More About Pizza and Pest Control

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.

2 Responses to More About Pizza and Pest Control

  1. Aden Thomas says:

    I really like the way you describe “Meeting Ones Needs By Meeting Company Needs” section. Employee should first show to engagement that how keen they are to be a part of that organization growth, and then they can think of personal benefits from company. I think that any employee should not seek his/her personal benefits from company’s resources.

  2. Gerry says:

    Hello Aden,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on our blog.

    A significant portion of pest control field candidates need to take the interview process more seriously. Like any profession, getting in the door of the company is the hardest part of the job. Candidates do themselves no favor by coming off with a “what can you do for me” attitues. The candidate needs to remember that the employer is the one writing the check. It doesn’t mean that they hold all the cards. But the ultimate decision is in their hands to make the offer. Best that the candidate put his or her best foot forward, demonstrating an ability to commit, understand and sacrifice in pursuit of professional goals alligned with those of the company. The benefits will come to those who follow this guidance. If the prospect finds that after some reasonable period of employment that the employer does not understand the need for a win-win situation, the employee can look elsewhere while holding down a job that supports his or her family.

    Hoping all is well at your company in these difficult times.


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