Do You Fail the Invisible Job Interview?

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shutterstock_224980147Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth, but the Disney store is not. The miserable experience of that retail environment at Santa Monica Promenade in California is remarkable for its consistently angry retail clerks and harsh restrictions on purchase. Nothing about the Disney brand gets you ready for it.

As a business owner and now the Global Marketing Director of a luxury cosmetics brand, I am ALWAYS looking for great people to hire at all levels. My favorite way to find a new employee is to get great service at a store or restaurant, and then invite that magical person for a “second interview.”

No, I don’t tell people I am interviewing them when we first meet in the retail setting. I don’t talk about the jobs I have open – and neither do the thousands of employers who use exactly the same technique as I do. We simply look for happy, proactive and engaging people, and then watch them solve problems or just do their job with a can-do attitude.

You are a candidate in an invisible job interview like that several times a week. It might happen on a phone call you make, one you take, or just doing your survival job while you wait for something better.

Within three feet of you is probably every opportunity you ever need, no matter what level of experience, education and interest you have. After all, 85% of why we make a hire is related to personal traits, and only 15% is actual skill. Most skills can be earned on-the-job or during a quick course of study.

We are hiring attitude.

We are hiring good people.

You’ve got to ask: what are we getting when we have the opportunity to interact with you when you aren’t doing active job seeking.

It’s like candid camera. Most employers are silently watching for great service and a positive attitude. It’s the way 75% of my clients and referring network have actually brought on a new employee.

At the Disney store on Sunday, I attempted to buy some Star Wars toys and it was an epic battle. Five employees roamed the store, assiduously avoiding eye contact with consumers who were also roaming the store. It wasn’t near closing time. It wasn’t packed. It was just ridiculous.

There was no one to check stock (because they were too busy looking at the floor and chatting with each other). One clerk I finally found actually said, “I cannot be bothered with this right now.” Checkout was so difficult with a scowling cashier who counted my Star Wars toys like a TSA employee checking my carry-on.

I was so relieved to leave with my purchases – including a bag I paid for at the counter, so I did not look like I was looting the store when I finally made it out the door. Apparently, the cashier would not or could not dispense a free bag to go with two toys that cost about 25 cents to make/ship/stock and retailed for about $ 25 each. If Disney retail is going for The Nightmare Before Christmas, they have met their corporate objective.

Don’t let an opportunity for an invisible job interview find you goofing off, angrily ringing up purchases or in any way being rude when you should be helping. You never know who’s watching, and what career lottery you may win.


Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career

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