in some companies the recruiter will be the first line of defense. he or she will place the ad, then you apply, and if you fit the general need, they arrange for a phone interview.
sometimes it’s a video interview. but these are modern times and you won’t have to get dressed up and schlep down to their offices to answer the basic questions which are usually “how much does this pay?” (me) and “piss in this cup” (them).
i prefer the phone over the video because in video you never look well, sometimes you’re tiny in their screen, i overdo it with my hand gestures. and often i feel the need to raise my voice because i fear they can’t hear me.
yesterday the guy asked, “so if you make it to the next stage, i will be calling your former bosses. what will they say they didn’t like about you?”
my first answer was, “sorry, Barry, but i have worked in HR, i doubt they’ll say anything bad. We live in a litigious society and most managers have been trained to either redirect those inquiries to HR or merely answer the two basic questions of ‘did they work there during this time period and are they eligible for re-hire?’ Otherwise they risk the chance of being sued because unflattering chatter that directly leads to someone not getting a job is the first steps to a slander case.”
fearing that might be a defensive / snotty answer – even though it’s 100% accurate, I said, “but I will play your game. Let’s pretend you could read the minds of my former bosses, what bad things would they say about me?”
Barry said, “yes, yes. what would they say?”
And I said, “well they’d probably say that I have big ideas, and lots of them, and that can be annoying after a while if you don’t want to hear big ideas from me. But Barry, big ideas are why there is social media today, and before that the web, and before that personal computers in our homes which led to devices in our pockets that hold all of the world’s information. Without big ideas we would be nothing.”
Then he said, “ok, do you have any questions for me?”
And I did. And that’s when I feel he became annoyed with me. Because he did not have the answers for half of them.
I will be selling oranges on freeway exits very soon.