New Hire

[A man in his twenties approaches a glass door. Just before it, he pauses, takes a deep breath, and opens the door. He stands, waiting in a simple room with chairs and a desk with a sign-in book and an empty candy wrapper in a glass bowl. He says “Hello?” toward an open door and a hallway. Roughly a minute later, a woman in the hallway nearly passes the room completely before seeing the man. She turns sharply and enters.]

Secretary: “May I help you?”

New Hire: “Good morning, my name is David, and I’m here for my first day of work.”

Secretary: “Oh, is that today?! One moment — I need to go speak with — I’ll be right back.” [She shuffles hurriedly out of the room.]

[Muffled voices can be heard from the next room, quietly at first but growing in intensity and volume. David sweats nervously. A few phrases are understandable.] “When did we know…” and “…everything was supposed to be ready…” and “…dropped the ball!”

Albert: [A middle-aged man walks in the room abruptly.] “Who are you?”

New Hire: “David Hemingway.”

Albert: “Right, from the interview. Do you go by Dave or David?”

David: “David.”

Albert: “Follow me, Dave.” [He leads David across the hallway, into a large room filled with cubicles, and down an aisle to a cubicle near the center of the room. The secretary is close behind.] “Um, you will work here. Janet will get you a chair.”

David: “Thank you… May I ask what I should do for a computer?”

Albert: “What? Oh. A computer. Yes. Janet, get him one of the new ones.”

Janet: “We are out of new computers. Maybe he can use one of the old desktops.”

Albert: “No, those aren’t any good. I am sure we have…” [Voices fade slightly as Albert and Janet rush down the aisle of cubicles, talking sharply. David stands in a dusty cubicle, empty save a phone and several wires. He hears nearly every sound made in the large room through the thin cubicle walls. Vague muttering in a low voice comes from just over the wall opposite the entrance to the cubicle. The muttering stops. They come back shortly. Janet is carrying a large, older style desktop. Albert looks David in the eyes.] “You’ll use this computer. I’m not sure what’s on it, but it worked fine last time we used it… If you need to install any software, Janet will check over your changes before typing in the administrator password.”

[David nods silently. Albert walks away briskly. Janet moves a monitor from the cubicle across the row to his desk. She wheels in an office chair, then leaves. David stands with his hips facing the cubicle opening. He looks at his surroundings several times before he slowly begins setting up his workspace.]

How to Hire Employees

My company is about to do some hiring. I am a very busy man, but I make it a priority to let other things suffer so I can be completely involved in hiring the best people available.

I’ve seen more than my fair share of good résumés, probably totaling dozens over the decades. I have a knack for sizing up people based solely on their answers to my “strategic” questions during a thirty-minute. I can predict the success of applicants. I don’t waste valuable time researching an applicant’s character or passion. I hire right away once my highly selective criteria are met. These qualities make me great at hiring.

Résumés are a waste of time. They lie about the applicant’s GPA, work experience, and how their objective magically lines up with the plaque on the wall (you know, our “missionary statement” that we have just because all companies have to have one). Résumés make the applicant seem awesome and smart and perfect for the position. Even though I know he is lying, I want people that are great at sales, no matter the cost. The better the applicant can lie his way into being hired for the position, the more I want him on my team. Other than that, I use the résumé to see if he formatted it to my preference. I glance over it, as someone else has probably already studied it (this is just one of the many ways that I save time). The questions I ask are not related to his experience or interests, so it doesn’t matter much what’s on the paper.

Interrogation is the next method I use to find the perfect applicant. My questions are a series of riddles that tell me if the applicant can think through an odd, irrelevant situation to find “the absolute correct answer” in my mind, which will vary based on my judgment of the applicant. This way, I can see what how he will react when placed under pressure in an awkward situation with an irrational person demanding brilliant solutions to stupid scenarios. His response is prophetic of their success on my team.

Speaking of prophecy, I enjoy peering into the future to imagine how well I would do in his situation. How would I do at this job if I wore his shoes? I would probably do fine — they look pretty comfy. What about if I drove his car? I’d probably want a BMW just like the one driven by my potential future boss. How awesome would I be at this great company with an excellent boss as a mentor? I’d do excellently. I mean, who wouldn’t do well under my his tutelage? How much of a jerk would I be if I had that disgusting nose? Hey now, it’s just a nose; no need to make rash assumptions. These answers come to my subconscious and help me know without a doubt of a shadow if he is right for the job.

I used to spend time researching the person, having him in for multiple interviews, taking him out to lunch, calling references, speaking to former employers, and running background checks. Largely, that is all pointless! If he is good at lying, so are the people who I will ask about him. His references will attempt to ruin his opportunity to work for me out of envy. His former boss is lying because he is upset that his greatest employee left him high and dry to be fiercely loyal to my team. So is the ex-girlfriend, the one with the blog working out her emotional scarring from his apparently failed relationship with her. I would be scarred from breaking up with someone that awesome, too. You cannot let these character references throw you off the scent.

Lastly, I’m great at realizing that he is a good fit. I determine that he has the ability to do the work. (I can always teach him to have the desire to do it later on.) I check that he has the proper experience, which is verified by the correct words on their résumé. I prophesy that his interviewing skills automatically translate into how well he will do the work. I confirm that he at least hints that he is vaguely interested in the work.

If he has gotten this far into the half-hour interview without leaving out of frustration, I hire him.