I was thrown off.
Coming into the second interview, I felt I have prepared enough to get me through–I have practiced possible behavioral and personality questions and studied on what a media buyer job entails. Having proved to the Team that I do have the skills in data analysis, I thought that I passed the skills test already and only some character fit needs to get straightened out in the application. I was wrong. In a matter of a minute from picking up the Skype call, I was cast off the fire for another skills test. This time it’s a test of negotiation skills.
I do not have much experience in negotiation, and if it needs to be done on the spot I would likely have relied on data from my background research and communication skills. With little experience I will perhaps do just fine, but not exceptional. When AP (the department head and my interviewer) asked me to quantify my negotiation skills, which is a core skill for the job, I replied, “I would say 7 at best.” I was given a case to negotiate spot price. Good thing I have a pen and paper near me, so the tools came in handy when she laid down the case. AP pretended to be a media agent, and the negotiation began. I got my numbers wrong at the start perhaps due to nerves (I hope AP’s considerate enough to forgive me for that) and AP was a stiff and unforgiving media agent. I was lost mid case, but AP gave me a lead which I picked up quickly: “It’s between price and flexibility,” she hinted. At the end of the mock negotiation, I was able to negotiate at a lower price and gave myself a room for bit of a flexibility. She asked for either a €500,000 budget allocation for €90/spot or €300,000 for €80/spot exclusive for Channel A on the table. We settled at my own package which is €400,000 for €85/spot. With a budget of €500,000, I was not willing to put all money in Channel A alone, in ‘one basket’ so to speak. In the end I concluded that since the Channel A gave us good performance in the previous calendar year, we can allocate a good sum from the budget to them; however since we want to have a broader audience base, we would want to distribute at least €100,000 to Channels B and C which we are also considering. In hindsight, I could have explained things better and latched on brand awareness which is the real-life goal of the Team but it is what it is.
The next part of the interview which I think was not as significant as the mock negotiation was more of What’s Cooking and character type questions. I did okay.
I weakened like a jello.
I felt my body fading after the interview which was biologically foreseeable following an adrenaline rush. In a sudden barren state, I felt hungry but really wasn’t and tired but not actually. Finally I did what a woman of faith would naturally do–pray. I turned to St. Jude whose statuette was right next to my computer: “In the name of Jesus, St. Jude come to my aid,” invoking my Patron numerous times, my tone strong and tenacious. As I pressed my eyes close in contemplation, I saw St. Jude appeared briefly and walked away to do his work, and as he left Jesus came towards me from behind uttering, “Consider it done.” In bleakness, I observe, the Lord’s voice seeps out my ever-reasoning mind the easiest. I proceeded to pray the rosary, and asked the Mother for her intercession in the result of my second interview.
I took away one important lesson after praying the rosary.
Fr. LA told me a little over a week ago that a job is a gift from God. Indeed you should do your best in the application process (and God recognizes your effort), but ultimately you get the job by His grace. If it is his will, however low the odds are you’re going to get it.
I’m reminded of these words as I prayed the rosary. I know I didn’t do hot in the interview; there were apparent lapses in my responses. But a job is a gift from God, having it does not depend on my power but on His. In a flick of a finger, God in His omnipotence can carry the situation such that my apparent lapses would pale in comparison to my good points in the interviewer’s head. I am humbled by this realization and shall carry it as I await the result of my second interview. In God’s power, not mine.
I am nervous but certain.
As I finished praying, I felt the life coming back to my body and senses. God strengthened me in my prayer, and re-established in me trust in Him and faith in His will. As my eyes remain shut in contemplation, I pictured myself arms out wide and letting God’s strength motion me through the space. I surrender to God in absolute obedience my application and my career in general, like a sparrow trusting God’s providence every single day.