Tuesday, December 06, 2005

No need for a Thank You note

When I actually supervised a staff, the worst part of that job was doing interviews. Not that I didn’t like the people I met. I just can’t pay attention to the all that “qualified for the job” stuff. It’s like interviewing ADD. I’m too much a social person to be bogged down with all that information.

The benefit was that I had two managers, so I made them do all the prescreening and major interviewing. I’d tag team with them or better yet, would meet with the candidate afterwards and use big phrases like, “Well, let me tell you a little about the position” or “Was there anything said that needed more explanation.” Powerful non-committal statements are so great.

We had an open position last year. The two managers were prescreening some resumes and each selected their favorites. One manager picked a young woman who’d had a few years marketing experience. He definitely had a good eye for potential employees. The other manager, picked people he thought he’d have fun with or worked part-time at places that gave great discounts. He was gay and truly would make a better coffee hostess than a marketer. He was known more for his gossip than his abilities. (And no, I inherited him; I didn’t hire him.)

His latest submission was a young man who ran gym memberships at the YMCA. He was from South America, was incredibly handsome and easy on the eyes. His smile was captivating, but his knowledge of marketing could fill a thimble. It was all I could do to make conversation for the half hour meeting.

After an interview, we’d get together and discuss the candidate. My review of this particular gentleman was not too favorable, but I wanted to give the two managers their chance at learning to detect a person’s strengths and weakness.

Manager #1 said, “I think his overall marketing knowledge is a little below average but he shows abilities in networking and we’ve never thought about that in this role before.”

Manager #2 just looked up from his coffee and said, “I thought he was delicious.”

Decision made.


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