Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sailin' On The Hire Ground

Like Moist Rub, I also use Yahoo as my portal to the Internets and enjoy reading their headline advice to see how I’m screwing up my life and how their experts can make it better. Here’s a portion of their recent feature on interview tips:

What Are Your Revealing?
Look in the mirror: If too much is showing, don't wear it! While low-cut blouses or shirts are in fashion, most are inappropriate for the workplace, including the initial interview. The interviewer could possibly be distracted by the inappropriateness of the candidate's attire and therefore not focused 100% on the interview. This is unfortunate for both parties; the candidate may not be getting the positive reaction to answers they want, and the interviewer may be less apt to probe for the information they need to make a solid hiring decision.
-- Joelle Thies, staffing specialist recruiter, Wells Fargo

Joelle sounds like a girl’s name. So her advice only applies if the interviewer is female. If the interviewer is male, then he may be distracted enough by the candidate’s attire to not notice the inappropriateness of the candidate’s experience or answers. And possibly be even more apt to probe.

Joelle also generalizes here based on her experience with the obviously stuffy Wells Fargo organization. Perhaps some lass is interviewing for a cocktail or bartender job. Then such attire might even be considered an asset. Just like sunglasses girl.

Who is sunglasses girl? I’ve mentioned her three times previously in this blog. She was a younger, brunette version of Charlize Theron who worked at the sunglasses store at the mall I used to work at. (No, I’m not a mall Santa or security guard or escalator repairman.) Anytime they had a hot girl working there, you could see increased traffic at the store and purportedly increased sales. Even more so if her garb was more revealing. Anytime you had a dorky guy working there, they might as well been selling Meat Loaf 8-track tapes or just plain meat loaf. But I digress. Although please don’t bring up meat loaf during an interview – neither sweaty rock stars nor comfort food is a good topic.

You see, I almost fell into the same trap that Joelle did. Maybe meat loaf would be a good topic if you were applying for a job as a cook at The Cheesecake Factory or trying to market sweatbands to musicians.

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to interview people for jobs. I usually ended up seeing one of two types. The first type is one that you probably wouldn’t even hire even if the only job responsibility was to keep breathing, because you’re afraid they might find a way to screw that up and it would be a real nuisance to have to write somebody up for holding their breath. The second is the overly polished and practiced candidate that won’t give you anything but over-rehearsed, generic answers that leave you wondering what they’re trying to hide. That’s when I like to ask them an off the wall question like, “What would you do if you were chosen to be Miss America?” I haven’t crowned anybody to date.

And my top four interviewee moments:

4. A girl interviewed with us for a logistics job and was wearing a polo shirt for a court reporting school. I asked about it and she said she was going to school to become a court reporter. Maybe my flowing judge robe and powdered wig threw her off, but I don’t think she read the job description too closely.

3. During the obligatory “do you have any questions for us” portion of the interview a candidate asked, “Yes, do you drug test?”

I actually hired him.

2. One guy showed up with his hand heavily bandaged/splinted. I was making conversation while we were sitting down and asked him what happened. He replies, “I guess I have a bit of a temper.” Then I guess I’ll try not to piss you off and I'll let you know that you didn’t get the job via US mail.

I personally was interviewing for jobs after college with a broken ankle but had enough sense not to tell them that it happened because I was drunk and fell off a sidewalk. I lied and told them I broke it playing softball, and I almost got one job because they were looking for players for their company team.

1. And finally, we were asking a candidate about his typing skills – whether he was pretty fast on the keyboard or more of a hunt and peck person. His reply – “I guess you could say I’m a pecker.”

Thank you, good night, drive safely.


interleper said...

Your last candidate reminds me of the time that I was undergoing a procedure at a teaching hospital. A cute male intern, who was about to inject me with contrast dye, leaned over and forewarned "Now, you're going to feel a little prick".

"Let's just stick to the x-ray", I replied, sending his female counterparts fleeing from the room. I wonder if he’s still in medicine…

Thanks for the laughs --

LL said...

I know of an interviewee who asked "What does your company do?"

And no it wasn't me...

It was Sid.

del901 said...

We have one candidate who, when asked about audit files, told about how he would delegate that task to the junior. He didn't seem to get the fact that he was going to be the junior, if hired.

We had a contractor, who was hoping for a contract extension, and didn't understand why he didn't get it. I wonder if it could be anything to do with the fact that he was telling out clients that the previous auditor was an idiot. And the previous auditor (not, not me) was there to hear him say it.

HR said...

This is what I have to look forward to? Maybe I'll homeschool.

keysunset said...

No, I’m not a mall Santa
I'd envision you as the store Santa from A Christmas Story or Bill Murray's "Evil Santa" (from National Lampoon's Radio Hour). :-D

Hmm, so job candidates fell into one of those two categories huh. I'm glad I found a sugar dadddy so I don't have to interview for jobs anymore ....


eam said...

I know a place that purportedly used the wall test to hire/not hire.

If you're not familiar, passing the wall test means the female candidates' breasts hit the wall first. Failing means any other part of her body does. Male candidates were apparently not under consideration.

There was one woman who worked at this place, I think she used different criteria, but apparently the men would overrule her if neccesary.

And it especially ties into this post's title, as it was a marine company.