If you were interviewing for a position within My Heart, I’d say, “Tell me your credentials and give me examples of your work ethic.” You’d list all the things you did in the past that prove you’re good at working in the heart but you’d admit, shyly, that although you liked those places, those hearts, you just didn’t feel they were environments within which your true potential could flourish, and that’s what brought you to My Heart. You’d believe you were the right candidate for the position and say, “I want the full-time management position of your heart.” I’d say, “Wow, I’m happy to hear that, but can you elaborate?” and you’d tell me that you are so confident in your ability to manage My Heart that you’d bet that no one else out there could perform better, that you just need the opportunity and you’d bring everything you have. Then you’d smile and add, “I’ll even throw in some data analysis,” and so I’d say, “Great, we need a data analyst.”
“What could you offer me, if I were to come work in your heart?” you’d ask because you know your worth and want me to know it has to be the right decision for you as well, so I’d reply, “There are great benefits. First class. It’s like Google in here.” You’d cock your head and say, “Even free lunches?” And I’d say, “Yeah, we have fresh tuna tartar on Mondays and a specialty chef who can toss the salads of your dreams every day of the week.”
You’d go on to explain that in preparing for this interview, you did some research and saw the piece in Wired about us being one of the best places to work, and that you were glad to hear me confirm it. You’d want to know when you might start and I’d say, “The position is effective immediately.”
Then I’d add, “Wait, do you need to give your two weeks to any other hearts?” and you’d say, “No, I’ve been unemployed for quite some time. I know I’ve taken a risk to find the right heart but I didn’t want to just take any job out of desperation. I’ve been holding out for one like this. The one that fits.”
I’d think about it and say, “But hey, the economy, it’s been terrible. I mean, you must have –” and you’d quiet me with your finger, and confide something you’ve never told a potential employer of a heart before: “I’ve never filed for bankruptcy, even during the recession. You see, I’ve been saving up for a rainy day in case I never found the right heart, but then my uncle — who was dying — said, ‘You better not wait for that rainy day because it may never come.'”
“Yeah,” I’d say. “That’s depressing advice, but he was right…Go on.”
“So I realized I wanted to be proactive and try to find the right position now, rather than wait until the time was better because heck, is the timing ever better?” I’d shake my head “no” in agreement.
Hearing that would make me really happy because I’d know you were ready and that you really wanted to work in My Heart, not just because you needed to. I’d ask you again, just to make sure, if you saw this as a temporary position and you’d say, “I’m in it for the long run. I want to see this heart grow! I want to be the reason why it explodes! I want to make it better than you ever thought it could be. I’ll be on the cover of Time magazine for being the most philanthropic CEO of the decade!” I wonder if he’s into saving the children, I’d ask myself, and, as if you’d read my mind, you’d tilt your head and smile. “I’m like the next Warren Buffet.”
I would be beaming now, so hard my cheeks would hurt because this would be the best interviewee I’d ever interviewed. But then you’d keep talking because you think you’re on a roll and you don’t know when to stop. “I want to have shares of your heart so if it ever sells, I could make a ton of money from it,” you’d tell me. But that’s when the high would drop; you would have said too much. I would ask you, “You would want me to sell shares of My Heart?” as tears welled in my eyes. I was looking to employ someone who wants to dedicate himself to my whole heart, not just a piece of it, someone who would take the head seat and plan to never get up from it, ever. Someone who didn’t care about the benefits of being on the board of My Face, or My Ass, our subsidiaries, because he’d be so busy running My Heart. “You see,” I would say, “I am looking for someone to commit to the role and not look at it as a good investment so he can buy a better heart in the future.” You’d panic and shout, “No, no!” retracing, retracting. “You got me wrong. Forget market value. Forget the appeal of an IPO. Forget the –” but I’d have already started dwelling on it, determining whether your quick-switching disposition would be a potential crisis management problem, say, when you were being interviewed in the press about working in My Heart. But because I’d been in human resources for so many years, I would know risk was inevitable and that good character and strong leadership were what made this enterprise. “I never want to take your heart public,” you’d reiterate, just to be sure I understand you. “I want to work hard, put in the time and hope that one day I’ll get to own the whole damn thing.”
Okay, good, I’d think. You had goofed, sure, but I would want to give you the benefit of the doubt because I believe in trusting my instincts. Just as the interview was coming to a close I would say, “Thank you for coming in. I’d hire you on the spot, but I just have to consult with the head of My Brain first. You know, corporate hoops!”
You’d start to sway a bit, moving from right to left. Uneasy.
“Do you have any other questions for me?” I’d throw in because the interview was, after all, two ways.
“I’m not sure,” you’d say hesitantly as the reality of re-entering the workforce sinks in. “Can I think about it?”
“Of course,” I’d say, extending my hand. We’d nod, and then just as you were about to leave you’d turn to me and say, “Actually, there is one thing.”
“Sure, what is it?” I’d say, obliging, hopeful.
“Can I hire a secretary?”