Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Quiff Restcott goes for job interview

The following submission was received by Pro-Veritas from a verified email account used by BBC Monitoring staff.

It is 1 April 2007. Having decided to move on after four years as head of the British Beetroot Company - Maidenhead (BBCM), the flagship branch of the United Kingdom’s leading beetroot wholesaler, Dr Quiff Restcott has been shortlisted for a post at the British Beetroot Company’s headquarters.

Below is a transcript of Dr Restcott’s interview for the post of Senior Adviser, Directorate for Reject Vegetables.

(Quiff Restcott) Hiya folks!

(Des Stranger - interviewer 1) Dr Quiff Restcott, first of all, let me thank you for coming to this interview. This is a competency-based interview during which we shall be asking you for specific examples from your experience to illustrate your proficiency in each of the required competencies. We expect the interview to last for 45 minutes. How would you like us to address you?

(Quiff Restcott) Doctor.

(Interviewer 1) Doctor, I’d like you to give us an example to highlight your ability to make balanced and objective judgements based on a thorough understanding of our guidelines for growing, displaying and marketing our vegetables.

(Quiff Restcott) Thank you. I am really, really glad that you’ve asked me this question. I believe this is a question which touches on the very essence of the British Beetroot Company - its ability to build on the very strong foundations that I have laid for it and to prosper into the second decade of this Millennium. In fact, just the other day - at the last meeting of the Central Committee of BBCM to be chaired by my good self - we spent the entire meeting discussing the need to develop the ability of all managers - members of the Central Committee, leaders at all levels of the branch and ordinary members of staff - to make objective judgements based on a thorough understanding of our guidelines for growing, displaying and marketing our vegetables. So, your asking me this question is not only fortuitous, but is also timely and demonstrates your awareness of key issues and challenges facing our great company.

(Noel Bite - interviewer 2) Doctor, I’d like to ask you about your planning and organising skills. Can you give us an example to demonstrate your ability to think ahead, prioritise and plan activities?

(Quiff Restcott) The whole issue of forward planning and prioritisation is so important that, if you didn't ask me about it, I would have asked you to ask me about it. I don’t think I would be exaggerating to say that this, together with the ability to make balanced and objective judgements, is so vital that our great organisation’s future would be in serious jeopardy if we did not give it serious thought and allocate appropriate resources to allow our capability in this regard to develop, prosper and exceed any combination of similar capabilities of existing, potential and conceivable future competitors. So, Noel, full marks for asking me about it. Thank you!

(Stepan Welly - interviewer 3) Doctor, I’d like you to give us two examples that show your ability to get your message understood. Please choose examples to highlight how you have used a range of styles, tools and techniques appropriate to the audience and the nature of the information you were communicating.

(Quiff Restcott) Yes, certainly. I think it’s obvious to everyone in this room that, without clear and effective communications, we might as well throw our vegetables away, pack up and go home. It’s as simple and as important as that. You know, global 3G subscribers have passed the 100 million mark – this a rate of growth that exceeds that of the first-generation of mobiles in the 1990s. It’s projected that there will be 210 million mobile TV subscribers in 2011, with 10 per cent of all mobile handsets then sold containing a broadcast receiver. Nielsen Media Research - the US based TV audience tracking company - has plans to track TV viewing on the web and on mobile phones. As MSN looks to launch a rival site to YouTube, the site serves up 100 million videos a day. I can give you dozens more examples but I think I have made the point.

(Interviewer 1) Doctor, looking back to your most recent post, can you give us two examples to illustrate your ability to present sound and well-reasoned arguments to convince others. Please choose examples where you have used a range of strategies to persuade people in a way that resulted in desirable behaviour change.

(Quiff Restcott) I think it was Pol Pot who said that culture is the bedrock of behavioural change. He was, of course, right then and he is still right now. But it’s only right and proper that we should pause now in order to reach the right and proper conclusion that change should be undertaken only, and I stress only, if it is change in the right direction. And you should ask, and its perfectly correct to ask at this juncture, whether we are now equipped with the right tools to reach an objective definition of the right direction. I am sure we all agree that the issue is not just one of possession of the appropriate tools for the right direction but, and its a very crucial but, are we actually ready for the right direction? Of course, this takes us back straight to the question of culture. I don’t think I need to spell it out, but communications, as you are well aware, is right at the heart of all this. Yes, as Mengistu Haile Mariam said, it’s communications, communications, communications.

(Interviewer 2) Doctor, we’d like to ask you about your skills in managing relationships and team working. Please give us an example to illustrate your ability to build and maintain effective, cooperative working relationships with a range of people.

(Quiff Restcott) I see culture writ large on this question. Without the right culture, it’s inconceivable to have effective working relationships as the British Beetroot Company prepares to enter the second decade of this Millennium. So, you are absolutely right to ask me about this. Well done!

(Interviewer 3) Doctor, we have finally come to our last question. We’d like you to give us an example that highlights your ability to manage your emotions in the face of pressure or set backs, or when dealing with provocative situations.

(Quiff Restcott) Yes, absolutely and it’s only right and proper that you should ask me this. Let me just very briefly give you an insight into my resilience by explaining why I am called Quiff when it’s as plain as plain can be that I have no quiff. To be precise, I had a quiff, and I wore it right up until the late 1980s - that’s how I acquired the nickname “Quiff”. In the end I abandoned it in the face of adverse comments from my colleagues and members of the public. But simultaneously I changed my name by deed poll to Quiff, so that the name can serve as a constant reminder of the cost of not changing with the times. In fact, change, has become my motto ever since, and I would like change - permanent change - to be the norm in the British Beetroot Company’s Directorate for Reject Vegetables.

(Interviewer 1) Doctor, thank you. We expect to be in a position to tell you the outcome of this interview by the end of the month.

(Quiff Restcott) Thanks to you. You’re spot on with all your questions, which goes to show that you are all well aware of the challenges facing our great company. So, well done boys!


Anonymous said...

This is the best yet on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Did he get the job?