Friday, October 01, 2010

My Recent Job Interview

Beginning October 4th I will be the proud employee of SealSource International. SealSource provides products for sealing and protecting commercial and retail flooring. Their products are the most technologically advanced available – the latest in Lithium Technology – and all products are “green.” You could even drink it if you wanted! (Note: I’d check what the calories are first. Also, I don’t think it’s cherry flavored, so it might not be delicious. You know what, just forget I said anything about drinking it.)

I’m on their sales team. (So I should check on that “you can drink it” angle. Might not be the main selling point.) I’m really excited about the opportunity.

My interview with SealSource was last month. It was actually a highly enjoyable job interview. How often can you say that? I never feel more exposed, transparent, or sweaty then during a job interview. I would rather watch a thousand Hannah Montana episodes (or “Party in the U.S.A.” twice) then go to a job interview. Such a peculiar animal. (Job interviews, not Miley Cyrus. And I think it’s important I make the distinction, because there’s room there for confusion.)

I’ve had my fair share of jobs, too. And that equals a diaper-load of interviews. My first three job interviews, post-college, looked a great deal like this:

My most fascinating job interview was with a digital imaging company. This was many years ago and my friend, Brent, turned me onto this opportunity, as he had been with the company on the technical support side of things for a number of years. He lined up the interview for me, then he called me a few minutes beforehand.

“Uhm…you’re interviewing with Bo…he’s the president of the company.”


“Yeah…uhm…he wants us to come to his house for the interview. He hasn’t come in to work yet. He….I’m sorry Ken, this whole thing is really unprofessional. Whatever you do, don’t wear a tie.”

Brent picked me up and we drove over to Bo’s house. We walked into his backyard, and I suddenly found myself staring at a very thin Elliot Gould, circa Ocean’s 11. The man had on a robe, shorts, flip-flops, sunglasses, a baseball cap, and thin cigar between his lips that had quit smoldering about 15 minutes prior. He claimed to be from Las Vegas, but if so, then he picked up a New York accent from hanging out with the mob for too, too long.

He was hanging out in his back yard, having one of his employees – I’m not making this up – fix his pool. We sat down at the patio table: me, Brent, Elliot Gould, and his other employee.

“So, Ken…tell me about yourself.” (Said in thick, Jewish, NY accent from Las Vegas.)

“Well, I was previously working at Now Defunct Bank of Nevada (name changed to protect…myself0, where we did $300 million in revenue last year.”

“And was that because of you?” (It suddenly became apparent this guy was trying to compliment me, no matter what I said or had done.)

“Well, no. I wasn’t a loan officer, I was the director of marketing. So, really, I would try to drive the business to the loan officers.”

“So, they couldn’t have done it without you, is that what you’re saying? Don’t be modest.”

“Well, I –”

“Can you create a marketing plan?”


(Looking at Brent, with a very smug look.) “That’s great, because Brent here hasn’t created one yet – and I’m sorry to say, Brent, my wife is very upset with you.” (Mrs. Elliot Gould is the CFO of the company.)

“Uhm…I’m tech support. I don’t think that’s my job…?” said a perplexed Brent.

“What else, Ken?”

“Well, I was working at Now Defunct Communications (name has been changed to protect me again)…but they are having financial difficulties.”

“Didn’t they know that before they hired you?”

“You’d think so.”

“So, they hired you to save them…but it was too little, too late.”

“I guess. Like I was hired to steer the Titanic.”

“You know…I saw Titanic yesterday for my third time…(wait for it)…powerful movie.”

We sat at that table for about an hour, experiencing tangent after tangent, before Bo/Elliot Gould stood up and announced, “Let’s take this conversation to a restaurant. You like steak?”

On the way out to the car he has me follow him into his house, where his wife was on death’s door with some kind of croup. I waited in the hallway, with Bo about ten feet from me, looking into a bedroom, and having a one-sided conversation with someone I hoped was his wife.

“We’re going to The Ranch House, do you want something? Why don’t you come here and meet Ken Craig. I know you’re sick, but he’s right here. Well, do you want something form the restaurant? I know you’re sick, just come meet Ken Craig…we’re on our way to the restaurant. What are you watching, Titanic?”

She walked out to meet me and shook my hand. And if whatever was making her feel that sick was on her hand, I was certainly not going to be eating steak before washing my hands. She looked like she had been praying for death and was hoping I could assist with her termination. We exchanged pleasantries, she whispered “Please kill me,” and Bo, Brent, Employee, and I left.

We sat down at the restaurant and Bo offered me the job. Boom. It was mine. He said he’d have to run it by his wife, the CFO, but as far as he was concerned, it was mine. Said he’d call me early the next week.

I never got that phone call. The next Sunday Brent told me that Bo/Elliot Gould had checked himself into rehab in Reno. But he said Mrs. Elliot Gould was still alive and still wanted to interview me. We met and she offered me the job, in between puffs on her non-Virginia Slim cigarettes. She said, “Well, I’m going to have to look at the books, but I think we can get you what you are asking for.” I never did get what I was asking for, because the next Sunday Brent told me she was filing for divorce and they weren’t sure what was going to happen with the company. I told him “You know what, Brent, I’m not really interested in the job anymore.”

However, I AM interested in the job with SealSource. I am thrilled to be a part of the team. And just so you know – this is a national sales position, so if any of you have connections to people who manage or somehow make decisions on the maintenance or construction of large portions of floor space, please keep me in mind! The company would pay for that business trip and I would pay to take you out to dinner wherever you would like to go! The first glass of SealSource product is on me!