This interview never really happened. The board had so many instructions and directions of who not to choose beforehand that they rather chose no one. Of course, they also did not choose the person writing this.
The job was actually a real challenge. A company had been in red numbers for a decade and the director wanted to retire. The mission was great, the money promised not that much.
They announce they want competent people to apply. People with several skills and virtues, with focus on technical skills. What? Such skills could be gained in a four-year technical high school and easily outsourced for little money. Why would a director, responsible of managing, leading and financing the company obligatorily need such skills? Huh, let’s find an answer to that. There was also one unclear condition – knowing the state the company is in at the moment. OK. I have to find an answer to this as well.
There is a number to call. I dial it. The director answers and says I can ask anything. He didn’t think I am calling him because of application. When he realises that I am asking questions about the company, so that I could plan the development of the next four years, he freezes and wants to end the conversation.
For the next days till the application deadline, I call him several times to get some answers. It is impossible to make a plan without knowing what is going on. He doesn’t answer my calls or finds a quick excuse to hang up as quickly as possible.
I learn that cooperativeness is not really his virtue. No wonder he is in red numbers. Despite this, I seriously dig into work. I research the publicly accessible data, I interview some employees, some ex-employees (let me tell you that the numerus of the latter was extensive). I write the strategy that would help the company to grow into green numbers, extend cooperation internationally, provide better conditions for employees.
I again ask five friends to go through the plan and comment, adjust and correct. One of them being technician, others experts in other fields necessary. They give me great feedback, understanding and hoping that the company could really prosper with a better management.
I apply. I hear three others have applied as well. I include my full CV with documents proving that I have already helped organisations grow moneywise and staffwise. Proving that not only I possess the knowledge of management, but also know how to put it into actual work.
A week later I get a letter. It says that none of the applicants showed enough skills in organisation management and finances and did not know enough about the real situation the company is in at the moment.
I again dial the (one and only) director’s number.
– What you did is a big M.I.S.T.A.K.E.! How can you expect me to know about the real situation of your company if only you know it? You gave me no chance. This is bizarre.
His lame apologies and excuses quotes would take too much of our precious time. It was clear the decision was made by someone else and that the director has again given in to their wishes (like he has been for the last 20 years).
I inform my friends. I scan the reply of the board. They are appalled by the content of the rejection letter, they don’t understand. Going through the plan and perfecting it made them feel that were part of this application. They started to believe in my vision and such rejection really disappointed us all.
One of them contacts the board without me knowing it. The next time we meet I get the explanation.
– They decided you were too competent for leading this company. You would bring too much change. They rather chose no one.
– But what about the letter, it says terrible things to all the candidates, not only me? It’s insulting. You never want to deal with such people again.
– They just wrote one version and made four copies of it. You got one, even though the facts stated were not true for you.
– Wow, this really is great comfort.
In a year’s time they again look for a director and nobody wants to apply. They call people to apply. It seems like this time anyone is good enough to take the director’s position. But nobody wants to apply. How come?