Richard Maun – A Killer Question!

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A Killer Question!

10 December 2017

Welcome to your job interview. How are you? Please have a seat and then we will begin.

(You’re allowed a glass of water here and to get out a notebook and pen. These will help you to keep track of questions and taking a few notes will help you to look interested in the role).

I’ve read your CV and taken a look at your application form and have just one question for you…

Are you ready for it? It’s a great question. In fact it’s a killer question! Here is it…

How have you prepared for this interview?

A simple question and I can’t wait for your reply. I will take a note of your answer.

So, you’ve read through your CV. Anything else?

Good to hear you’ve checked our website. Can you tell me five things about this organisation?

Ah, well you’ve managed two facts. Five would have been better. What do you know about our products? Have you looked up our MD on LinkedIn, to see what he likes and what his background is?

No, you haven’t. Ok, have you visited one of our shops, or talked to any of our staff about what it’s like to work here?

No and no again.

Well, have you followed us on Twitter and read through the tweets about the organisational changes we are going through, or about the award we won last month? Did you read any of the research articles I published recently? Have you been to one of our networking breakfasts?

Oh dear, no and no and no and no and no. Hmmm …How do think this interview is going for you right now?

I rather thought that as you’re here to be interviewed for a management role and that your application form says you really want to work here you would have prepared a lot more thoroughly. Sorry to sound a bit picky, but as the salary is £50k a year, plus a car, then if you work here for five years you will cost us in the region of £500,000. This includes your salary, our tax costs, the car, heat and light and equipment and your pension and holiday costs. Not forgetting the need to buy you a desk and run a finance team and an HR department, to make sure you get paid on time and have formal employee handbooks and training supplied to you.

Given the £500,000 that we are prepared to commit to, you’d think it would be reasonable to expect all of our interview candidates today to have really put in some effort to prepare for this sales pitch. The last candidate hadn’t even read her own CV and couldn’t remember her own work experience, so you’re not doing as badly as her, but you are not exactly living up to your claim of being a ‘proactive, diligent, self-starter’ are you?

However, I’m not unkind, so here’s what I’m going to do. My suggestion is that we pause the interview here and invite you back next week for a second attempt. My first question to you will be the same…

How have you prepared for this interview?

Good luck!

Next week: The Record Shop Story


Click cover to view details on Amazon


Riding the Rocket

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Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish



Bouncing Back

How to get going again after a career setback

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How to Keep Your Job

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Job Hunting 3.0

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Leave the Bastards Behind

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My Boss is a Bastard

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Published 2006 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish


© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact