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an afternoon of interviews, part one July 2, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Getting Hired.
Tags: , ,

The Daily WTF is a great blog if you’re a programmer or coder. If you think your job is crazy, the Daily WTF will make you realize that it could be worse. Recently they posted stories of crazy interviews. As a former manager, that made me think about the one time I did a whole afternoon of interviews.

This is as dressy as I expect anyone to be when I interview him or her. No ties, please. (photo by apes_abroad)

This is as dressy as I expect anyone to be when I interview him or her. No ties, please. (photo by apes_abroad)

At the time, I was looking for one part-time employee to work 12 hours per week. I spent two weeks collecting resumes, then reviewed them and decided on the four best. My personal method is to give each resume a number, one through four; fours definitely get called, threes probably do, twos might, and ones don’t. In that crop of resumes, I had no fours, a few threes, a few twos, and an awful lot of ones — see, one of my barriers to entry is that you have to follow directions, and I explicitly said applicants should paste their resumes into the body of an e-mail, instead of attaching them separately.

You’d be surprised how many people who desperately need jobs but refuse to follow the directions.

The first interview was with Jorge. Jorge had a good background in security systems, and seemed dependable. However, when he got to the office, I realized that he wasn’t going to be right for the job. First of all, he showed up in a suit and carrying a briefcase; anyone dressed like that wasn’t going to be happy with a 12-hour-a-week job. I interviewed him anyway and found out that (a) he wasn’t all that good at communicating in English and (b) he wanted a full-time job. Well, where I used to work we talked to a lot of PR agencies and while it was fine to have an accent people had to at least be able to comprehend you, and anyway I didn’t have any full-time work available.

The second interview was with Katrina. Katrina was very pretty, and I’m not too ashamed to say I checked her out several times while we were talking. She was just out of college, living at home, and looking for part-time employment. Her degree was in the field, and she was quite professional. She made quite an impression (and not just because she was attractive), and I felt confident that, if I hired her, she would do a fine job.

The third interview was with Jan. Jan worked for another company in the same field, though not a direct competitor — we’d hired from that company before, and I knew it would be all right with my regional manager if she worked part-time for us. We talked a lot about her full-time job, half to make sure it wouldn’t interfere with this one and the other half because it was interesting to me. She had some experience doing what I wanted, and I certainly liked her, but I knew I wouldn’t be hiring her that time around.

The fourth interview was with Alan. Alan was a perfect example of a manager keying on someone he likes for all the wrong reasons. Alan was an extremely smart guy with a lot of technical know-how, and I was convinced he could do the job, but more than that I immediately liked him. We shared the same sense of humor, we laughed at each other’s jokes, and we generally had what most people would call a good interview.

The fifth and final interview was with Tanya. If I thought Katrina had assets, I hadn’t seen anything yet. Tanya was professional, and like Jan she worked for another company in the same arena — part-time there, though, so she had plenty of time to work for me — but I couldn’t stop staring because… well, I’m sorry, and I know it makes me sound like a pervert, but she was extremely well-endowed*. She was professional and knowledgeable, and she was literally looking for just a few hours a week, not for any sort of advancement. She was actually hoping to get promoted at her other job, but it wasn’t looking likely so she needed the extra income. I totally understood and respected that.

So. Five potential employees. One position. One choice. Who did it end up being?

I’ll tell you tomorrow.

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* A female employee later noted that she had, and I quote, “ginormous ta-tas”. Never let it be said that my employees didn’t feel comfortable around me.



1. an afternoon of interviews, part two « corporatespeak - July 3, 2009

[…] an afternoon of interviews, part two July 3, 2009 Posted by That Guy in Getting Hired, Management. Tags: callbacks, gut instinct, job seeker, Management trackback (Read part one here.) […]

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