17. When I was hiring for a new store opening for a Best Buy in Trumbull, CT, there was this 19ish year old guy from Puerto Rico dressed in jeans and a tucked in polo shirt. Everyone else was in suits, etc. I knew this was Best Buy and not the FBI, so I wasn't so judgmental with the clothing as the other "managers" were.
He was so nervous; he was shaking, and he was completely silent nearly the whole time. At one point, I even asked him if he spoke English and if he understood my questions. He said, "Yes sir." I then asked, "Are you nervous?" He responded, "Yes sir, I am very nervous. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry. . . " When I asked why he was so nervous about a job in retail, he replied, "I just got into the US this week. I came here because my girlfriend from here got pregnant when she came to visit me, so I moved here. Now, I just need a job to support her and be a good father and husband." I told him to come back tomorrow and started paying him the next day.
That was 2004. He was the best, most punctual, diligent, polite and loyal employee I ever had. And through my pre-law school years there, I went through about 1,200 employees. Last I heard, he was a GM of his own store. I am not positive, but I estimate that salary is about $90k plus bonus.
18. I always enjoy the Strength/Weakness question because the weakness portion makes everyone so uncomfortable. I was interviewing two people for a hotel front desk position. The girl, who I interviewed first, said that her weakness was that she would get upset if a customer was mean to her (not gunna fly in the hotel industry). The next guy came in and when I asked him he said: "I dunno, I smoke cigarettes."
Best answer I ever received. Hired him on the spot. He was one of my best employees for three months until he got taken away by state police during one of his shifts for being an accomplice to a heroin ring that was run by his brother who he lived with.
19. I was looking to hire for a position that wasn't necessarily entry-level, but it wasn't exactly a middle management job. I needed someone with expertise in the given field, but also willing to start from the bottom - so to speak. I met with tons of people, some overqualified and some entirely unaware of what to do. However, I met one guy and the first thing he said on the interview landed him the job on the spot: "I'm going to admit that I don't know as much as the job requires. But you know what sets me apart from those who do? I'm willing to learn. I won't have an ego. I'm willing to take direction and admit when I'm wrong. I'm a sponge, ready to absorb anything you've got."
He was the best employee I've ever had.
20. When I asked him about overcoming challenges he told me that when he began studying in the US he couldn't swim. So he signed up for lessons and over the coming weeks, surrounded by little kids, he learned. He told me that he was still afraid so every week he forced himself to swim a length until he wasn't afraid. He's turned out to be a fantastic employee.
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