ADDENDUM: Edited on 14th August
Part 1: The Application
To answer a question I get a lot with the next stage of my story, yes I did know from the very beginning that I could be on TV. Written in bold text on the advert for the Digital Marketing job with WowZone was something akin to “Warning: If successful in being invited to an interview, elements of your interview may be televised”. I suppose it didn’t even properly register when I applied. Yeah, sure, I might be on TV. No big deal. I need work. A few days after applying, I received a phonecall from a HR recruitment company called Chilli Fish. They called me to confirm that I was okay with being on TV, as if I could overlook that part of the application. Essentially, I was told that Chilli Fish would sort through all the applications and create a long list for WowZone. I accepted that it was a part of this application and agreed to the terms, ended the call and just… forgot about it, really. I had other applications to make.
Shortly before filming, a job came up; the same one I’m working now. A theatre in Birmingham offered me a job after a pretty good interview and I jumped on it. It was exhilarating to finally exit unemployment for the second time in my life. I guess this is why I forgot all about the WowZone stuff. I was happy to be back in work, I was working in the city centre, I was genuinely in a happier place than I was when first applying to the Digital Marketing role. Now, skip forward a bit.
Part 2: The Production Begins
This is where I properly met Ellie and Ian from Label 1 properly. Lovely people, no bad words about them at all. From minute one, they were courteous and supportive. They were very happy people as well. This was odd; it was as if they were making up for the fact that everyone else in London is apparently super depressed. Anyway, the first thing to film was a one-to-one on camera interview. That's the bit where they allowed to to talk about why I wanted the job and my past experiences and that. Quite a lot of that made the programme, funnily enough.
After this, though, there were some negatives about my time on the programme. Travelling out of London was a complete, unmitigated nightmare. I was stranded in Euston for about 3 and a half hours after I arrived back there post-interview because the tickets I was supplied couldn’t be used until after a certain time. With all delays before the train, on the train and on the way home, I had spent almost 6 hours getting home from my on-camera chat. This might have been the worst part of the experience. I don’t frequent London all the much. In fact, I don’t really LIKE London. Being stuck there was kind of intimidating and was not doing my anxiety well. On top of this, my parents were worrying about me and that was casting a negative shadow over my involvement with the series. This is what made the experience a bit duller for me.
Part 3: The Interview
First port of call on interview day was some ancillary shots. Nothing too strenuous. just basic walking and stuff like that. It doesn't take long nor does it last long on the program, but it's all about the sense of motion in the program. Trust me, it would look weird without it, trust me.
Here’s a tip to anyone in a job interview: If an interviewer asks you to complete an unrelated logic puzzle, walk out of that interview. This is not a good way of assessing your suitability to a job and it is 100% about putting you on the spot and making you feel uncomfortable. Quite a few questions were like that, to be honest. I remember a roleplay question that involved Qasim role-playing as a dissatisfied customer, which was painfully overblown and dramatic. And that’s coming from a drama student.
About 2/3rds into the interview, just after being dogged to sing for them, the tech team came in to reposition some microphones. Sadly, at this point I had mentally clocked out of the interview and I had already decided that I didn’t want the job. I still tried as best as I could, but I was set on turning the role down, if it were offered to me. I didn’t even get asked at any point about the research I’d done on their company and clients and come the end I was only able to ask one of my three questions about the position, and their answer was so bare bones and non-committal that I have honestly 100% forgotten what they had said by the time I got back home.
Sure, I stumbled a few times, I’m happy to admit. There were 4 grammar mistakes on my CV. I didn’t know what URL stood for (And neither did Qasim and Ausaf, as many Twitter followers were quick to point out on broadcast). I flummoxed a maths and logic puzzle question. Some of my answers were actually pretty rambly and even I didn’t feel confident in them. But some of them, I felt like I nailed. The features and benefits of a product, demonstrating an understanding of the digital medium, giving examples of how I used this very site here to promote stuff using social channels. You know, shit that actually mattered to the job that wasn’t selling a pencil or filling out a Sudoku or being asked to bloody sing. Seriously guys, you don’t have to put up with that, it’s super unprofessional. Once the hard part was done, I went downstairs, did some final pickup tracking shots and left. I called my parents to tell them I wasn’t interested in the job and made my way home.
Part 4: Afterwards
As you all know, I didn’t get the job, which was a relief. My first and only impression of WowZone was not wholly positive. That was reflected in my to-camera interview after the call, but was suitably edited down so that I didn’t look like an ungrateful dick after Qasim and Ausaf called me a ‘lovely guy’. Oh shit, did I just spend 3 paragraphs tearing their interview to shreds? Damn… sorry guys! We cool, right?
But as a matter of fact, I actually was portrayed very well. And then everyone on Twitter and Facebook were super nice to me about my involvement. And it was all weird. And, well, here we are, still talking about it.
So yeah. I liked it. Could have just said that to begin with, I suppose.
I hope the above read answered all your questions about the show and wasn’t a slog to get through. If you’ve got any other questions about my time on ‘The Job Interview’, you can always ask them in the comments below this article. If I can answer them and it’s not stepping on any of the other parties toes, then I’ll be sure to do it.