This is really important, I can’t stress this enough. Before you go and meet someone about a potential job, do your research.
You need to know who, what, why, where and when.
Who are they?
What’s the job about?
No, wait a minute. Maybe the ‘what’ should be – What have they done before? Or is that part of the ‘Who?’ question?
Where and when? That’s easy, that’ll be where and when the meeting is. I’ll get back to you on the others.
They’re important though, whatever they are. Don’t go into a meeting without at least knowing a little bit about who you’re meeting. It could make the difference between you getting the job and looking like a complete tool.
Yesterday I had a meeting at 18.00. In the afternoon I dropped off the first draft of ‘Kapital‘, collected my cheque and attended a screening of ‘Thee Minute Moments’, director Don Allen‘s first movie. The second, hopefully, being ‘Kapital’.
After that I had lunch. I was sitting quite happily on my own when Don mysteriously reappeared, asked if I wanted company, dropped two actresses at my table and vanished.
This must be a bonus in my contract I wasn’t previously aware of.
They seemed pleasant enough, but as soon as Don had gone they said they’d rather eat at a different table.
In a different restaurant.
And they wandered off.
What can I say, I have that effect on women.
An hour now until the meeting, so I take refuge in Starbucks where I have my normal rage over the order:
“Tall, Grande, Venti? They all mean big. I want a small one, and don’t you fucking dare ask me what flavour tea I want. Tea flavoured tea. Got it?”
I’ve been thrown out of a lot of Starbucks.
And it occurred to me. I have no idea who I’m meeting or what it’s all about. It’s for a feature, I know that; but that’s all I can remember.
I do remember applying for the job and I have the letter I sent to remind me. What I don’t have is a copy of the original ad or indeed any memory of what it said.
I have a name. That’s it. And even that I’m not sure of.
Angus Parry, said the first email I received.
Angus Parry, that’ll be someone Scottish. He probably looks a lot like that bloke off the front of the Scott’s Porage Oats box. At first, I fully expected to meet a Scottish Shot Putter in a Kilt.
The second email was less clear. Angharad Parry.
Ah, that’s an Indian name. Obviously an Indian chap of Scots descent. Now I’m expecting to meet one of The Magoons. It’ll be some Indian guy in a Turban and a kilt. Maybe carrying a shot put, I can’t be sure.
Imagine my surprise when Angus Parry turns out to be a rather attractive, young white Welsh woman.
She wasn’t even wearing a kilt.
Right, yes. Now I come to think of it. Angharad does look like a Welsh name.
While I’m still reeling from this error in judgement, she hits me with the question:
“So, what did you think of the treatment?”
I think, I haven’t read it.
See how a little research can make the difference bettween getting the job and looking like a complete tool?
Can you guess how I came across?
As it turns out, I didn’t receive the treatment. Either I got missed out or my increasingly erratic email service decided I didn’t need to receive that one.
Either way I had to try and talk intelligibly about something I hadn’t read. Just like being back in school.
An apology, a spare copy of the treatment and a hurried scan later, the meeting was back on track.
How did it go?
No idea. We’ll just have to wait and see.