Interview me

Let’s skip the small talk. I’ve been through a few interviews in my day, so here are responses to some of the more common questions I’ve heard.

Tell me a little about yourself.

I’m a strategist who has climbed up the ranks from a career in digital marketing. I’ve moved to Singapore after spending nearly all my formative years in the sunny, humid and cushy Middle East.

Read more on my About page. For a more irreverent side of me, you can check out my (mostly SFW) Twitter page. I must warn you though, conversations there mostly devolve into Arrested Development references.

So…are you a strategist or planner?

That’s a million dollar question. I closely align with the title of a strategist, and not a planner.

I’m part of a camp that strongly believes strategy and planning are entirely different things, and that the output expected from either role is different. It doesn’t help matters that we use the word “strategy” as a modifier for everything. To some, a creative brief is a strategy (it’s not). A communications plan is a strategy (it isn’t). A CRM engagement journey is a strategy (sure, it can be, but it’s not a whole strategy).

What I offer is a swiss army knife of skills that looks at organisational shifts, policies, and market trends to layer onto a business plan.

Why should we hire you?

Professionally: I have worked in a lot of industries. Banking, check. ERP software, check. Hypermarkets, check. Mental Health, check. Government, check. I’ve amassed enough transferable experience to confidently be able to jump into the deep end of most industries and start carving out plans.

Working as a strategist, as nebulous as the job scope is, has equipped me with the knowledge and discipline to drown out the noise, identify what I don’t know, work around my own biases, and focus on the problem to solve.

I’m not an armchair psychologist, but I am driven by consumer insight and what makes people tick.

Strengths and weaknesses. Go.

Earlier in my career, I had a hard time saying “no” and I’d go out of my way to not step on people’s toes. I’ve since taken discerning steps to evaluate tasks, assess what needs to be done, and why. Learning this is what I believe has helped me become a better strategist. Strategic planning is not about taking the path of least resistance; sometimes you need to make tough decisions in order to see a plan go through. Being a yes man is not the way to do that, which leads me to my strengths.

I assess everything and have learned when and how to check my biases. Rigour, facts and evidence-based planning is what separates a solid strategy from a fluffy idea, and that’s what I bring to the table. You can see some of my past work here.

Does your working style match our company culture?

I spend a lot of time thinking about the past to understand the present and am intrigued by the unique qualities of every persona.

Working in strategy means being collaborative with most departments at a company, and working with multidisciplinary teams comes with the territory. That said, I have been known to sequester myself temporarily when I need the headspace to focus on creating a plan.

As for problem-solving, I’m very much digital and analogue. I need to have a notebook at every meeting because I’ll be distilling ideas into frameworks, flowcharts and convoluted customer journeys.

What would your colleagues say about your working style?

You could see for yourself.

What do you do outside of work?

I’m quite boring, really. I enjoy working out at least a couple times a week. Don’t ask me to run though; these stumpy legs are better suited for weights and quiver at the thought of cardio.

I spend my Sundays cooking mostly Middle Eastern food as a nod to where I’ve spent my formative years. Thyme, garlic and olive oil are the three greatest ingredients to grace our palates. 

What’s your personality type?

Ah, yes. The horoscope of corporate life. I generally take these things with a pinch of salt, however, I’ve been asked these often enough to know what I am. Please don’t ask me my star sign.
According to my GallupStrengths, my top 5 themes are Context, Restoration, Individualisation, Intellection, and Input.My MBTI tests say I’m an INTJ.

You’ve made it all the way here.

Phew, now that that’s out of the way, I’m going to be presumptuous in saying that you might want to get in touch with me, for real. If that’s the case, just drop me a note here.