Forbes.com listed the 10 toughest interview questions. Here are my answers:
1. Why is there a gap in your work history?
I was declared redundant in Exist Software Labs on 15 March; my last day was 15 April. They’re downsizing and among the casualties were three of us in HR. So I took a break and kept myself occupied with my pole recital held last 01 June in SM Skydome.
I do not own a laptop, but a friend lent me her pocket wifi so while “on vacation,” besides spending time with my senior dog, I use my smartphone (which I won in a raffle) for job hunting, reading ebooks and getting my social media fix.
*Compared to a laptop, it’s harder to do stuff on your mobile. And at home with slower internet connection unlike in an office setup, it takes at least twice as long to accomplish things. With a little mind jog and some online help from my pals, I found very useful workarounds. Eventually I was even able to set up my blog site using the WordPress app. 🙂
2. Can you think of a recent problem in which old solutions won’t work?
When the office scanner was broken and I had to send a document to someone, I simply took a photo with my phone and emailed it to my contact. Done in no time.
3. What would the person who likes you least in the world say about you?
“We could have had a Jacuzzi, if only you became a lawyer.” For a person to like you least in the world, he would need to know more details about you. And my mom can’t shake it off her head that I was in UP Law but left it too soon. I say that it’s not for me and yet she asks, “what if?”
4. What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
When I resigned from my first job out of boredom and had no pending job application. I thought about pursuing my passion, film editing. Well, I had a shot at it but found out it’s not going to be enough to feed me. Good thing I was hired by Dr. Caro; he was the series editor in my first job which was at TechFactors and the director of UP IT Training Center which was my second job.
5. Have you ever had a supervisor challenge your behavior? How, and how did you manage that?
My boss, who I fondly call ‘Mother,’ was in Cebu when this supervisor from another department called me into her office to interrogate me. It was about a task I did (for my teammate who was absent) and why I didn’t consult with her first. I was completely taken aback — shocked really — because I was only following orders from Mother. I was sure I did nothing wrong.
I became aware that no explanation would have sufficed because she was already teary-eyed and citing unrelated matters. I just stood there and apologized to her, over and over, to calm her down. Finally, I took my leave and reported the incident to dear Mother.
6. Describe a time when you were part of a project or planning team that could not agree.
I was assigned to acquire a supplier for our Christmas giveaway, which was a black jacket for each employee. I got several quotations and samples. Mother and I had a very tight budget to work on so she narrowed the choices to the cheaper ones. But I could not settle for the low quality that came with the low cost. So I gathered feedback from some officemates and they all agreed that nobody would be pleased with the ‘cheapipay’ jacket that the Board approved.
What I did next was go over my suppliers again and ask for better-quality jackets at a negotiable price. I had a contact and she came through for me. She’s my supplier for DevCon, very reliable, but Mother and another HR officer got her before and they didn’t click. I fought for this supplier because given our time frame and ever-so-slightly increased budget, she was the best choice. Mother finally agreed.
Delivery was delayed for a month, but everybody loved the jacket. It actually resembles a car racer’s jacket, with its white lining and the placement of our embroidered logos. Mother thanked me for battling it out with her, hahaha. All’s well that ends well.
7. If you could change one thing about your last job, what would it be?
I’ll get rid of the cockroaches. Seriously.
8. Explain social media in three sentences to your eight-year-old cousin.
King, you have a Facebook account right? Did you know that Facebook is called a “social media website”? It means that you can share stuff with your friends online, chat with them, play games, and many more!
9. Tell me about yourself.
I grew up in Orani, Bataan. I went to the Holy Rosary Parochial Institute (HRPI). I was very studious; I was valedictorian in elementary and high school. I was the only one in HRPI who was admitted to the University of the Philippines Diliman.
I graduated from UP in 2004 with a BA degree in Philosophy. In my last semester, I took up a Journalism subject (it wasn’t in our curriculum) where I learned to code a website from scratch.
In 2005, I started working for an IT publishing company where I wrote my first book, Web Design. As part of the development team of TechFactors, I became an all-around girl — writing, editing, proofreading, beta testing, even teacher training.
My next job was at UP IT Training Center (UP ITTC, now UP IT Development Center) as Events and Marketing Officer, where I developed websites and acted as Program Committe Head of the biggest IT event in the country, the Youth for IT Congress (Y4iT), among others.
I met Winston Damarillo, founder of Exist, in Y4iT 2008. In 2009, he said he wanted to hire me. Four interviews later (Exist had a hard time deciding on me, LOL), Mother took me under her wings and a Campus and Community Relations Officer was born. After several months I was transferred to the Marketing Team as Marketing Associate, but I was back in HR come November 2011. My last label was HR Assistant 2.
In my three plus years in Exist, I was concurrently involved in Winston’s non-profit org Developers Connect Philippines (DevCon) starting out as the secretariat and ending up as the Marketing VP in Q1 2013.
10. Why should we hire you?
a. I’m a sourcing and marketing hybrid, with social media running through my veins.
b. I’m a published author, thanks to TechFactors (I don’t earn royalties though, hehe).
c. Despite HTML/CSS not being a hardcore programming language, I was a web developer at UP ITTC (now I just use CMS, hehe).
d. I have thousands of contacts in the IT community, courtesy of DevCon.
e. I made Exist look cool.
I’m all of the above and more. Plus I pole dance for fitness. 😉