Friday, January 06, 2006

Un-Coolness Reaches New Heights in Hiring!

Here is the "What would YOU do" for today - feel free to ponder at will:

I work in educational publishing. Keep this in mind for the rest of the story.
Keep in mind that I am new in my job, so when my boss called me to ask me to take a look at something, I feared the worst. Little did I know it would be the greatest poll/joke/lesson of the day!

Earlier this week, we interviewed a smart young person for a part-time job in our department. He interviewed well, and provided a writing sample, an essay from one of his film studies classes at Northwestern University. All was well. Until this morning, when my boss called.

My boss and I are "un-cool" on similar subjects when it comes to the workplace. We both frown upon low-slung jeans and crop tops as business apparel, shun flip-flops, and so we may be considered "fuddy duddies." But when she showed me the essay, I was pretty sure that about 90% of the building would have agreed with us:

The writing sample, the paper? An analysis of the major sex scenes in a film. A 1986 OK Spike Lee film, to be exact. Complete with riveting descriptions of the sex scenes. Three pages of content chock full of sexual imagery. Did I mention we're a textbook publisher, and that the projects we work on involve neither film analysis nor sexual education?

We both figured we, as squares, must be over-reacting. But everyone I informally polled, from the hippest to the squarest, agreed on two words: Bad Judgement.

Let this be a warning to you jobseekers out there - or an explanation to those of you who can't figure out why, after a great interview, you didn't get the job - you never get a second chance to make a first impression!

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