My son had an interview last week. It was for a job as a creative copywriter in an advertising agency. He was asked to prepare a pitch in response to an advertising campaign brief and present it to the creative team. A great way to test out potential for success in the role. I liked them already.
This was a dream job and Jordan spent serious hours analysing the brief, thinking of insights, crafting words.
We were on holiday whilst he was working on this and kept in touch, mostly encouraging him to take the odd break from his laptop over a 5 day period.
As loving, concerned parents, we were somewhat distracted from our walking and biking in Snowdonia, knowing that Jordan was working his socks off in the hope of landing this amazing opportunity to work with teams of experts in the field, learn and develop his craft. We were desperately hoping that his creative juices ran freely and he’d be able to come up with something he was proud of and that would impress and engage his audience.
He called us shortly after he’d presented his campaign ideas, saying he thought it had gone well. They liked lots of his content and one slogan had even made them laugh.
We asked when he expected to hear back from them and he said:
He’d asked what time frame they meant by this, and they repeated, ‘Soon’.
Soon! What does that mean?!
Think about the effect you have on your candidates – and their parents
Of course, from then on, Jordan was checking his emails every 5 minutes and our holiday became the vehicle to discuss, at length, all the possible interpretations of the word ‘soon’. Was it today, this week or next week?
How were we to enjoy our remaining holiday with this conundrum hanging over us?
It was impossible to switch off and fully enjoy the views from Snowdon, when we were obsessed with the word ‘Soon’.
With this frustration in mind, when I was running an interview skills training session with a group of business owners yesterday, one of the first things I asked them to do was to commit to a time scale to get back to candidates.
Please be specific – you may be ruining someone’s holiday
It turned out that ‘Soon’ meant: in 6 days time. Unfortunately, it didn’t go Jordan’s way. He was disappointed but not defeated. At least he could now get on with developing his portfolio further and applying for other jobs.
If you’d like to improve your interviewing technique so that you never leave anyone hanging, please get in touch. Call me on 07971511731 or email