Thursday, November 08, 2007

Undercover Work


Many years ago, a kind headhunter helped me land a job at Conoco -- My first ever Corporate I.T. job.

I remember the interview well, as I discussed a few standard topics with the hiring manager before he set down his paperwork, looked me right in the eye and asked,"Are you stoned right now?"

I replied that I was not and he asked me to start work the following week.

After I started, I found out the source of that question:

Apparently, the person who had just been interviewed for the same position moments before had seemed disoriented and bleary and had answered the same question with an honest, "Yes. I just smoked a joint in the parking lot."

By comparison, my interview was stellar. Since then, I've decided "by comparison" is the very best way to shine since the standards are set by others who are often, as it turns out, "on something".

I stayed in touch with that headhunter and over the years we have developed a special relationship. Often clients will post a position and schedule interviews and dismiss candidates who seem totally qualified on paper and then provide no feedback at all, leaving my recruiter friend at a loss.

Then he calls me, tells me he has scheduled a technical phone interview for me and I'm free to be as weird or competent as I like as long as I bring the questions asked back to the recruiter so he can figure out what they really want. A lot of times they ask complicated routing questions on server interviews or deep code-related questions on standard admin postings, so this helps my friend narrow down his own candidate pool. And when he is in town he buys me lunch (no Italian, plz).

Anyway, he scheduled one of those for me last Friday and I promptly forgot about it until they called at 3pm while I was in the car. I talked to them, answered a string of fairly standard questions, laughed about user idiocy and closed the interview as I normally would. I emailed my feedback to the recruiter on Saturday and moved on with my life. In short, I had no idea how they had interviewed seven people and not moved forward with the process if they were all even vaguely qualified.

But they made me an offer based on that interview.

And it is a good offer.

Plus, I may move to Ohio as a result of this offer which scares the hell out of me.

Either way, I just let my current employer know because doing the right thing is important for some reason that is difficult to remember when you create added work for people you like.

Ohio? That's not in Texas at all as far as Google Maps is concerned.


jganakos said...

You're not allowed to move. I forbid it. Seriously.

Garrick said...

That sounds like a challenge.

The post for Friday shows pretty clearly one specific place we will not be moving.