From appalled to galled

Subject: From appalled to galled
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- YAHOO -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 19:04:54 -0800

> If I went through an interview experience like that,
> I'd be willing to bet that the future in that job
> position was very dark, because I would be working
> for a controlling person who would tell me what to
> do in every step of my job, rather than one that
> would delegate a project & then let me run with it

I have one last clarification on this issue before Eric kills us all.
It comes in the form of a story...

When I was 21 I applied for a job as a computer operator. I showed up
to the interview in jeans and a t-shirt. The woman interviewing me
went through all the normal questions very professionally. Near the
end, she said this:

"Mr. Plato, you have many good skills and are quite articulate. I
believe you might be good for this position. However, I am a little
concerned with the attire you chose for this interview. When I
interview a candidate, I always dress nicely and show up on time. It
is my way of showing you that I am serious about this interview. It
is also how I demonstrate my respect for people who want to work here.
Your attire suggests to me that you are not very serious about this
job. I know that might not be the case, but it does give off a bad
impression. Nevertheless, you have many good skills and we will
consider your application seriously. However, in the future you may
want to consider better attire for an interview."

I was mad at this woman for a while, but not because she was an
a**hole, but because she was RIGHT. I was being lazy and I did not
take the interview seriously enough. Everyone else in the company wore
jeans and a t-shirt to work - but never to an interview. I wanted to
punch myself for being an idiot.

Needless to say, I never went to another interview again without
wearing my best suit. I also did not get that job.

You can be tactful and diplomatic yet still make it clear to someone
why they are not the best candidate. I do not think it is a waste of
time one bit to tell someone at the end of a interview why I do not
think they would work out.

REAL-LIFE CRITIQUE: "Dan, you have great writing skills and your
experience with UNIX is a real asset. However, I am concerned that
you did bring any samples with you, as I asked."

How is that a BAD thing to say to an applicant?
How come it is okay to tell someone they are a good fit for a job but
not okay to tell them they are NOT a good fit. Moreover, pointing out
concerns you have offers up a perfect opportunity for the applicant to
assuage those concerns. I am more worried about the interviewer who
has NOTHING to say than the one that says I am a dolt.

REAL-LIFE ANSWER "Well, Mr. Plato, I understand your concerns. I
certainly intended to bring samples. However, you know how companies
can be pretty restrictive about letting writers have copies of the
material they wrote. Perhaps I could e-mail you some samples this
evening for you to review."

(This guy got a job alright. That was a fantastic come-back.)

It seems *some* people want interviewers who offer up no response to
the interview and accept you at your word. I am sorry folks, we live
in a world of liars. ("I did not have sexual relations with that
woman"). Unless you can PROVE yourself and your skills, don't plan on
making it far.

"Thanks for coming, Tom. Sure, it is okay that you showed up late and
swear every third word. We respect all types of lunatics. I also have
nothing to say about you or your skills and there will be no
assessment of you in any way. Here at Wuzza Inc. we just assume you're
brilliant and creative like the rest of us. Welcome aboard. How many
stock options would you like? How can we nurture your amazing

Yeah, right.

Moreover, this has nothing to do with "control" or "creative
environments" as some people have suggested. The stark reality is: a
truly creative and innovative environment is almost always staffed
with bright, professional people who would never even THINK of
applying for a job without meeting the basic requirements of the job
posting, like "send a resume AND cover letter."

Moreover, you would be amazed at the level of freedom consultants at
my company have. All the more reason to ONLY hire the best of the
best. You have to be beyond insane to think a company (especially a
consulting organization which sells itself as the experts) is going to
hand you freedom and authority if you cannot even manage to meet the
basic requirements of a job posting like sending a cover letter.

I think it is rather humorous that some people think it is
"oppressive" that a company or a boss requests that employees be their
best and do the right things.

If you can't play ball with the pros, go back to the minors.

Okay, that's it. Now get back to work before we fire you for writing
these stupid posts!

Andrew Plato
President / Principal badly dressed loser
Yeah yeah yeah...
Get your free address at

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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