Monday, April 27, 2009

On (and Off) the Hook

Midtown Starbucks, 3:30pm, Monday.

Businesswoman: Well, I wanted to tell you, we were very impressed with your resume. You've got a really excellent set of credentials and some fantastic experience.

Candidate: Thank you.

Businesswoman: You're welcome. We were all very impressed.

Candidate: Thanks. That's great. I'm glad.

Businesswoman: No, we were! And we thought you had so many strengths in so many areas, all of the skills we need, except for one area, and that is actual management. Working with the unions, working with customers who have questions.

Candidate: Right. OK.

Businesswoman: And you know, a lot of things you can learn on the job. You've certainly had a lot of experience in everything else. But you would need to learn. Because, what do you do if someone comes and we're all sold out but they have a reservation? Which things need to be addressed by unions, which don't? You could definitely learn it all, there's no question of that, but you don't have that experience right now.

Candidate: No, you're right, I don't.

Businesswoman: And other candidates have experience in this. But they don't have some of the experience you have in other areas.

Candidate: Hmm.

Businesswoman: So Jamie and Curtis and I had to really talk about this. We really worked hard and struggled with this.

Candidate: Ok.

Businesswoman: And we've decided that we don't think you have the qualifications for the job.

Candidate: Ah.

Businesswoman: Not that you couldn't have the qualifications, because you totally could. But the thing is, you don't right now. You have all sorts of other parts that we are actually looking for, but you don't have this.
And I wanted to tell you in person because we were really impressed with you. If you had a little experience in this one area, you would be an ideal candidate.

Candidate:....

Businesswoman: And personally, I don't believe in form letters or calls on answering machine messages. I feel like people are so much better happier -- I mean, I know, you're not thrilled, you're probably not psyched that I'm telling you you didn't get the job, you're probably like God, this really sucks. But when we can sit down and talk, and I can be like, you are really great, but you need help with this one area, I think that's helpful.

Candidate: Hmm. Well...thank you. I ... understand. I do want to say, I have worked for a number of start-ups, and that work always involves having to learn new things very quickly, doing in-depth research. I feel very confident at this point in doing that.

Businesswoman: Mm-hmm. Yeah. But you don't have that experience right now. You could have it, you so could, but you don't, not yet, and so what if we hire you and then what happens if someone is locked out? Or there's a problem in the kitchen. How do you handle that? Could you figure it out -- of course you could. But you don't know right now.

Candidate: Hmm. Uh, Ok. Well...

Businesswoman: But I just want to say, your resume is really, really impressive. Seriously. (laughs) I'm not laughing at you, I'm just really impressed.

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