At a 1-1 interview I can easily gauge whether a person is "teachable" and what kind of investment, time-wise, financially, and emotionally they're going to require from me. That's where our new social media and marketing intern, Tiara** (lets call her for purposes of anonymity) comes in.
She was everything you could ever want from a candidate. She had:
- Charisma: Great bubbly personality and lovely diction
- Intellect: School smarts and a nice GPA
- Compassion: She had volunteered at multiple organizations and knew how to serve others
- Inspiration: Her background told me that she valued our mission to help students get their #LifeDegree because she'd learned things the hard way herself
What she didn't have was experience and in this next season I needed someone that was a self-started and could hit the ground running. I was disheartened and really ping-ponged in my head whether I should give her the job offer and know that I'd need to do 2x the work to teach her social media and marketing basics rather than just doing it myself until another candidate came along. The problem was I didn't have time.
It's always an interesting time interviewing candidates for new positions. Most of them have no idea how much work it is on the other end, when an employer really cares about company culture and the right fit then alot of work needs to be done in preparation for on-boarding someone.
That's right, not all of us lay back nonchalantly and don't give a crap about who they're interviewing. Why, well..
- We don't wanna waste OUR time. I look at a resume or cover letter ACTIVELY. That's means reading between the lines because I've been coaching students how to write these puppies under Workforce101 for far too long to be naive enough to think that people won't fluff things up. Sometimes they even don't know their worth and so when I see where they volunteer or their summer jobs working their butts off in the service industry building that good 'ol thick skin.
- The interviewee needs to fit the vibes of what's already been established. One bad apple can really spoil the bunch. So, before the interview they take a nice and free Myers-Briggs Personality Test that is fairly accurate and at leasts set a nice outline down for what their personality, even workplace habits, and strengths/weaknesses are. That way I can see if first, they mesh with me, and then if they mesh with some of the other teammates.
Tiara fit the vibes, she was just the kind of person that I wanted but that TIME piece… man it just wasn't something to play with. Ultimately, I decided NOT to offer the job. Two days later I get an email from her:
Dear Mrs. Borana Hajdinaj,
How was your day? This is Tiara. After our talk on Friday I reviewed your website again and I realized that I enjoy talking with you very much because you are a really nice person and I really want to work with you! As you mentioned this is a good time in my life to learn while I work.
Also, I always want to be a kind person and be in contact with nice people. I believe if you have an idea about helping those students who get confused in their orbits of life and give them a hand to help them out of their abyss, you must be a really nice person. When I was a young girl in my primary school, what I wanted to do when I grew up was to become a teacher, because as a teacher, I could help a lot young kids build their life goals and let them know what is important and necessary for one's life.
If I were to get hired, I would definitely help anyone who is in their darkest time. I have passed my dark nights of the soul myself, and I know how horrible it is during that time. It is unendurable and hopeless. I don't want anyone to experience this kind of feeling. I will do my best to help them with the skills I have and learn more to be able to do the job as needed.
What I have to say is I really like you and enjoy talking with you! I really want to work with you and have this as my first "Adult" job experience. Could you please consider me again, please?
Now you know I took this gutsy act, aka COURAGE, as a HUGE PLUS.
I thought about it and told her that I would offer her the position under 1 LARGE CONDITION, she had to be a self-starter and be more disciplined than she could ever have imagined to learn everything that she needed to learn without me feeling burdened. After another brief email exchange I took the leap of faith. Her courage had paid off.
What's the message here, perseverance really gets you far. People want to work with individuals that will push for what they believe and will even give them a chance if initially they were faltering. If there's anything you can say or do to bump yourself up a bit in someone's eye, that you really believe that you're right for the job and it can be mutually beneficial… GO FOR IT!
You Live. You Learn.