The other day I found myself, as usual, plugging away on my laptop at my local Starbuck’s. A young lady sat near me interviewing a young man for a job as a salesperson at the EB Games (a video game shop) next door. I thought it might be interesting to capture bits of their conversation, in an effort to provide some critical analysis of it here in my blog (yes, I’m bored).
From what I gather, she is the store manager, and he is a recent college graduate. I expected that as a recent college grad, I would find him to be weak in the interviewing arena. Having interviewed hundreds of fresh college graduates over the years, I have learned to hire primarily based on performance potential, and not solely on their experience or interviewing prowess. In a very surprising development, it turned out that the interviewer was the one who needed help! Her performance was so egregious that I completely forgot about the young greenhorn in the interviewee’s chair.
Here are my notes – taken chronologically:
The following are some of her prize-winning comments (along with my commentary), as captured quickly by me on my laptop (I swear I’m not making these up):
1. “I am very sarcastic; some people think I’m a b*tch.”
2. “I’m also a very hard boss.”
3. “When I’m not #1, I get very upset.”
4. “I don’t care how you get to your sales goals, as long as you get there.”
5. “I don’t have any direct management experience, but I am ahead of my peers (fast tracker) because I was hired to be a manager without any experience.”
6. “My boss, the regional manager can be a ‘flaming a**’ sometimes, and can be very demanding, but he is a good guy, so don’t be nervous when you interview with him.” Oh yeah, that’s going to help him relax! Sheesh!
7. Now she is telling him stories of her firing someone, and she seems to be quite exuberant over it. Her youth is showing. Her lack of experience is also quite obvious, even without her stating it. Perhaps one day, when she gets canned for something, she will be a bit more respectful when dealing with this subject.
8. Now she is telling him that she ended up getting about $1,500 worth of “freebies” from the store over the past year (games, accessories, etc). I don’t even want to know.
9. Now she is complaining about how corporate HQ sets high sales expectations for the store over the holidays and how she can’t stand them.
10. I now know what this poor fellow will earn salary-wise if he is hired. That’s always good info to circulate in public. I also learned that if he impresses her boss in the next interview, the boss can possibly sweeten the deal to a slightly higher number. It’s always nice to reveal your negotiation strategy up front. On the plus-side, it turns out I chose the right career path from a financial standpoint.
11. Now she is taking a cell phone call from her husband/boyfriend, and she is “baby talking” with him.
12. He asked “what happened to the guy named Chris that worked there?” She said she fired him and proceeded to tell him why she had to fire him. I’m sure Chris appreciates the public plug and violation of his privacy. Perhaps I should give Chris a referral to a good human resources lawyer.
13. She is openly telling him what the sales quotas are for the store this month. Glad the competition (or E.B. Games corporate counsel) isn’t sitting where I’m sitting enjoying a mornin’ cup.
14. Finally, she told him that if he wants to become an entry level manager, he will be asked to learn how to talk to his employees and deal with situations that come up. I should send her a copy of this blog entry along with a note that says “Practice what you preach!”
As is evident by the store manager’s flagrant violation of most of the generally accepted rules of interviewing, she clearly could stand to improve her skills as an interviewer. It’s too bad I have an appointment in half an hour, otherwise I’d show her this blog entry. We could turn this into a parlor game, though. At which point above you would have walked away as the candidate?