Week four saw more of the same, some strong and on-the-ball candidates, combined with those most definitely not suitable for the roles on offer. The search this week was for an Executive Assistant at O’Donovan Waste Disposal and an Event Assistant at Snapdragon, a luxury events agency, both based in London.
O’Donovan Waste Disposal was up first, who received over 100 applications for the Executive Assistant to the MD (Jackie O’Donovan) role. They were on the hunt for someone who was ‘no shrinking violet’ and could effectively manage the MD’s diary and assist with a lot of the overall business needs. The route that was taken in terms of the interview process was interesting to say the least!
It seemed to be very old fashioned, with random questions thrown at candidates to see how they would react on the spot. This was not done in a particularly relevant manner; instead asking ‘if you were a newspaper, which paper would you be?’, answering her mobile while the interview was taking place to gauge the candidates reaction, and making the candidates undertake grammar tests while the interviewers looked on – not a comfortable or nurturing environment for the interviewees.
Our key outtake from these interviews is that they forgot one crucial factor – interviews are a two way street; candidates have to want to work with them also!
Snapdragon received over 200 applications for their luxury events role, with the company owner (Julia Dowling) essentially looking for a ‘mini-me’, an employee to meet her exacting standards; discreet and hard working, with lots of innovative and exciting party ideas.
While the interview questions and approach were challenging, the whole approach seemed a lot nicer, with candidates offered the chance to shine more so. In saying that however, they were not given much time to come up with their plans suggestions in terms of ideas – very time pressured.
In somewhat of a twist, the selected candidate did not take up the role in the end, having accepted it in the show – we wonder who they have found for the role now! Our absolute favourite part of this set of interviews was the Italian / English gentleman, with one-liners such as ‘I am half Prosecco’ and admitting previous employers would not give him a good reference, what’s not to love?
Next week? A London PR agency and an Essex car rental company…we wait with bated breath.