An Israeli Group Interview

Continuing on our theme of group interview recaps (if you’d like to share one anonymously, let us know), via JobMob, one woman’s account of a group interview for a marketing and communications (“marcom”) job in Israel:

“Show up at 8:30 am on Sunday morning” at [ABC] company for a half-day at an evaluation center, said Liat (not her real name, but isn’t there always a Liat in recruiting agencies?) “I don’t know what’s going to happen there, but you can’t prepare for this. Just try to cooperate as much as possible, be noticed, but not to stick out too much.”

Wonderful, how am I supposed to be conspicuous and inconspicuous simultaneously?

…So I showed up, dutifully, at 8:30 am, to find nine other women in the same predicament. It was a cold winter morning and we were told to fill out forms. Other than that, we were not offered coffee or the trip to the restroom.

…The first exercise was to compare ourselves to a means of transportation and explain why we chose that particular one.

…I was the last in the semi-circle and read from my notes…:

“I chose a ship because it can be used for many purposes, for example both for cargo and for tourism. The staff of a ship need to deal with many different countries, cultures, languages and regulations. This is similar to the work in marketing communications. You have some days where the sea is calm and you can deal with your day to day business. On other days, you have your storms where you need to handle crises. As I made aliyah many years ago, I have been able to adapt successfully to Israeli culture while still being able to handle cross-cultural communication.”

I thought this was a carefully crafted answer and metaphor and was proud of myself. Yael, pretending to show off her expertise in character analysis, sternly turned to me and said “a ship is a very slow-moving vehicle. Does this characterize yourself — slow?” She made a face and wrote a note on my application. Exercise 1. Strike 1.

The problem with group interviews is that they basically scream, “We, the employer, value our time more than yours” when the hiring process should be a back-and-forth.

The problem with this group interview is that the interviewers seem like they’re actively trying to undercut the interviewees.

She didn’t get the job.


Publish date: April 30, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT