Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Unusual Practices

17 Comments

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?
  

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Unusual Practices

  1. several years ago when we just moved to memphis, my husband briefly considered insurance sales while he was looking for a full time IT position. They did the same personality type questionnaire, though it was probably a standardized test rather than hand writing analysis. I think personality is the predominate factor in successful selling so it makes sense to spend the majority of the time on it. That would be interesting to receive a handwriting analysis. I often ask kids when they first come to therapy what animal they and their family members are most like. It's a fun exercise that they enjoy and helps me understand pretty quickly about family dynamics. What animal would I be? Probably I would be a cat sitting outside meditating in the sun.

    Like

  2. I thought the whole thing a bit odd, but like I said, I've been out of the job hunting game for quite some time. I can hardly wait to get the results back. I'm so intrigued!If I were to describe myself as an animal I would be a horse coming from behind to win a race.If I could be any animal of my choosing I would be a dolphin gracefully swimming around the coral reefs. Got no clue what that says about me, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

    Like

  3. I've never experienced _anything_ like that when interviewing for a job!So interesting. If I were an animal I would be a sparrow. I'd sit on a telephone wire or on the thinnest tree branch I could find and watch the world above and below me. If I could be an animal of my choosing I'd be a sea otter. I'd swim so far out into the ocean with my otter-family that none of us could see the shore. We'd never get lost. It would just be a chance to float around wherever the waves carried us.

    Like

  4. (1) A turkey vulture gliding on a warm air current, or sitting atop a tree in horaltic pose.(2) A sea turtle, exploring the lands under the waves.

    Like

  5. 1) a tortoise – winning a race by a hair2) an otter – preparing legislation ('cause there otter be a law)

    Like

  6. That was an interesting interview. It's been awhile since I've interviewed, but I do believe that I've never done one such as that one you did. I have had answer personality type questions in interviews before. 1)a dog(probably a corgi because I'm short and somewhat squaty haha) lying in the sun. 2)A wild horse, the ones who live on the Outer Banks of NC. I'd be running in the surf.

    Like

  7. Heh. Never underestimate the ability of management to try the most positively deranged thing they can find, as long as it lets them continue to pretend that they know what they're doing. Strangely, managers who actually do know what they're doing don't ever seem to get around to implementing these oracle-consults-the-runes sorts of practices. That said, if I'm ever running a company, I'll probably require everyone I interview to undergo haruspication before I hire them. (If they refuse to let me sacrifice an animal as part of the hiring process, they're hired!)1. I'd be a squirrel; the squirrel would be climbing trees and storing food for the winter, and occasionally lobbing acorns at people. 2. Snow leopard, 'cause they are Just. That. Cool.

    Like

  8. After a few years of hiring people, mostly for sales positions, I found the most effective way was to have the candidate sit down for a few minutes of one-on-one with each person in the office. After the candidate left, I then compared notes with the people who would be working with him or her. Candidates selected that way worked out more often than candidates I selected entirely by myself.

    Like

  9. The thing is, is the handwriting analyzer qualified? :-)1. I am an animal. *grin*2. Demi Moore

    Like

  10. haha Zoe! Love you answer. Demi Moore :snickering:

    Like

  11. @Zoe & TAW,I wish I had thought of that! I'd take some "being Demi Moore"! Ooh or Gisele Bunchden!

    Like

  12. This was a lot of fun! Thanks for participating, everybody. It's interesting to see how diverse the answers are. I'm just so curious, though, Ahab. A turkey buzzard? Really? That's kinda…well…they pick at dead flesh!!! LOL! jkThis was really cool y'all!

    Like

  13. Looks like I'm tardy to the party, but:1) a dog-like cat: independent, but happy to be hanging out with my close friends.2) A flying squirrel: flying ('cause I'd like to fly, but I'd kind of like to have hands too. And I'm a little nuts at heart.)I get the screwy questions, but handwriting analysis? Really? That's so ineffective. He should have just had someone read your palms or do a Tarot card reading. 😉

    Like

  14. Many years ago I applied for an IT job and the job advert specifically stated, apply in own handwriting.Even then I was very much a sceptic on such things and the thought of my handwriting being analysed annoyed me to the point that at the end of the interview I asked why they had insisted on own handwriting.The reply was, that as a general rule, they found that the best technical people had the messiest handwriting.I got the job.

    Like

  15. If I was an animal, I would be a weasel. I would be weaseling.If I could be any animal, I would want to be a great white shark. Hopefully in an aquarium terrorizing small children.My partner is terrible at interviewing potential staff. He often leaves it so up in the air at close, they don’t know whether to leave, come in the next day at 8:30 a.m., or call back for another interview. He leaves it so gray…Not that I am much better. Often it is too difficult to determine the skill sets of a person until they attempt to perform the job. I generally can tell within a week whether they will pick it up or we should let them go.Ah…the horror stories I can give of staff hired over the years. One woman looked like a good prospect, came in promptly at 8:30 a.m., and seemed to be picking up the work. We were pleased with what we saw. At noon, she asked what local restaurants were available, we gave some suggestions, and she left for lunch.Never to return.Even left a number of personal items. Curiously, she did call about 4-5 weeks later, asking if the job was still available. We said, “No.”

    Like

  16. Yikes! I hope messy handwriting indicates a good sales person. My penmanship is atrocious, especially for a female. Okay, DagoodS, did you all run an office pool on what it was she did at lunch? The biggest doozy I had was the woman who wanted to say "It's a beautiful day at DoItRite Construction Company! How may I direct your call?" Then she paged the call recipient over the loud speaker. He was standing right in front of her. She didn't last but a few days and was driving the guys insane, giving out their cell phone numbers after repeatedly being told not to. I had to ask her not to come back. Maybe the woman did you a favor. LOL!

    Like

  17. D'Ma, LOL..You are still interested in the job???:)It all sounds crazy to me. Never had an interview like that. I did work once for a residential school where the interview lasted for two hours, and everyone's responses were video taped, and evaluated by a panel of folks, including a psychiatrist. Then there was a second interview…pretty grueling, let me tell you.Rebecca.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s