Found an ad on Seek that appeared to be from a startup marketing company that had just taken off and were looking for 5 juniors to work as sales assistant, with heavy implication of the possibility of promotion, travel etc. No marketing experience was required but was told retail, hospitality or similar experience would help. | Was called back the next day to schedule an interview for the following day. I went to their offices (cheap, relatively large in an older building on George Street) for the interview and sat in a waiting room full of people waiting for interviews, being called away one by one and soon afterwards someone stepping in off the street to replace them. The offices were full of young people (sereiously I don’t think there was anyone there over the age of 30) and the secretaries were playing loud pop music on speakers, which was kinda strange for an office. I was called in for an interview, in which I did not do that well, and told that they would call 7 people back for a day-long trial the next day and, after that, hire 5 of them. The interviewer (an Irishman called Mr Malley (there is a Credico certificate on the wall with the name Cathal O’Malley – I presume this was him) made it seem as if it was a very competitive and sought-after job and that only the best of the best would be hired. This was, as he explained, because he wanted to train them up to junior management positions over the coming months and from there launch them into the jet-set with a global marketing career. All of this sounded very exciting. He was very vague about what the routine of the job at the company actually entailed, other than that it was ‘direct business-to-business (or B2B) marketing’). I was called up later in the evening and told I’d been selected to return for the second interview. I was surprised, as I had not done that well, but Tiana, the secretary, told me that my interviewer had been impressed with my emphasis on being a 100% team player, which was not really at all what I had said during the interview at any point, which I thought was weird. | I excitedly phoned my parents about it – however, they (thankfully) did some sleuthing about Be Interactive and found it linked with Credico, an American MLM company, and told me to be suspicious of it. | Went in the next day for the 2nd ‘interview’. Sat in the waiting room while the employees had a start-of-the-day-meeting, which involved a large amount of applause, whcih was kinda weird. Discovered they’d called back ~10 people instead of 7, all of whom seemed to be between 18 and 23, all from retail, hospitality or unemployment, all of whom had never applied for a ‘professional-style job’ before. Secretary said they’d had a difficult time choosing between so many good candidates (Weird given that none of us had marketing experience, which would would expect from at least 1 of 30 people interviewing for a marketing job). The second interview turned out to involve paying to ride out to a suburb on the bus and corner receptionists and shopkeepers while they were at work and try to get them to buy very expensive raffle tickets (not exactly an exciting, off-the-wall cutting-edge marketing strategy tbh). This was done with a ‘senior team member’ and his new hire, as well as another person who was there for the 2nd interview. It was round about this point when I realised it was basically a scam, as having someone come into one’s workplace and try and get one to buy something one neither wants nor needs does not in any way promote whatever brand is associated with it. The senior team member I was with spouted off authoratative-sounding factoids about the law of averages (allegedly, ‘10% of people you talk to will buy your raffle tickets’) and the benefits of B2B marketing in comparison to traditional marketing and gave us banal challenges (‘come up with 25 characteristics of a un/successful person’ etc etc) that he later did not check. His new hire, whom he had told us was not on the career development track but rather focussing on building his sales skills, seemed to be under the impression that he was on the career development track, which made our team leader’s numbers sound very questionable. | The highlight of my day was watching the team leader force the new hire to try and shake down a busy doctor’s practise, where he was very graciously (given that she had much better things to do with her time) fobbed off by the receptionist there. After we left, the team leader scolded the new hire for not then turning and trying to pitch a sale to the patients sitting in the waiting room, which I thought showed a remarkable level of moral bankruptcy. | Returned to the offices, which were full of anxious looking people in their early 20s waiting for their 1st job interview. No-one at the company seemed to spend a lot of time actually coming up with campaigns, brand narratives or trying to field new contracts – merely to recruit more people, and make themselves seem like they were busy. I was made to fill out another form for my final interview, which asked questions related to the various factoids recited by our team leader. Was then interviewed by another Irishman, Ronan O’Connor, in which I made no real attempt to look like I was even remotely excited about the job, yet he still implied they’d hire me. | TL;DR – Be Interactive is not a real marketing company – rather, it is an Amway-style ‘multi-level-marketing- scheme that sells useless merchandise (raffle tickets) on commission. Expect them to have extremely high staff turnover rates. No real money is generated through sales – rather, money is made by the various British and Irish people (all with a background in construction management, perhaps not-so-coincidentally) who conduct the interviews, by hiring people to work 50+ hour weeks for a very low base rate and meagre commissions until they burn out. Unless you either lobotomise yourself or have your soul surgically removed, you will not be able to make progess in their company and will probably quit due to the alienating, soul-destroying nature of the work. These guys clearly feed on ppl in their early 20s who haven’t experienced the corporate world before and trick them into thinking that this is their golden ticket to the good life, when it is just a shitty, pointless and miserable job, where they will be shafted by their bosses at every turn and never produce anything of any actual value
This review (Be Interactive Review) was originally published at Skeptic Files.
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