Sunday, September 25, 2011

Interviewing and The Bachelorette

As you know, I just landed my next gig. It didn't turn out to be a gig after all; it's a full-time, in-house job. During the 12 years I spent consulting, I was always subtly selling myself. It's a natural part of networking and lining up your next project.

So, when I interviewed for this job I didn't view the process as a one-sided Q&A session. It was simply conversations, a bit about me, a bit about the company, much more about the industry, market opportunity and the challenges the company is trying to solve. It's a lot like going to coffee with a friend except that I prep and doll up.

While I had this new mentality, I realized how much the traditional job hunt has in common with the TV show no one admits they are addicted to: The Bachelorette. The Bachelorette's goal is to find the perfect husband. The Employer's goal is to find the perfect hire.

The initial selection.
  • The Bachelorette chooses from 25 pre-selected men.
  • The Employer weeds through many resumes.
Narrowing down the playing field.
  • The Bachelorette talks to all the men and eliminates suitors who dis their previous amours via a dramatic rose ceremony.
  • The Employer screens the candidates by phone and eliminates the ones who say rude things about their previous employers.
The challenge.
  • The Bachelorette puts the men through exercises such as boxing, zip lining, and a mock wedding to test their mettle.
  • The Employer drills the candidates on how they would handle situations such as witnessing an employee using the color laser printer to create the Star of the Week poster for their kindergartener.
The suck up.
  • The Bachelorette tries to sell the bachelors on why she is the best thing since the advent of the Internet.
  • The Employer tries to sell the prospective employee on their company culture (we have Segway races at lunch and bagels on Friday mornings!), their promote from within philosophy (nearly always BS), and their benefits package (yes, domestic partner healthcare coverage).
The confirmation.
  • The Bachelorette expects and looks for signs that the men are all about her, even though she is dating more than one of them. Failure to profess that the Bachelorette is the be all, end all results in the Bachelorette depriving the man of a rose.
  • The Employer expects and looks for signs that the candidate is only interested in them. Failure sell the Employer on their devotion to the potential employer results in questioning the candidate's interest in the position.
The offer.
  • The Bachelorette selects the man she wants to marry and hopes he proposes.
  • The Employer extends a job offer and hopes the candidate accepts it.
And they all live happily ever after. Maybe.

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