The interview that never was

Position: Business Development Executive
Field: sales, admin
Industry: Healthcare, Beauty
Location: Not stated in job ad

Pre-interview 

I never applied Advertisers job. Except 1 or 2 where the job descriptions were “captivating”. Here’s what I think of them.

I was surprised that after a day or 2 applying this job online, I got a call on last Friday from a girl asking hesitantly, “Hello.. are you.. MJ?”

“Yes.”

“Did you apply for Business Development Executive at our company (claimed to be 1 of the leading healthcare chain stores in Malaysia)?”

I racked my brain. I didn’t apply job at that company but I did apply Business Development Executive so I told her, “Yes.”

After giving me the interview time and date, she asked, “Do you know our address?”

“No (the ad didn’t mention the address). Can you email the map to me?”

“Err… to your email (she spelled it out)?”

“Yes.”

“OK.”

Now that I knew the company name, I Googled for the website and found the address but no map. Found a brief map online in another site, Malaxi and wondered if there were buses going to that area.

I waited and checked my email periodically. No map at all during the weekends. Yeah, I had no outside activity. The yamcha didn’t materialized.

In my experience, the person who contacted me for job interviews always asked:

  • Do you know our address?
  • Do you know how to come to our office?
  • Would you like me to email the map to you? (If they didn’t ask this, I’d ask them if I couldn’t find the map of the location myself)

Maybe I had been lucky so far.

Luckily, I had someone offering to take me to scout the area :) and we found the office was actually deep inside a long road, in a factory area. Although it faced the main road, there was no road leading from the main road to the office/factory. If I were to walk, I would need to take at least 25 minutes because the bus would only stop outside the area.

I wondered how I would come to work – if I were hired. Bus RM2 per day + walk around 25 minutes or (RM3 x 2 way taxi) = RM8 per day! And RM3 is already discounted!

I know there are some people who travel from different state like Seremban to KL to work and some even take 3 different buses in 2hrs plus to go to work but I really feel the time and money could’ve been better spent.

So I woke up early to call the girl. I didn’t want to sound so brisk, I also had other concerns: Does it involve sales (a lot of Business Development jobs are actually Sales & Marketing jobs) and quota? Do I need to travel with own transport?

I finally got through to her:

  1. Nobody answered the phone and I guessed the office wasn’t opened yet
  2. She wasn’t in and the person who took my call said, “You call later.” I replied, “OK” and she immediately hung up without closure. Maybe she thought my OK was the closure.
  3. She wasn’t at her place, I should call back 5minutes later
  4. She was in a meeting, I could call back in 1/2hr (that was 1/2hr before my interview was supposed to commence oho!)

She explained haltingly that it wasn’t a sales job but need to develop new ideas and talk with companies. Sounded like a sales or pre-sales job to me but there was no quota.

Prior to calling her, I wanted to tell her, “I didn’t get your email for the map” but I forgot. Instead, I asked her, “How to come to your office by public transport?”

“Where are you now?”

“I’m in [area].”

“Er.. I don’t know.. you can take bus. My colleagues take bus.”

“Can you ask your colleagues which bus to take?”

“You can ask your friends maybe.”

WHAT?!

“Can you ask your colleagues on how to come here?”

“Maybe you can take a bus then taxi here. We face the main road. Do you know where we are?”

“I know, I’ve passed by before (by car) but now I’m coming from (area). The bus only stops at the front.”

“My colleagues walk 10 minutes only.”

“10 minutes?!” As I recalled, the office was almost at the end of the long road coming from my side.

“They take (another area) bus.”

“Oh.” That bus came from the other end.

I’ve never communicated with a staff that wasn’t helpful in providing location details. If she didn’t know, she could certainly ask other people and get back with me. I wouldn’t mind calling her back. If there were alternate ways to reach the office, I’d still go for the interview. Taking bus and taxi just wasn’t worth it. I might as well work in town.

I decided not to waste our time in going for the interview.

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