'Ms Bimbo, I notice you giggle and fidget each time during the near-fifteen minutes we have been engaging, struggling to give suitable responses (if at all) to questions asked you…I'm not sure we should keep at this pace. Interview deferred.'
These were my words at the point I had to terminate this particular interview to save my time and also move on with other candidates who direly needed an interview opportunity.
I often sit on interview panels trying to assess the suitability of prospective hires in various capacities. Regrettably I find this function extremely draining, dismal and often annoying. You will appreciate why.
I come across several young graduates who are desperately looking for employment in the corporate environment. These dreams, get curtailed somewhat because candidates are just not impressive. I have reviewed over a 1000 CVs which look quite remarkable, however it has often turned out, the ink and paper are all there are to the authors of those testimonials.
Bimbo earns an interview opportunity. 9.00am was her appointment on Friday March 30, 2012. She shows up rather enthusiastically and on time. Here she is:
She magnificently emerges from a self-chauffeured sleek, charcoal-grey 2012 registered Range Rover Evoque. I happened to be at the staff car park and wondered to myself who this lady could be. I immediately assumed she was a client, but never imagined her as a job-seeker.
Tall, stylish, slender and elegant. Strikingly gorgeous, dark-skinned 16-inch fake-haired woman, occasionally appearing shy, beautifully dressed up in seemingly expensive clothes, shoes and accessories. Her fragrance filled the foyer getting staff nosing surreptitiously to find out who was here and what they were up to.
I get into my office, a telephone call follows: Front office person: 'madam, the interview candidates are in; can the first person come?' “Sure…” I related.
The same lady I had seen at the car park is the one who walks into my office. The whole office lit up. 'Hello, you are welcome…how are you…please sit, Ma'am?' I said heartily. In all of this the young lady appeared struck and had not said a word.
She slips into the seat across my table and then I say again. 'You are very welcome. My name is Louisa… I shall be interacting with you on your suitability for the position of a Business Analyst…What's your name?'
'Bimbo… Bimbo Williams.' At this point she had begun wavering, as though she was unsure of her name. Then I say: 'Introduce yourself to me. I'm interested in tertiary and what you've been up to since…'
She smiled grimly and started 'errmm, errmm, o-okay-y, I actually went to Legon. I read BSc Admin, Accounting option….errmm, errmm, I…I need a job, because I finished my national service 2 years ago, and I…I'm…just at home.'
I ask inquisitively. 'What is Legon? What happens there? Then she giggled and goes, 'Madam, please Legon is the university I went to… ahaaa…'
Then I ask again, Ma'am, explain to me the relevance of 3 accounting concepts when you are assessing the truth & fairness of the financials of a client who needs a loan from you'
At this question, Bimbo got very fidgety and began fumbling badly. This was about the third question I had asked and had not gotten any intelligent response. This is her answer:. 'Errmm Madam, hmm, I'll try. Errmm Madam, I guess you have to be God fearing, honest…' my jaw dropped.
Sadly Bimbo's session lasted for only 11 minutes. 11 minutes exactly. This was because she looked good only on CV. She was shamefully lacking in a significant chunk of smart staff attribute. I wondered how she managed to obtain her degree. Her responses were shallow, inconsistent, incoherent and immature. She could not do tables in Ms word; totally lost her way in excel and could not make out the icon for PowerPoint.
Bimbo, a proud university graduate… here she is uncut:
• Could not express self, tenses were poor.
• Fumbled continuously.
• Lacked the basic knowledge in the job role she had applied for.
• Lacked wit & situational judgment
• Lacked confidence (because she did not know much)
• Lacked computer proficiency.
For Bimbo, once she had completed the university, she definitely must find a job, and it had to be in a financial institution.
I have seen quite a few Bimbos in my working life; not all female though. They are just not that useful in the corporate world.
In the financial institutions, it is very serious business and therefore one has got to be on top of their game.
Though training is provided, at entry point one must know their ABCs and 123s.
Most students, (MBAs inclusive) have only acquired the certificate. They know absolutely nothing. They are unable to pass interviews and therefore cannot find jobs.
There are 1000s of employers looking for skill and expertise to hire, but truth is, these qualities are hard to find during interviews.
Candidates are simply unable to cross the interview border and therefore do not secure the white-collar jobs they so desire; hence the lamentations of unemployment all over the place.
Folks, do not be in a hurry to finish school and be called a graduate and other professional titles.
Do not hurry to seek exemptions to shorten your instructional hours in the university. Do not absent yourself from lectures and think you will get question leaks or favours with lecturers to mark you up.
You need the discipline. You need the knowledge. If you dash through school, you will be even more frustrated in the end, because you will think you have a certain qualification, but truly, you do not have the requisite knowledge in that job role to perform.
With your half-baked knowledge, you may either not find a job at all; OR even if you do, you may soon lose it because your shallow knowledge cannot sustain you in any serious, successful, world class corporate institution.
Bimbo, your name means beautiful but unintelligent; and indeed you are. I'm sorry though, that beauty may soon fade away.
Way to Go
Intelligence, wit, knowledge are what will sustain and propel you in any job environment.
Bimbo, it is not sustainable to use your beauty to hunt people to give you hand outs and dole money on you.
Hard work, intelligence and knowledge will build your confidence and confidence will take you places.
I deferred your interview so you can go back to school and retrain.
When you are done, we shall have another interview and hopefully you will get the job you so desire.
Till then, have a fruitful back-to-school programme.
Credit: Louisa Laryea