Kimberley Rumble - the Interviewee
Can you explain how the process was different to other jobs you’ve applied for (pre-lockdown)? Was the process faster etc?
Before the interview itself, the process of applying was quite similar. After seeing the job advert on LinkedIn, I worked on my CV, cover letter and portfolio. I highlighted all my relevant experience and tried to put together the perfect proposal which demonstrated how my skills could benefit Rowen Group. The next day, I received an email asking if I could jump on a Zoom call with Alice and Andrew to discuss my application. We scheduled a time and had a virtual interview a day or so later.
What things did you consider before the interview? Your Zoom background for example?
I tried to choose somewhere that had good lighting, so went with the living room where my desk is. This is the area from where I work and where I can be creative, so I chose to have that space in the background. I made sure it was tidy, that I was presentable and I asked my other half to stay out of the room!
Did you feel that it was easy to build a rapport virtually? Do you have any tips around this?
Apart from the initial “can you see me/can you hear me” situation you always get with Zoom, I very quickly relaxed and felt at ease. I didn’t have the same nerves I would normally when waiting in a reception area to be called in. Because I was in my own space, I was much calmer. I also felt the same from Andrew and Alice, it was a bit more informal and it felt like it was an opportunity to just “meet” each other and get a feel for how we could work together. With zoom calls, you can often get people talking over each other because of the delays, so I would make sure to listen as best you can. As with any other interview, be prepared with some questions, but wait for them to ask you if you have them.
What was your first day like when you were working from home?
I was the very first employee of Rowen Group, so at that point, Alice and Andrew were the only people I needed to touch base with. On my first day, we jumped on another Zoom call to go over the outline for my role and what was needed initially. Because we were working on 3 start-up companies, my main port of call was the branding. We discussed which was a priority and they gave me as much detail as possible in terms of a creative brief and links to Pinterest boards they had full of inspiration. As soon as I came up with some ideas, I would send them over, they would give feedback and we would develop, jumping on calls when needed.
How have you built relationships with your new colleagues?
I was the only one for a few weeks but we have quickly grown to 8! As more team members came on board, we would have a group Zoom call so everyone could introduce themselves and talk about the role they will be playing at RG. We’ve mainly kept in touch using project management tasks like Asana or via email. A weekly video call with everyone is a great way to catch up and talk about what everyone has been doing that week, but I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone in person when it’s safe to do so.
What have you found to be unexpected benefits of the whole experience?
I have found the experience surprisingly productive. As someone who doesn’t have children or pets, I have been able to just get on. I put on my music, I write my to-do list for the day and get to work without any distractions. If I find myself in a bit of a creative rut or can’t think, I just take a 10-minute break, put on a load of washing or something like that and then get back to it. These little moments sometimes means another idea pops into my head. In my previous 9-5, I would stay glued to my chair and the screen for hours on end without ever looking away which wasn’t great for my mind or my body! On the other hand, if I’m having a really productive day and I don’t want to stop, I’ll work through my lunch break, eat at my desk and then finish an hour early if I’ve got everything on my list done. That flexibility is something I’ve really enjoyed. Working for people who trust you to get on and do what’s asked of you is really refreshing!