Position: Sales & Marketing Executive
Field: Real estate, sales
Industry: Real estate
Location: In an office full of Agong, Permaisuri pictures and flags. Surprisingly boring and traditional deco for a company that develops modern apartments & projects.
If you are looking for S&M as in Sado & Masochism, then you can skip this post :)
I applied a job where I didn’t match these requirements just to try my luck:
- Possess a recognized Certificate / Diploma in Marketing / Business Administration or other related discipline. (Degree is in Computer Science)
- Minimum 2 years working experience with property development companies. (None)
- Proficient in Mandarin. (Can guess what other people mean…)
- Possess own transport. (Would get a car after hired)
Surprisingly, I was called for interview!
In the interview room, the interviewer only read my resume and his company’s application form. Why don’t these people who need to interview and hire staff read and cross check requirements before calling people for interview? But the company is probably thinking, “Why don’t people read the requirement and then only apply if it matches?!”
As I was going up in the lift, 2 Malay man joined me. 1 of them was holding an envelope. Since I came into the lift first and punched the floor, they got in and stood there.
1 of the more friendly man turned to me, “You are going to [this real estate co]?”
“Yes,” I nodded.
“Oh you are working there?”
“I’m coming for interview,” I smiled almost sheepishly.
“Oh, good luck!” He smiled widely. “You’ll get it!”
Inside the office, they were brought to another room.
The interviewer said as a matter of fact, “You don’t have experience in property.”
“No I don’t but I’m willing to learn.”
“What is your salary for other jobs? Why did you put P&C? This is the 1st time I see people putting this,” he said.
“I cannot disclose my previous salary but I can give you the range. It’s private between me and my companies.”
He shook his head, “I don’t see why you should be so private. I have a problem with that.”
“I’m sure you are not willing to let me know the salary I would be getting either until I am hired.”
He shook his head again, “No.”
No? As in “No, I am willing to let you know our company’s salary and commission to you” or “No, I am not willing to let you know our company’s salary until you disclose yours”?
He continued, “I am worried that you may not agree with what we are offering because we cannot give what you are expecting since you don’t have experience in this. Else, no point.”
I already stated my expected range of salary – in my resume and application form.
“Why do you need to know my previous jobs salaries? To adjust what the company is going to give me?”
“No,” he shook his head. “We don’t do that. But I need to know whether you would be comfortable with what we are offering.”
I thought – then why not disclose what you can offer me and then I’ll let you know how I feel about it?
I could’ve just ended the interview then but I wanted to know more so I asked more questions than he asked me.
“What is this job about?” I asked him. The job description was really simple in the job search portal.
“It’s Sales & Marketing Exec.”
Duh. I also knew that. In the company’s application form, there was a column for position applied for, which I wrote ‘Sales & Marketing Exec’ too.
As I stared at his (oh-so lack of) response, he added, “You deal with customers in selling the product. It’s not that easy, not like just selling clothes,” he waved his hand dismissedly.
Irked at his offhand remark about selling clothes are easy but property is not – as if property is so high class, I said, “I think selling a product is not that simple. You need to know what the product is made of, its uses. If customers come in with what they want in mind already, then we can suggest what to recommend to them. If a customer is unsure, then we need to find out what they are looking for. We can’t just push whatever products to them.”
“Does this position need to deal with the media for promotion?” I asked.
He looked floored. “No. You deal with the customers, front line.”
“Is there any liasing with Showroom Assistants?”
He looked even more floored. He answered, deadpan, “We don’t have Showroom Assistant.”
“So this job is more to sales than marketing,” I deducted.
“Yes. The marketing is you tell the team what to improve.”
Ha ha. Then my job title can also be Manager when I was a Sales Assistant because I managed my counter :p
Since interviewers could ask us (potential employees) about “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, I asked him, “Where do you see this company in 5 years?”
He was like, zonked out, “Usually we only get this question when we are interviewing CEO.”
“There’s always the first for everything.” :D
“We would be expanding, expanding very fast. Our company is bigger and better (something like this) than other companies here.”
“Are the people working here happy?”
“We are. Of course.” He didn’t say it in a happy upbeat tone.
As I crossed the road to the other side, a car slid by. It slowed down at the corner and the driver asked, “How was the interview?”
It was the 2 men earlier :)
“I’m not sure..”
“Don’t worry! You’ll get it!”
What a nice man. Such positive vibes from stranger.
Another thing that came out of this interview was I rediscovered Masjid India :D
A lot of people had been there buying sari, colourful bangles and earrings.. I was looking for pure blood red ribbon with more than 1″ width and found several shops selling ribbons! XD