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Sales Interview

Sales
San Francisco, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Recurve.com in April 2009.

Interview Details – I applied for a sales job at Sustainable Spaces from an ad on Craigslist. A couple of days later I received an email from Sustainable Spaces saying they were interest in me and that I would receive another email with instructions on how to take an online Predictive Index test (personality test).

The next email I received from them was an apology for sending out the first email to everyone who had inquired, instead of just those they had selected to take the test. So now I'm stuck in limbo wondering if I'll receive the email that allows me to take the test.

I received that email and took the test - all of two pages.

I then received another email to set up a time for a phone interview with Sustainable Spaces "Chief Cultural Officer.' Why a 60 person company would need a "Chief Cultural Office" I have no idea, other than the company execs are still living in the dot com era. From what I understand from talking to people is that large companies have Organization Development departments where someone with a PHD would be the "Chief Cultural Officer", although I doubt a large company would used that dot com title.

I then talked on the phone with the "Chief Cultural Officer" for about 20 minutes. A very nice, personable woman. She closed the conversation by saying she would have her assistant schedule a time for me to come into the office.

I received an email from her assistant arranging a time for me to meet with the Sales Manager and the "Chief Cultural Officer."

And this is where it starts to get a bit strange.

I arrived at their office and was surprised to see a very nice facility decked out as if, again, the execs were still living in the dot com era. This is a company that just received 6 mil in VC money and spends a chuck of it on bamboo floors (a rapidly renewable green material), nice furniture and other niceties that aren't needed.

I then meet with the "Chief Cultural Officer" and spent 45 minutes with her. She mentioned that I would not be meeting with anyone else today. That would be held off until I received a call back. I didn't mention that the email I received stated I would be meeting with the Sales Manager but I just let it go.

We went over the Predictive Index - which was quite accurate. She ask me questions like what do you do for fun, what's the latest book you've read and other inane questions that only a "Chief Cultural Officer" working at a company with 60 people would ask.

At his point I was getting a little annoyed. Given I do not have a poker face, I am sure it showed.

She ended the interview saying that they were interview 12 people for the position. I said 12! With my voice rising which assured I wouldn't be called back.

My assessment of the company is as follows:

First, It's funny how companies think your time isn't valuable. When a company takes that approach they come off as arrogant, and Sustainable Space did just that - You get a little VC money and it goes to your head!

Second, why would you bring someone into the office to talk to the same person who interviewed you over the phone, especially when that person is not the one you would be reporting to.

Third, why would you need to bring in 12 people for on-site interviews. Talk to them on the phone, reduce that number to 5 or 6 and then call them in to talk with the hiring manager.

Sustainable Spaces is doing great work with their energy efficiency business model, but they do need to improve the efficiency model of their hiring process. It's equivalent to having a home with no front door and wondering why it's so drafty in the house.

To close, I did receive a rejection email a few days latter, which was expected and which I fully endorsed.

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