Friday, July 15, 2011

More Job Interviewing Screwups

After today's round of interviews, the biggest word that comes to mind is "Whew!" Now I'm not completely finished with interviews but I'm nearing the home stretch. Honestly, I feel like I got most of my best candidates earlier. Guess rewarding people who responded sooner with sooner interview dates/times paid off.

To the people I met today who are worthwhile candidates: thank you! You made my day much better & less stressful. Especially after the no-shows & prima donnas who seemed to think they could bail at the last minute and I'd reschedule for them as a matter of course. Never mind the fact that I worked around my obligations (including a paying day job) to schedule interviews to begin with or that I told my team I'd have all the interviews finished by a certain day. See, unlike you I RESPECT deadlines & take them seriously. Try violating them in legal practice & see where it gets you.

A few more little tips:

1. If you go to meet with me & don't know what I look like, that's a serious minus point. That means you didn't go to the company's website or even Google me. Translation: you're lazy.

2. Don't assume I've got text messaging on my phone. I know someone who opts not to have a cell phone. There's freedom in not having people be able to reach you all the time. I can't help but admire someone who doesn't have to be tethered to the outside world like that. I remember the days I didn't have a cell phone but now, I'm not sure I'd be able to give it up like that.

3. If you don't show up & don't call, you are effectively getting black balled. Don't expect me to keep that a secret. You'd better pray I don't know someone at any future companies you apply to or that they don't happen to ask me or my associates about you. They will hear it & they will not bother w/you.

Oh, and did I mention the entertainment business is very small? People know each other & they definitely talk. Translation: you're a flake & you're on my shit list. We HATE flakes with an undeniable passion & vigor reserved for child molesters, stalkers and other assorted scummy people. Really not smart to get on a lawyer's shit list, either. That goes for any lawyer, not just me.

4. If you don't know what my company does & ask me why I'm interviewing you, that also means you're not working with me. Translation: you're lazy. You also don't give a damn about MY company or MY work. Why should I care about you?

5. Finally, don't waltz in thinking you're going to be the DP/Executive Producer/Editor or whatever high level position you have no track record/reputation in on our next picture. The entertainment business works on reputation: if you're a newbie, you don't have one. You don't have references we trust, you don't have prior experience, then guess what? You don't get to do it!!!

Let me familiarize you with a concept: baby steps. This means prove you're competent, will do a good job, won't be a dreaded flake & maybe we'll consider you. If you think for 5 seconds you'll be displacing people we've been working with for years, have an established relationship with or whose track records/reputations are awesome, you'd better wake up & get with the program. You have to pay dues here just like anywhere else. The good news is that at least in entertainment, most people aren't interns 5 years later. There tends to be some upward mobility, sometimes very fast if you're that good & prove yourself. It's not like working for a city job where no one bothers to advance you or give you any incentive to do a good job. Most entertainment folk will remember & reward hard work.

Waltz in & demand us to see your creative work, give you an acting audition, etc.? We'll laugh inside. Translation: you're a cocky motherfucker who thinks they are above everyone else.

Speaking of cocky motherfuckers, there's no way in hell I'd consider a celebrity intern. I read this story earlier.

If your claim to fame is that you share zygotes with one or more celebs, guess what? I'll perceive you as too much trouble. I'll also think you are a cocky motherfucker who thinks they are exempt from everyone else & won't listen to me or anyone else on my team. Know what I think of that? I'll knock you square off that high horse in 2 seconds. One of my husband's former co-workers once said that I could kill someone with words. I could also demoralize & take you down emotionally in a second.

So if you were a celeb or offspring of one & wanted to intern w/my company? You'd better do your damnedest to show me some humility; I also hate suck ups & can spot insincerity from a mile away. I'd also probably tell you point blank that we run this ship & if you dare to mess with that boat or think you can slack off b/c of who you're related to, you'll be out on your ass just like anyone else. I also have that repressed telling off of my ex-friend you'll have to deal with. Condescension & trying to lump me/other interns/anyone else into your figure of the "little people" is just an invitation for me to knock you down harder than a law school professor would to a 1L class (and they're vicious & merciless).

One person who was known for giving others attitude also got only one verbal smack down from me to never pull that with me again, at least to my face. I did this without having to curse or do anything special. I simply used brutal honesty & insider knowledge of how badly you'll be perceived if you do X.

Plus, I once made a career services person at my law school back off from the whole "You don't have a high class rank/law review" attack they usually gave to students. These attacks tend to be rather brutal & by the end of my response, the person I was meeting with was like "It's okay."

If I can do that, you're not going to have a prayer with me. Oh, and if you've read this blog, you already know someone's wealth/status/whatever doesn't impress me at all. I've never been the type to take shit from anyone & I'm not about to start now. You treat me with basic respect and dignity & I'll do likewise for you. If you don't, don't expect me to kiss your ass. Arrogance is an equal opportunity affair & can exist anywhere. Poor people w/that attitude will get it just as badly as anyone else if they pull that with me.

So, again if you get to interview people you learn some valuable lessons about how to be a good candidate & what not to do. I highly encourage it if you get a chance.

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