Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Zerin Business Consulting
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Marketing Executive Interview
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 days – interviewed at Zerin Business Consulting (Vienna, VA) in November 2012.
I am a Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, about 5 years into my career, but with a proven track record of corporate and organizational successes. I am currently looking to move into consulting, and had registered on CareerBuilder. I have had several third and fourth round interviews for Managing Consultant positions at companies such as BAH and CGI.
I received an unsolicited call from Zerin's HR manager about a "Marketing Executive" position. No mention of entry-level nature of the job. I asked whether the position is mostly client-site or headquarters based (headquarters) and about the growth of the company (extremely favorable). I was intrigued, and agreed to come in for an interview. After researching, I directly asked the HR contact if the position was a sales position; she said "no, marketing drives sales, does not make them". I directly said, "fantastic, because I am NOT interested in a sales position." I was asked to bring a resume with me (really, you can't print the one you have?).
I went to the office, which was unlisted. In the lobby, which did not have the suite number listed, I ran into three gentlemen, clearly recent college grads nervous about interviewing. After calling my contact, we ALL went upstairs where we were seated in a small room the size of an exam room. There were six or so other interviewees, which I had never experienced before, and I was told by the receptionist "yes, we're doing a lot of interviews today". In the process of talking to one of the other applicants, I was told that the position was entry-level sales, despite what I was told.
I was called back into on of the offices, where a very kind, friendly gentleman greeted me. He asked me if I had any marketing experience (so clearly hadn't seen my resume) and asked why I had decided to apply to Zerin. As I had been cold-called by their hiring manager, I shared why I wanted to move into consulting. I asked if he would like to see samples of my work (proposals, copyrighting, etc.) and marketing campaigns (concepts and design). He said no, that wouldn't be necessary. This seemed fishy to me, since I have NEVER had an interview that the company did not ask for samples of my work. That would be like an art gallery not asking a painter for an example of their painting.
He outlined the business model (doing direct marketing and campaigns for other companies) without a mention of sales. He talked about the office structure, corporate culture, and growth opportunities. Then, I asked what the day to day of being a Marketing Executive with Zerin would look like. He framed the job as "meeting with clients, describing our services and advantages, direct marketing" so I questioned him further. I very much believe that an interview is as much an opportunity for an applicant to ask questions as for the employer. He told me that "more would be explained in the second round" but I pushed. I really could see that something weird was going on.
He explained that my position would be following leads from Verizon and selling products to clients and answering questions. At this point I asked "so it is door to door sales?" to which he responded "it's direct marketing, yes."
At this point I was seeing red. I realize that it was not his fault, but numerous times in my initial discussion with the HR contact, I had stressed that I was looking and qualified for an upper management position. He, again, was a very kind gentleman, but this type of runaround is unnecessary and, frankly, a bit of an insult to me as a working professional. I was also told that it was a commission position without a base salary. I would not consider taking on a job with a base salary under 80k base with bonus potential. I had told their HR person that. I felt lied to and cheated. I honestly think that the company is preying on the poor job market.
I do understand that door to door sales is a market that companies feel that they need to take advantage of. Do I agree with it? No, I feel about it the way I do about telemarketing. Do I know that it happens? Yes, of course. Please, however, do not waste the time of your hiring team or overqualified applicants.
Most importantly, do not lie to an applicant's face multiple times in the course of the hiring process.
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