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We re-published Hong Kong Bee’s excellent Brentford Job Interview article on Friday, and asked if any other fans have had a Bees-related interview experience they’d like to share. This corker was posted as a reply to the original article by Jim Levack @JImblee1 .
If, like me, you’re always looking for a chance to get Brentford into the conversation – any conversation – then job interviews seem to be a doddle. Well that’s been my experience anyway.
First up when I left London for the Midlands 27 years ago, I went for an interview at the Coventry Evening Telegraph. I thought the interview was going well when the subject turned to hobbies.
Here was my chance. I played my Bees card.
The News Editor, a lifelong Southampton fan, burst out laughing and the Managing Director, a Yeovil fan, could barely contain his glee.
“At last we can have someone whose team is more shit than mine,” he beamed. I doubt he’s laughing now.
Got the job though.
Fast forward to 2008 and I’m News Editor at one of the biggest regional papers in the country, the Birmingham Mail.
Papers are no longer being invested in and I’m offered redundo which after some deliberation, I take.
I cast the net looking for job and it’s a leap into the unknown. After all I’ve never not had a job.
Then I see a job as Head of News at West Midlands Police… lots of responsibility, decent money and a great chance to learn new stuff like crisis management, emergency comms and moreover keep in touch with my former journo mates. Only this time to keep the bad news out of the media eye.
Interview date set and I’m building it up in my head. Dealing with life changing incidents, murder inquiries etc will require a degree of gravitas – there’ll be no mention of football in this interview.
In walks my prospective boss in full uniform, Det Supt Mark Payne, a top bloke who is now deservedly climbing his way up the tree at the force because of his common touch.
After a gruelling half hour of questions “what would you do if…”, “we have a triple murder gang related in Smethwick near and old people’s home, what will you do first?” we seemed to be getting on.
Then Boom… so I see you played football for south of England schools, what team do you support?
Is it a trap? Keep cool Jim, don’t gush. Yeah right.
Ten minutes later we were still reminiscing about games at Fellowes Park and David Crown’s debut in a 3-2 win.
He was a big Walsall fan and we got on like a house on fire. I got the job.
The Gold meetings, where we’d sit with the Chief Constable and Operational chiefs, were always interesting whenever Brentford headed to the West Midlands.
They always made me stand up and promise that our fans would be on their best behaviour. Goes without saying.
Football, and in particular Brentford, is like an oil that salves conversations and eases our paths in life.
If people say ‘I don’t like football’ I know I’ll struggle to get the gig.
Jim Levack