Applying for too many things at once. One bad experience.

While on the one hand, applying for everything and anything will indeed get you a response from some companies, it will also make your time available to companies that aren’t quite what your looking for.

This is one experience I had recently, where I applied for a dozen or so companies and got responses from three in particular, all being marketing positions and all of them using the method of ‘direct marketing’. At first I was very excited, I rushed at the opportunity to go for an interview and quickly arranged an one with each of the three companies. I went online to further research each of these companies, and their managers. This was in order to prep myself for the usual questions ‘What do you know about our company so far?’ ‘What made you choose this company?’ ‘Why are you interested in marketing?’, those are the questions I would of expected to be asked.

But as I went online I found that two out of the three companies had been located in the same building, I thought maybe it was an office building, shared by a number of different companies, it didn’t seem odd at first. Then I went a little deeper and discovered that one of those companies had recently moved to the new location and had in fact shared the same office space as the third company. In all they all new each other, this might not be uncommon, but when doing my research all this started to ring alarm bells. I soon discovered a site that allowed you to look at a companies declared finical statues and information about the company. All three were on this site, with one having a declared net worth of £2 and thousands of pounds lost from the previous years. Leading to the suggestion that it was a company on the decline, perhaps the very reason for the relocation.

This dose not include the number of employee reviews I found of each of the companies, going into detail how three step interview process was made in order to entice people into the role with the promise of managerial positions after a short period of four to eight months of team work and training. But in reality very few people make it to that managerial role at all. There were many people who felt that they had been cheated out of their time, as the position was not as advertised in the description and often people would be asked back for an ‘observation day’ in which they would do a full day of work with out being paid, only to find that they were expected to go door to door attempting to sell to home owners. This is what the term ‘direct marketing’ is usually associated with, researching potential customers and where they live so that people can go to their homes, their places of work and in their retail environments (shopping centre’s) in order to gain sales. It goes without saying that potentially vulnerable could be taken advantage of with this type of campaign, which in itself is morally questionable.

There was one more thing that I found while doing my research about the companies, press articles had been released by each of the companies had been released on the same site. This in itself is not odd and completely normal especially for a publication to do with marketing and business. However it was the similarity in syntax that looked oddly familiar in all three articles.

Company 1 ‘long-lasting business relationships between brand and consumer which often leads to increased customer acquisition, brand awareness and brand loyalty for their clients.’

Company 2 ‘long-lasting and personal relationships between brand and consumer which often leads to increased lead generation, brand awareness and quality sales for their clients.’

Company 3 ‘This drives long-lasting and personal business relationships between brand and consumer which, in turn, often leads to increased customer acquisition, brand awareness and brand loyalty for their clients’

Finally after all of that and a little part of me saying it’s a waist of my time, I went to the first two interviews I had organized them on the same day, because they were in the same building. I went into a small waiting room with a desk and lots of couches with people sitting on them. I was told to fill out the information sheets to both companies and then wait my turn. While waiting the two receptionists phone numerous people telling them they had been selected for an interview, all the while people where flowing into the waiting room and asked to fill in a sheet for what I gathered to be four separate companies.

The interviews where very brief, lasting what only felt like ten minutes and mostly going into work the company did and the progression path to a managerially role, as I have said before these are to entice people into thinking they can earn lots of money. But what is not made clear is that the employees are classed as contractors and therefore self employed, meaning there is no safety net in place, if you get sick and can’t work its not the company’s responsibility to give you sick pay. This leads to the final observation when going to these interviews, it is purely commission, meaning there is no minimum wage in these positions.

After all that I had released that these companies where not the type of place I wanted to work for or with. And so I had decided not to go to the third interview.

This might be a long winded post but the main point of it was to show the importance of doing research before you go to a interview. You might not like what you find out.

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