Here, just in time for Thanksgiving, is a fictional account of how that interview might have gone had it happened in today’s recruiting world…
Recruiter: Hello, Mr. Squanto. Thank you for coming in today. I see you were a little late arriving at the village. Commute problems?
Applicant: It took two days to walk from my village to here. I should have allowed more time. Sorry.
Recruiter: We get that a lot here; we have an exciting culture, but we’re kind of remote. Tell me about your recent work history.
Applicant: I’ve been with Wampanoag for quite some time, and have enjoyed my time there. But I’m ready for my next opportunity. I don’t just want a job, though – I want to change the new world.
Recruiter: Your communication skills seem very good. Where did you study?
Applicant: I worked in England for a bit… but life happened and I didn’t get my degree.
Recruiter: No formal education, okkkkay. Well… as you can see, we just spent a hungry winter on the Mayflower. We can really use someone with local knowledge so the colony can grow to our full potential. How are your farming and planting skills?
Applicant: Among other crops, I am highly skilled with maize – and have mastered the herring fertilizer methods to increase productivity and ROI by 32%.
Recruiter: Impressive. Are you equally skilled at hunting?
Applicant: I have some experience in that area, but am a little out of practice. I am a lifelong learner, however, and pick up new things quickly.
Recruiter: Describe your ability to mentor and teach, please?
Applicant: Well, I enjoy all aspects of my work… but I really enjoy helping others follow their dreams and achieve independence.
Recruiter: Excellent. What is your greatest weakness?
Applicant: Some people think I care too much about my work, but it seems that will be an asset to this village… you guys look really hungry.
Recruiter: Yes, as an emerging organization we’re struggling with bandwidth and resource allocation issues. Which bring us to the last question, Mr. Squanto: how do you react to a challenging work environment?
Applicant: Well, I did walk barefoot, non-stop to get to this interview. And I did experience a less than pleasant work environment with my employer before Wampanoag – I was nothing more than a slave to him. I’m also a veteran of our local winters and the challenges associated with a lack of experience of my work mates… So, overall, I think deal with adversity very well.
Recruiter: Do you have any questions of me?
Applicant: Just one, please… is Thanksgiving a scheduled day off? I may have other commitments…
Recruiter: You’ll have to work some on Thanksgiving, but it’s not crazy like Black Friday or anything.
Applicant: What’s Black Friday?
And with that, the recruiter and applicant shook hands, exchanged eye contact and pleasantries about how each enjoyed the conversation – and went their separate ways.
Several weeks later, Mr. Squanto – despite the fact he wasn’t the perfect candidate, did not have a degree and his background check came back with several years of work history missing – was offered the job. Within the village, some thought he was hired to make the village’s diversity program look better.
In the end, however, even the naysayers found Squanto to be everything recruiters look for in a new employee: detail-oriented, passionate and a team player. And… about half the Pilgrims went on to live happily ever after.
As for Squanto himself, he stayed with the Pilgrims for quite some time and was ultimately able to enjoy his Thanksgiving holiday. Most important, he accomplished the ultimate career goal of every young professional: he changed the world.