I had to break out my resume and apply for a job. While my long-term goal is still to build and grow my own accounting service I have to have an income while I do that. A girl’s gotta eat. So I’ve been sending my resume out to any accounting related job, plus one that wasn’t. I hadn’t heard back from any of those until last week when I heard from the job that isn’t accounting related. It’s an upscale high-end furniture store in sales. I am by no stretch a sales person, but I do love furniture and fabrics and putting a room together. It’s not like I’d be pushing used cars or anything.
I’ll admit, having worked at the same place for the last fourteen years, hiring practices may have changed just a little. Besides, I’ve only had four job interviews ever and I got each of the four jobs I interviewed for. My experience is limited. This is what happened. The store’s general manager called me to schedule an interview based on the resume and cover letter I sent in response to their ad for of all things, you guessed it, sales person.
I go for the interview and am prompt. The general manager greets me, invites me into his office, and begins to speak. He asks me no questions. He explains the three things that he perceives to be drawbacks to the job . A) The hours: Monday through Friday 9-8 and Saturday 9-6. Three of the days would be 9 until 6 and two of the days would be 11 until 8 or vice versa. Work is every Saturday with another day off during the week. What most consider holidays would be work days as that is when they have big sales and are their biggest days. B) It’s commission pay. C) Closing. Not the store – the sale. At some point after a rapport is built it has to be brought to a conclusion. Ma’am do you want this couch?
I knew all of these things when I sent my resume in. It was for a sales person at a furniture store. Not rocket science. After he’s explained all of this to me he sends me away to think about whether I’m still interested in the job. Tells me to chew on it and call him back in a day or two. Which I did. I called him to tell him I was still interested and we scheduled a follow up interview. So I arrive a few minutes early, he greets me, invites me into his office and asks me a solitary question: “Why do you want to be in sales?”. “I don’t really fancy myself a sales person. I don’t think I would be good at selling cars or insurance or ink pens. But I could sell furniture because I love it.” “Thank you, D’Ma, for your honesty. Now we need to do a personality profile to make sure you’re a good fit. We’ll send this off to the handwriting analyst and he will tell me your strengths and weaknesses.” Huh? Is this really a process for hiring an undercover CIA operative or is this selling furniture? but by this time I’m so intrigued that I continue with the personality profile.
He places three sheets of paper in front of me. The first one is a values statement. It’s two columnar lists of twenty one “values”. The first column is values I wish for and the second one is of values I currently hold. I’m to order them by personal priority 1 through 21. Things like “get rich quick at the expense of others”, “have fun on the job”, “have peace of mind”, “integrity in your work” fill the first column and things like “courteous”, “clever or smart”, “laziness”, “religious” fill the second. The second sheet of paper was a complete the sentence thing. “If I were to describe myself as an animal I would be a ______”, “What would this animal be doing?”. “If I could be any animal I chose I would be a ________”, “What would this animal be doing?” “My favorite color is ______”, “My next favorite color is _________”, “My next favorite color is _____”, “My least favorite color is _______”. Finally the last sheet of paper I had to write a paragraph about any topic, nothing to personal, but any topic of my choosing.
Now, I realize that I’ve been out of the game for a while, but this seems a bit odd to me for hiring a person to sell furniture. That was the end of the interview. He’ll call me back in a couple of days when he has the results of the personality profile for the really real interview. I didn’t need to do a personality profile on the interviewer to know some things about him. He’s hyperactive, OCD, and has adult ADD. I thought these things after I left the first “interview” which wasn’t the really real interview. I knew them after the second not really real interview. He revealed these things to me while he was telling me that the handwriting analyst told him these things from his handwriting on a fax coversheet. I could have told him that within five minutes of talking to him. Despite those things, which I would normally find annoying, I kinda like the guy and am curiously still interested in the job. Besides, you know, that eating thing.
I find this to be a relatively unusual hiring practice for what I would categorize as a relatively low-level position. What about you? Have you encountered any unusual practices in your daily dealings lately? And just for a a little fun complete the following sentences:
If I were an animal I would be a ________________.
What would this animal be doing?
If I could be any animal of my choosing I would be a ________________.
What would this animal be doing?