Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dear Person Conducting an Interview at the Table Next to Me,

In my extensive experience as a patron at Starbucks, I've seen a few things.

Once, a woman asked me if it were possible for me to unplug my laptop so she could use the outlet. I obliged, and she proceeded to plop a massive sewing machine onto the tiny table I was using. The machine seemed to work very well, and had me completely enthralled. It was impossible to type, anyway, since the entire table was vibrating, and even my noise-cancelling headphones were no match for that level of volume.

So -- there was that.

I've seen people show up with massive quantities of papers to be signed by other parties. I've been privy to a number of first dates. And I've seen a number of very professional people conduct very professional interviews in Starbucks.

So perhaps I can give you a few pointers:

1. Don't schedule interviews at 15-minute interviews, then ask a half-hour worth of questions. Half the people in this store are waiting for you, listening to the questions you're asking.

2. "Tell me how you have the soul for this job" is weird. Ask a fake question, get a fake answer.

3. Don't hire the girl in the blue shirt. I have the back view, and I can see she has tucked her shirt into her underwear. This is Getting Dressed 101, and although it might be a one-time slip, it seems like the sort of thing a person should have mastered by her age (20, give or take).

4. The guy in the white shirt was standing in the hallway outside the bathroom, talking about what a "douche" you are and how the job was a "joke". Probably not in line for employee of the month.

5. To really nail the "pompous ass" thing, perhaps try to work in a few more comments like "110 percent isn't enough for this job, I need 120 percent." It's probably useless to point out that 100 percent is actually the maximum a person can give. But why stop with 120 percent, anyway? Wouldn't 200 percent be better? Or 400, for that matter? Maybe you could suggest that your newest hire find a way to clone him/herself entirely at the employee's expense? Perhaps there is a polite way of asking the employee to eliminate all demands on his/her personal life and the pursuit of actual career goals in order to work for a company that seems to pay only commission and provide no actual benefits?

Just some points to consider.

Yours truly,

So Not Interested in This Job


  1. Yes. And I am completely amazed, too, by Sewing Machine Woman.

  2. Who does their sewing in Starbucks