Pizza and The Pest Control Interview
Last year I wrote an article with a humorous title about Dominoes Pizza getting free publicity from all the dominoes (countries) with economies crashing, with reference to how the macro-economy impacts our pest control business outlook. I didn’t think I’d be writing another article with reference to pizza until a few weeks ago.
What Companies Want in the Job Candidate
I was interviewing a candidate for a pest control position who had many years of pest control experience. He didn’t have a real good depth of experience that I would have liked for his years in the field, but I liked his communication ability and his educational drive. He had achieved a B.A. and was working toward a counseling degree. It’s very hard to find blue collar workers who value education, so when I found this guy I felt he had potential.
But as the interview pressed on, I was picking up a bad vibe.
Candidates need to impress the company with their ability to meet the needs of the company. Of course, it’s a two way street. Before accepting a position, the candidate needs to have come to the conclusion that they can get their personal needs met in the service of the company. But too often the candidate puts the cart before the horse, asking all the “What do I get out of it” questions. That’s just not the way it works. Sure, companies hire because they need someone – but who? It is definitely not the guy or gal who puts him or herself first. We need more team players.
In this case I’m referring to, the questions revolved far too much around benefits. Questions about health benefits are not uncommon, but they should be toward the end of the interview and they shouldn’t dominate discussion. I often have candidates who are surprised with some of the benefits that Hearts Pest Management offers, but this candidate was the first to go so far as to ask exactly what he had to do to get vacation time for giving blood donations. Ok. No big deal. But the red flag went off the chart when he asked, “Is it ok if I stop off on the way home to pick up pizza for my wife?” What, pizza! For your wife?! Then it came out that the candidate did not have a working vehicle. This guy was simply wanting to define, during the course of the interview, just how far he could take advantage of the company vehicle so he wouldn’t have to utilize or repair his peronal vehicle.
After spending several hours with this candidate, I have to say, it was one of the rare times that I was really angry with a job candidate. Such foolishness and selfishness. It’s hard to understand.
Meeting Ones Needs By Meeting Company Needs
So here are a few tips to candidates:
1) You will be judged by the questions you ask.
2) Show that you are interested in the company – not yourself.
3) When speaking about getting your own needs met, always frame it around how you can grow in your pursuit of achieving company goals.
If the company is growing and management is laying out a scenario in which you will grow as the company grows and you make yourself an important part of that growth, then good things will happen. You don’t really need to ask much more. When the hiring manager starts talking salary and benefits, that’s the time to discuss your needs – but don’t get carried away. Keep it short. Return to the main point – that you see yourself doing great things with and for a great company. Keep thoughtful, positive and sharp.
4) Dress for success. Whether you are applying for V.P. or garbage collector, dress for success.