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Channel 4 (UK) The Secret World of LEGO televison programme

13

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  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,354
    A thoroughly interesting insight @Aanchir so many thanks for the details! Out of curiosity what kind of things did they ask about in the interviews?
    LegoboyAdeelZubairlegomattGothamConstructionCo
  • mikedotcamikedotca Winnipeg, CAMember Posts: 14
    @TheBigLegoski the bakery in Billund does quite brisk business, especially with moving cakes, but a cookie shop even closer to the design house might do so well you won't need to tunnel in ;)
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,979
    A thoroughly interesting insight @Aanchir so many thanks for the details! Out of curiosity what kind of things did they ask about in the interviews?
    The Skype interview was fairly typical interview questions: "why do you want a job with the LEGO Group?", "why do you think you'd be a good fit for this position?", "how would you feel about relocating to Denmark?", etc.

    The in-person interview questions were more specific and situational, and I think they might have been more tailored to the individual candidates. For instance, "how would you feel if you put a lot of work into a project and then your design lead asked you to hand your model over to somebody else for completion?", or "if the rest of your team disagreed with you about how a design should be, how would you defend your position?" I wasn't as prepared for these questions and I'm not sure how well I did in the in-person interview. Again, a lot of that is because I've had so little on-the-job design experience.

    They're very interested in not just your ability to generate ideas, but how well you can function as a member of a team. They also ask candidates to bring their creative portfolios to the in-person interview and be prepared to describe some of their contents.

    Bear in mind that I didn't take thorough notes during either of the interviews, so I may be forgetting things. Unlike the Inside Tour, during which I somehow managed to take 16 pages of notes. o_O
    TheBigLegoskiLegoboylegomattLostInTranslationCapnRex101AdeelZubairGothamConstructionCocatwrangler
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski Amsterdam, NederlandMember Posts: 1,435
    edited June 2015
    Aanchir said:
    "how would you feel if you put a lot of work into a project and then your design lead asked you to hand your model over to somebody else for completion?", or "if the rest of your team disagreed with you about how a design should be, how would you defend your position?"
    Those can be real killer questions, aimed at tacitly psycho analysing and profiling you. The correct answer to such questions to a large extend depends on what the interviewer deems desirable him/herself, and fits within the corporate culture of that particular business, or department within it. As well as of course a particular psychological set of  character traits they are looking for within a person.

    That is something that struck me watching those bits about the job prospecting / recruitment scenes. I could not help but notice how the vice president of design (if that is the correct title; this really effeminate homosexual guy with the short grey hair), as well as these to other guys with the typical hipster look and matching beards, were really scanning to see if the person would fit into their team. How horrible it would be if you are potentially one of the greatest designers, thus a real asset to TLG, it is your life long dream too of becoming a Lego designer, but (hypothetically) fail to get hired because you don't conform to the whims and constraints of the in-crowd subculture on the work-floor, or the one person who holds the authority over it, even though you are actually next to creative also sociable, and a team player.

    Anyway thanks for sharing all this info, really enjoyed reading it. Success! All the best to you. Hope you make it next time you apply for a job at TLG.

    Vortex
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,548
    Thanks @Aanchir, it must've been a fascinating experience.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,979

    ...the vice president of design (if that is the correct title; this really effeminate homosexual guy with the short grey hair)...
    I'm guessing you mean Matt Ashton? Awesome guy. He's a fellow brony, and he designed Unikitty, my favorite LEGO Movie character! I'm a bit sad I didn't get to meet him on either of my visits to Billund.

    I'm not too worried about not fitting the corporate culture, because just from my experience it seemed like there WAS a lot of diversity, not just among designers but among my fellow applicants. There were designers of both genders from all over the world, and if there was any prevailing corporate culture, it was defined by friendliness, a willingness to help out, a love of LEGO, an ability to understand and tolerate constraints, a good sense of humor, being able to "think like a kid", and a passion for design. All of which are traits I always aspire to.

    Granted, I have Autism Spectrum Disorder, which often makes it hard for me to "read" others or pick up on subtext, so maybe there was some cultural undercurrent there that I simply didn't notice. But on the whole I felt like it was the kind of place where I'd be a great fit so long as I keep working on my portfolio and refining my ability to generate ideas and articulate them to others.
    AdeelZubairTheBigLegoskibeemoalijoezaccatwrangler
  • klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 727
    Huw finally smiled!  The narrative of the documentary to me  - the LEGO company has a cultish corporate culture, rather than AFOLs forming a LEGO cult. Having worked in several corporate cultures, I can state that they each have a unique vibe, whether deliberately formulated and fostered, or just organic imitation of management's philosophy.   I enjoyed the Birds designer segment and, as mentioned by TheBigLegoski, the sculpting and shrinking of the dog.
    TheBigLegoskiandhe
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski Amsterdam, NederlandMember Posts: 1,435
    Aanchir said:

    ...the vice president of design (if that is the correct title; this really effeminate homosexual guy with the short grey hair)...
    I'm guessing you mean Matt Ashton? Awesome guy. He's a fellow brony, and he designed Unikitty, my favorite LEGO Movie character! I'm a bit sad I didn't get to meet him on either of my visits to Billund.

    I'm not too worried about not fitting the corporate culture, because just from my experience it seemed like there WAS a lot of diversity, not just among designers but among my fellow applicants. There were designers of both genders from all over the world, and if there was any prevailing corporate culture, it was defined by friendliness, a willingness to help out, a love of LEGO, an ability to understand and tolerate constraints, a good sense of humor, being able to "think like a kid", and a passion for design. All of which are traits I always aspire to.

    Granted, I have Autism Spectrum Disorder, which often makes it hard for me to "read" others or pick up on subtext, so maybe there was some cultural undercurrent there that I simply didn't notice. But on the whole I felt like it was the kind of place where I'd be a great fit so long as I keep working on my portfolio and refining my ability to generate ideas and articulate them to others.
    Yes, you are right, I could and probably should have formulated that bit about Matt Ashton in a different manner. It might be interpreted as cross, when I did not intend to be slighting. I forgot his name, and did not feel like re-watching the documentary to retrieve his name, thus in this descriptive manner referred to him, though of course his sexuality, and his effeminate mannerisms were not in question or judged in any way, in case that may come across as such.

    I would like to ad that I appreciated him commenting in the Lego archive on how Lego was the only toy through which he and his brother, who was/is very different from him in character and interests, bonded and played together. It was heart-warming when he told that Lego might be a toy giving kids something great to do and cherish, and remember when many other things in their life aren't that great. I felt I could really relate to that last bit.

    Thanks for the input about your experience of TLG corporate culture. I was (and I guess I still may be a bit) skeptical about that, and was wondering if and to what extend behind the public image and reputation management there is some sort of corporate straight-jacket. E.g.: the Company Google for comparison, has as it's slogan: 'Don't be Evil', and also likes to present it self to the world as embodying high standing ethical values, yet at the same time has been accused of: IP theft; has been guilty of privacy violations; censorship; misuse and manipulation of search results etcetera; as well as ties to the NSA and CIA. I love Lego, though I am always critical if not sceptical of every large corporation that bears a lot of weight and influence. Though my mistrust of the corporate culture of TLG may very well be completely unwarranted.

    klatu003 said:
    The narrative of the documentary to me  - the LEGO company has a cultish corporate culture, rather than AFOLs forming a LEGO cult.
    I am kind of wondering whether it was the narrative of the documentary I bought in too much, or indeed the "cultish corporate culture" of TLG I have a tendency to resent. Channel4 often takes a somewhat tendentious and/or sensationalist approach which can be off putting. Towards cults in the religious and inherently authoritarian sense of the word, I just always feel a strong aversion, period!

    beemocatwrangler
  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,149
    Aanchir said:
    "how would you feel if you put a lot of work into a project and then your design lead asked you to hand your model over to somebody else for completion?", or "if the rest of your team disagreed with you about how a design should be, how would you defend your position?"
    Those can be real killer questions, aimed at tacitly psycho analysing and profiling you. The correct answer to such questions to a large extend depends on what the interviewer deems desirable him/herself, and fits within the corporate culture of that particular business, or department within it. As well as of course a particular psychological set of  character traits they are looking for within a person.
    This sort of question can be answered in a fairly consistently successful manner - answering the first one with something along the lines of:

    "I do like to see projects I work on through until the end, but I understand this has to be balanced against business needs and so don't have any problem with handing a project over. Your company is full of talented staff so I know that whoever took over would do a good job of completing the project".

    The second question with something like:

    "I would be open about the reasons why I made the decisions I did, and would explain what influences led to those decisions so that the rest of the team can understand why I made the choices that I did. I am happy to accept genuinely valid criticism and would have no problem with accepting recommendations to change my design where it makes sense to do so because the team has raised some good points."

    You can't go too far wrong with answers like these, but it's amazing how many candidates trip up. All employers are really looking for when they ask such questions is that you're not the sort of person that will get all pissy if you have a project taken off you or if the rest of the team disagrees with you - they just want to make sure that you're open to trusting the rest of the team and that you're willing to listen to and respect the views of the rest of the team whilst being able to show you are willing to defend your stance if you're justified in doing so.

    These things aren't too hard to demonstrate if you're prepared to answer, but a lot of candidates don't expect them, get caught off guard, fail to compose themselves and do answer in a way that doesn't paint the picture the interviewer is looking for. These sorts of questions are fairly common in the software development world, because it too requires the same traits for a team to operate well. Many people miss the intention of the second question specifically and believe it's a question that demands that you demonstrate how far you'll go to defend your stance, even if you're wrong, but it's exactly that type of response that interviewers want to search for to weed out candidates that are not team players.
    TheBigLegoskiGothamConstructionCocatwrangler
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski Amsterdam, NederlandMember Posts: 1,435
    edited June 2015
    @Xefan
    Brilliant comment!
    I think I would have answered those questions along the same lines. Silly of me that it did not occur to me to write down how I would have answered them when I responded to @Aanchir . As you say, many people who get caught off guard fail to provide the impression the recruiters are looking for. These questions are designed to weed out any hysterical tantrum feet stomping rage boys and girls  :s, as well as some other types of antisocial psycho types >:) . The thing is people can train themselves how to provide socially desirable answers to such questions (which is both good and bad), and at the same time does it not proof that people who mess up on such questions because they are stressed out for the interview, and fail to compose themselves are indeed in all cases not team-players etcetera.
    I suppose when it concerns social dynamics it is also about finding the 'right' match, pairing up people in order to create a good team that is harmonious, and has that creative spark that makes things happen and excel.
    It is sometimes somewhat of a mystery how and why it works or not. If you look at team-sport, for instance football (not even a sport I care a lot about) it is fascinating to see why sometimes the Dutch national team performs well with the same players with one coach but utterly fails to perform with another coach. Or why so many great players fail to function as a team, or lesser players make a better team, and as a team in the end perform better, than another team with many 'star players' etcetera.
    catwrangler
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,735
    I can't be the only one who immediately got this image in my head after reading your last few sentences?
    catwrangler
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski Amsterdam, NederlandMember Posts: 1,435
    ^
    Mmmmh... Totally spammed up to the brim with team.
    Team, team, team, team, team. tea, tada, tadum, tadumpty, dumpty dumm!
    Dude! I have no idea what that GIF is from. Who that guy in his pinstripe suit is, and what he was actually saying. Any lip-readers in the house!?!

    Things are getting absurd now.

  • mikedotcamikedotca Winnipeg, CAMember Posts: 14
    That looks to be the boss from the first series of the hilarious UK comedy IT Crowd
    TheBigLegoski
  • donutboydonutboy U.K.Member Posts: 763
    That's Chris Morris of Brass Eye fame that is. The clip is from the IT Crowd. He's awesome.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,735
    Indeed, this is the scene. When you said the word 'team' 6 times in 2 sentences and 'fail to function as a team' he immediately popped into my head :-)
    TheBigLegoskiaimlesspursuitslegomatt
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski Amsterdam, NederlandMember Posts: 1,435
    Been watching some clips from The IT Crowd, and it is all just so hilarious. I gotta go get and watch the complete series!
    Matthewlegomatt
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    For anyone that missed the Secret world of Lego,  it's on Channel 4 again tonight at 8pm.
    Shib
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    My mother has just informed me that the second Lego documentary,  Inside Lego at Christmas,  will be shown on Channel 4 on Boxing Day at 8pm and repeated the following Tuesday at 7pm. I shall be setting my recorder! 

    rdflegolegonut80Lego_StarandhePeteMGothamConstructionCo
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,315
    Presumably last Christmas?
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    I believe she said the blurb talks about the run-up to Christmas,  so it could be this Christmas? They were filming at Steam this year so I think it's unlikely it was filmed last Christmas. 
  • Captain_EyebrowCaptain_Eyebrow Test Valley, somewhere between Brickset Towers and Narnia . . . .Member Posts: 170
    I only buy the Radio Times once a year and I shall be highlighting that to be recorded!
    LostInTranslation
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,710
    I imagine a part of it will follow Bright Bricks and their seasonal Covent Garden displays? Not sure if they can confirm or not.
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    There is a picture of Duncan Titchmarsh herehttp://www.channel4.com/programmes/inside-lego-at-christmas so presumably yes @andhe
    andhekiki180703
  • tecjamtecjam Germany / SwitzerlandMember Posts: 255
    My mother has just informed me that the second Lego documentary,  Inside Lego at Christmas,  will be shown on Channel 4 on Boxing Day at 8pm and repeated the following Tuesday at 7pm. I shall be setting my recorder!
    Thanks for the info! Just a heads-up to people not living in the UK that want to watch this. With a free registration at filmon.com you get 1 hour of recording time, so you can set the show to be recorded and download it later. ;)
    kiki180703TheBigLegoski
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    Interesting; there's a woman in that photo that looks just like my wife ...
    LostInTranslationcheshirecatkiki180703
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    @bluemoose It's still confusing me talking to your good lady in her new office!

    Some of us were cut from the Christmas Episode, not enough drama :'(

    (I knew we should have filmed the heart attack!)
    andheSalamalex
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    edited December 2015
    Don't forget, the documentary is on for the first time tonight! 
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,837
    A preview of what's to come........


  • mountebankmountebank Member Posts: 1,237
    I'm watching this now. A couple of large glasses of red in it's a real treat.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,837
    "LEGO purists, look away now".
    andhekiki180703Salamalex
  • mountebankmountebank Member Posts: 1,237
    Legoboy said:
    "LEGO purists, look away now".
    The quote of the programme, no doubt.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,315
    Turned over and saw that bit. Turned over again.
  • KleiovousKleiovous UKMember Posts: 95
    "Inside Lego's Call Centre at Christmas" may have been a more appropriate title. 
  • AdeelZubairAdeelZubair London, UKMember Posts: 2,703
    edited December 2015
    Honestly all I cared about was the guys from Denmark and Bright Bricks' Christmas Train...
    Legoboy said:
    "LEGO purists, look away now".
    ...except that aspect of the process...

    The LEGO program that aired a few months ago was much better.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    The bits I saw were terrible.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,354
    I don't know if anybody else got the impression that LEGO was not presented very positively in that documentary. The call centre seemed chaotic and the head of marketing within the UK came across as totally incompetent. Embarrassing, really.

    I totally agree with @Adzbadboy, the earlier program was far superior.
    andhe
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,481
    @CapnRex101 - while i agree that the marketing woman didn't come across well i thought the call centre came off looking good, I've seen behind the scenes at a lot of call centres and every one was far worse than that.

    This episode was definitely not as good as the other one, i think the christmas theme to the show was really forced and considering when most of it was filmed just didn't create anything really that interesting to watch.
    andhecatwrangler
  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman UKMember Posts: 1,525
    : I think I remember you from last year.
    ; I wasn't here last year.
    TheBrickLaddkiki180703andheAdeelZubair
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,710
    What I really want to know is how many pieces that Kylo Ren shuttle has.
    LegoboyAyliffekiki180703
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 380
    I was disappointed that I was at work and unable to watch it, but it seems I didn't miss much? I'll probably watch it on catch up but I won't rush!
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,837
    ^Who cares?  It's challenging though.  ;)
  • BOBJACK_JACKBOBBOBJACK_JACKBOB ScotlandMember Posts: 554
    I was building while this was on and hardly paid any attention to it.

    It wasn't engaging enough to distract me from the wonderful Detective's Office!

    Bob
    kiki180703CommanderRaabkhmellymel
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    edited December 2015
    It was OK but definitely not as good as the first one. 

    Edit- @SirKevbags it certainly lacked some Fairy sparkle! 
  • COOLEGOCOOLEGO B'ham/SolihullMember Posts: 208
    "1005 pieces = challenging build, and in case you didn't catch that it's a challenging build with 1005 pieces."

    Agree with other comments above, the show was really a cobbled together, in informative nothingness. Oh well, at least I'll forever remember that the Kylo Ren build has 1005 pieces!!
    kiki180703
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 646
    Totally agree, very poor by previous standards.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,220
    The best bit about it was Bright Bricks. It was also kinda interesting to hear about the call volumes at Customer Services. Everything else was entirely forgetable, and I have zero interest in Mechabricks, or whatever it's called.
  • MrGudzMrGudz U.KMember Posts: 204
    It all felt all felt very rushed to me. The call centre would have worked better if it was explained what the Black Friday deals were. My misses was under the impression there was loads off of sets causing the huge spike in sales. 
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    Well they glossed over the fact that the Call Centre gets a peak in calls on BF weekend because the website is not able to stand up to peak traffic and add all the offers to your basket, thus requiring a phone call to check.
    kiki180703andhekhmellymelcatwrangler
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,153
    I don't know if anybody else got the impression that LEGO was not presented very positively in that documentary. The call centre seemed chaotic and the head of marketing within the UK came across as totally incompetent. Embarrassing, really.

    I totally agree with @Adzbadboy, the earlier program was far superior.
    I am getting the impression that the Danes just like to "wing it" a lot in business - I had a 4 month stint at a truly awful Danish plastic company after my Pharma employer of 13 years' Newcastle plant closed and I was made redundant. You will almost certainly have used their products but may never have heard of them as their product ultimately ends up in the bin - Faerch Plast, they make plastic trays for ready meals etc.

    They were ridiculously short staffed, ran their people ragged, staff turnover was through the roof, and in the short time I was there, 2 of their board of directors was off with stress. I was in a 37 hour a week job, putting in 55 hours for no extra and still had too much to do - I was also the first person to leave on a night from the management team. First time I have ever quit a job before I have had another lined up, it was that bad.

    That being said - Channel 4 documentaries like to ridicule  the content focus a lot, usually it is the easy focus of disgust, the lifetime dole wallers
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