A Bait and Switch

In the beginning of August, I came across a job position that sounded right up my alley – an events and marketing coordinator for a business development company. The position would give me the events experience that I wanted while developing the strong marketing skills that I already had. At least, that’s what I thought…

After an initial (and brief) phone screener, I was invited to interview with the two founders of the company. Overall, it was one of the easier interviews I’ve taken part of (unlike my EA one which was tough!). I asked several questions specific to the position and was given quite general answers. However, I was assured that the responsibilities would be 50% events production and 50% marketing. What’s more, the position would involve traveling internationally at least once a month. I love travelling although I’m very aware that travelling for pleasure and travelling for work are two separate things.

One week later,  I was invited to interview with them a 2nd time (this time over Skype since I was in Hong Kong). When it was my turn to ask questions, I began probing about the various responsibilities I would be accountable for. As they began listing off responsibilities, I was shocked since most of it was related to administrative and customer service work. In fact, ‘events production’ was actually just registering the participants and ‘marketing’ was actually being an assistant to the speakers.

If I had known that the position was basically administrative in nature, I wouldn’t have applied. That’s not what I’m looking for and that’s not what I want. While I was straightforward from the beginning about my goals, they were not about the position. If they were clear about their needs, I wouldn’t have wasted my time applying and they wouldn’t have wasted their time interviewing someone who would later decline them (a week later, I was invited to work for them on a trial basis).

I know it sounds like I’m complaining (which I am), but it’s so important to know what exactly you’re looking for. So HR and hiring managers, I beg of you… be CLEAR in your job descriptions about what the job actually entails. Otherwise, you’ll get a bunch of applicants that you don’t want (and similarly, they might not want you) and miss out on the applicants that you actually need.

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