Monday, December 02, 2013

The Best Job Interview Ever

If there's one thing the internet has over-delivered, it's bad advice.  Thanks to modern technology, you can now obtain as much stupidity as you can download, most of which is free for the asking.  And if you're really a dope, you can even pay for it.

All kinds of gurus have all kinds of theories on just about everything.  At the time of this writing, the American economy is still stymied by a high unemployment rate, so there's a flood of quackery built around the best ways to interview in order to win the job. 

Let me be clear:  I am not an employment expert.  As I've repeatedly proclaimed, I'm a branding guy.  To me, what should happen isn't nearly as important as why it will be effective.   Some experts compose lists of what you should wear.  Others point out what colors to avoid. Wisdom, it seems, arrives in a variety of fashions, so I'm going to toss my hat into the ring with something I believe is more effective when it comes to "winning the job interview:"

A true story.

It was a dark and stormy night.  Actually, it was a dark and stormy day.  I mean, it was raining so hard and the cloud cover was so thick that at ten o'clock in the morning it felt more like six o'clock at night.  Big, black-bottomed clouds covered the sky for as far as the eye could see, dumping buckets of rain that flooded the streets.  As the owner of the business, I'd braved the torrents to make it into the office on time, only to find my entire staff absent.  The storm had pretty much stranded them in their homes.

All of this was happening in Los Angeles, which meant the rest of the country was completely unaware of the second coming of Noah's flood, meaning that our clients had no idea what we were going through.  To make things worse, I was in the midst of hiring more staff, many of whom were scheduled to show up for interviews that very day.

Only one person showed up.

She walked in -- right on time -- sat down and introduced herself.  Just her and me in an otherwise completely empty office.  We hadn't been chatting for more than a minute when the phone rang.

"Excuse me," I said.  "Nobody is here today so I have to answer this."  I took the call, made it short and got back to the interview.  Within the next minute, another call rang through.  Then line two started blinking.  I put line one on hold and answered line two.  Which is precisely the moment line three began ringing.

Without missing a beat, the young woman picked up line three.  "Rob Frankel's office," she announced. "He's on another line just now. May I take a message and have him call you back?"  Then scribbled down the caller's information and hung up the phone.  She waited for me to finish up my call and handed me the note.  I ended the call on line two.  Then I ended the call on line one.

Then I looked at her and said, "You're hired."


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