Blog Archive

Patio Job Interviews . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I wouldn’t recommend talking to a recruiter for the first time while sitting on a shaded patio on the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend, two ice-cold Harps already consumed and another one steadily declining in value.

The ambient noise alone is barely conducive to serious human conversation, much less business talk where I was supposed to be selling myself, my accomplishments and my track record as a man not to be ignored when it came to her time. That’s the thing about recruiters – it all boils down to their time and once they feel you are no longer an ideal fit for the job or someone who would embarrass them in front of a client, then they will disappear down a rabbit hole, never to be heard from again.

She was on the West Coast, so it was only 1:45 p.m. PST and I guess it was still reasonable to try to find people. But her call surprised me and since I couldn’t manage to gracefully exit the conversation, I found myself walking to a quiet corner to brag in subtle yet confident tones and supply answers that would grant me access past her gatekeeper function.

Strangely enough, 2.5 drinks is a damn near ideal amount of alcohol to further your own opinion of yourself while limiting any shades of self-doubt. It also means you are not slurring your words, which is certainly a bonus.

Anyway, I was waxing eloquently about my career trajectory (up, always up, never tell them any different), leaning heavily on this past year where things went especially well despite brutal economic conditions, and I could tell that I had her attention – at least until she asked me if I could send her a W2 to verify my claims.

I cleared my throat, let the conversation pause an extra beat or two before replying: “Sure, but I don’t usually do that without an warrant from the FBI, and it’s been years since those guys had me on their radar.”

Nothing. Silence.

“That was a joke,” I said, knowing full well that anytime you have to explicitly state something was a joke, then you damn well know it wasn’t a good one.

She finally responded by switching topics, and we talked for another five minutes. At the end, I agreed to send her my resume and she would get back in touch if there might be a match. I sincerely doubted I’d ever hear from her again.

But yesterday afternoon, I got another call and she was going to recommend they interview me for the position. So, maybe 2.5 drinks and a shady patio do provide a fine backdrop for an interview, although I would suggest leaving any poor and misguided attempts at humor out of the conversation.



  1. Heff Says:
  2. I couldn't agree more about the 2.5 beers. It puts you in the PERFECT place to handle any situation.

  3. Look at it this way: You don't really want to work for (or with) someone with no sense of humor anyway, so even if it hadn't resulted in an interview, you'd still have been better off.

  4. Heff - It's a fine line, but yes, I'm thinking about that many still means you are in control, just looser. After 3.5, however, things slide downhill in a hurry. Ha.

    Native Minnow - True. But she is an outside recruiter not with the actual company, and in my experience, those people are hurried and don't have any sense of humor, so I don't know what I was thinking. Ha. Besides, it wasn't even funny, which is the greater sin I guess.

  5. TROLL Y2K Says:
  6. You posted a bare-bones description of your situation online somewhere, sans a formal resume, and she called you?

    Contract Head-Hunter or someone in the HR Department of the Company that's interested in you?

  7. wigsf Says:
  8. So you crossed the border back into America with a half dozen inflated balloons in your belly. Who hasn't?

  9. Boxer Says:
  10. moving on up, 2$?

    I'm good with about one drink in me, two? yeah, the "funny" comes out but so does the slurring so I hold back. I was at an event recently with Mr. Boxer and as we entered I said to him "if I pick up the second drink, you know what to do" and he said "Leave?"

  11. kmwthay Says:
  12. 2.5 beers or 1 strong margarita and I have the same self adorning confidence as you. Now, it’s never a good idea to boast your dry humor to someone you've never met when that is the person you want to interview you for a job. But blame that on the 2.5 also. OR – maybe it was that witty charm that got the call back.

    I'm picturing Chandler from Friends - in his interview trying not to make a joke about 'duties.'

    Anyway, fingers crossed and I hope it all works out in your favor.

  13. Troll2K - She found me via a search on Linkedin, which is about the only job site I belong to and firmly believe it helps as I've been found a couple of times this way with reasonable offers. Contract head-hunter this time, last time, the HR route.

    WIGSF - As long as you don't get caught, then everything is good. I guess. Probably not. Ha.

    Boxer - Ha. I like that answer by Mr. Boxer. And yes, if we're talking mixed drinks, then two drinks can start more downward mobility depending on the strength. With beer, I think 2.5 is still OK, especially with food in your stomach. As for moving on up, it's more about keeping my options open as my current situation is teetering a bit due to the economy, so it never hurts to dust off the resume & interviewing skills.

    Kmwthay - Yep. Some margaritas and especially a potent Mexican Martini can inspire the same effect. Beer is easier to follow your drunkeness path as hard liquor tends to sneak up on me with a knife. Ha. And I had forgotten about that 'Friends' episode, so thanks for that reminder. Ha. As for the interview, we'll see if actually happens as recruiters are a strange bunch, but at least it's worth pursuing for now.

  14. nobich Says:
  15. 2.5 beers- I can hustle pool if I want to & play the best darts the world has ever seen but have the .5that's left in the bottle & all bets are off!!! The same with life!

  16. JLee Says:
  17. 2-2.5 beers does seem the perfect recipe for subtle confidence, just before the slide into cocky tomfoolery. ha

  18. Nobich - You and me both. Ha. Actually, I'm far better at pool and merely OK at darts, so I'll bow down to you there. The problem and I guess the real trick would be to ever learn to stop at 2.5 drinks, eh? It's tough.

    Jlee - "cocky tomfoolery" - nice one. Ha. I like it & there's a place for that too - just not in that situation on the phone with a recruiter as too much will only get you in trouble.

  19. Miss Ash Says:
  20. Hopefully the actual people interviewing you will have a much better sense of humour. I can't stand dull people.

  21. Wendy Says:
  22. 1:45 on a Friday before a holiday weekend?! On behalf of all Californians, I apologize. I was probably into my first (and only, because I'm a cheap date) appletini by 3:30.

  23. Anonymous Says:
  24. I just read an article in Esquire entitled Drinking and How To Do It Particularly Well. It was an impulse airport terminal purchase with the headline hidden beneath Megan Fox's right thigh. Anyway, nice break in receiving the call 2.5 in as opposed to 4. Apparently, according to this article, four drinks is to inebriation what the St. Louis Arch is to the West. That stuck in my head and a theory I have proven true many a time.

  25. Miss Ash - You and me both . . .unfortunately, dull - or at least generally bland - is probably the best policy for a first interview. Ha. Maybe not.

    Wendy - That would have been a far better occuptation on that Friday for her too. And I figure an Appeltini is strong enough to count as two beers, although I'll never know for sure because I could never drink one (and really no man should either). Ha. I've heard they are tasty.

    Anonymous - I read that article this past weekend too as I have a subscription to Esquire & the cover with Megan Fox on it made me very, very glad I do. Ha. And yes, that article was pretty good overrall & instructive on drinking. I should re-read it to make sure more of it sticks.

  26. slopmaster Says:
  27. good advice at a pertinent time.


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