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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Interview Interuptus

By Patrick Donston

Store Owner, Absolutely Fish


A few weeks ago, I scheduled an interview for a potential new employee. I usually have phone interviews first before I make any decisions on who I want to see in person. This particular applicant is a college student, sophomore year, and a customer of ours looking for part-time work. I liked how the young candidate presented himself over the phone, so I brought him in for the in-person interview.

For the interview, he arrived on time (a big plus for me). After an application is filled out, I never do an interview on the spot, as I want to test their tardiness. Showing up late is usually a sign of their character in regards to the importance they take about the job--a big flaw for me to hire.

So far, the interview is going well. I like the conversation we're having and he seems to be enthusiastic in wanting to learn about aquarium keeping. Then all of the sudden, his cell phone goes off in his pocket (bing-bing). He looked slightly embarrassed, reached into his pocket and stopped it. I ignored it, went on with what I was saying and a few minutes later…bing-bing. Now, I looked at him right in the eyes as he struggled for a second time to shut the phone off. I wanted to see his reaction and get a feel for him. Does he realize this is wrong or is this okay with him?

He looked up at me and said, "I'm sorry.” I moved on to conclude the interview. I'll always end by explaining what we'll be expecting from them if a position is offered. I think it is crucial to set the standards at the interview. I also want the candidates to understand who we are, and know the rewards that follow. I hope they will have an idea of what they're in for before I even make my decision or they accept an offer.

As I'm in the middle of my conclusion regarding this candidate…you guessed it…bing-bing. Now, keep in mind at this point I like the candidate. What do you think I do next? What would you do?

Stay tuned …

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