to know everybody.
    The weather could be easier to prepare in advance, but would the info you receive be met office info that you have to re-word into laymans terms, if that is the case, I find here, some weather readers are boring, whereas others make it sound far more exiting (if that is at all possible when it’s rain, rain and more rain), with their personality coming through.
    The idea of lack of fluid in heat = brain fade.
    keep us informed.


    • I can understand the deep end theory, but in any case, even had I known what was going to happen, I still wouldn’t have known what news items they were going to give me. I didn’t mind doing it, the disinformation annoyed me.

      As for the photos, I managed the chief minister and the governor! I think not getting those too would have been a real non-starter.

      The weather was what they actually receive and it was pretty lay anyway, I just shortened it a bit. It’s pretty dull having to say (re your previous mail), it’s sunny, sunny, and yet more sun is forecast…. πŸ˜€


  2. EllaDee says:

    I feel bad at being entertained on your behalf but you got to vent, so hopefully we’re equal, but..oh dear. I can offer a possible explanation for one aspect of your experience. I’ve applied for jobs of certain criteria and upon getting to the interview process, it appears everyone in the organisation has “valued-added” the role. In one unfortunate choice I did accept such a role. The next 12 months of my life was a long sad story which I’ll not repeat.


    • Haha! No worries there, I entertained myself writing it, always good to find the humour in something. You’re right about the value-added concept, we had a guy apply for a director’s job and by the time he arrived to take up post we had gone through a total revamp of the organisation – he was lucky mind, it included me moving directorates to work for him πŸ˜‰

      I don’t think that was the case in this post though. I think they had just decided, for whatever reason, not to tell people what the ‘voice level audition’ consisted of.


  3. free penny press says:

    Wow..this sounds like a complete three-ring circus.. I agree with you 100%, what would have been so difficult about being honest on what was required of you.. Makes you wonder if one would even want to work for a company such as this..
    On a friendly note, I’m sorry 😦


    • Thanks L. No big issue though. The reason for wanting the post, and not walking out when they told me what I had to do (!) is that it is only part-time but on a good hourly rate, so nice and flexible. I think it probably took me a few minutes to get over the irritation about them not having been honest though. But still, it wasn’t difficult. It would have been easier had the instructions been clearer too πŸ˜€

      Whether I was any good is another matter entirely.


  4. Perpetua says:

    No wonder you were irritated! To me it feels deeply unprofessional and doesn’t reflect well at all on the organisation and its management. That said, if the job would suit you, I do hope you get it.


    • I totally agree. I used to take the attitude of ‘if they can’t treat candidates with respect why would I want to work for them?’ but I was younger then…..

      The good thing about this job is the good hourly rate, and the part-time nature. I’d prefer the news aspect rather than introducing Lionel Ritchie records, I must say. They are also planning to move to a new location about two seconds away from my flat (OK, two minutes – but hellish near). Maybe I should just wait for that and re-apply then?


  5. Perhaps the nameless radio station models itself on the BBC and dinner jackets or evening gowns are required at all times!
    They have probably 1) sacked the informed management as a cost saving excercise, 2) employed HR types to undertake interviews and 3) completely lost the plot.
    I am sure you were brilliant and if they don’t employ you it’s only because they don’t know their arse from their elbow!!


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