In all my years of business, I had one of the funniest interviews of my career. I believe I have interviewed Benjamin Button! Today I share with you the DON’TS the WARNING SIGNS to look for in your interviews. I hope you get value and a laugh out of today’s podcast.
I think the other day I interviewed Benjamin Button
Remember the story: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? It was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and it became a movie starring Brad Pitt. It’s about this person who ages in in reverse and starts out really really old in the movie and then grows kinda backwards
Why do I think I interviewed Benjamin Button? Because this person reminded me about every 30 seconds in the first 5 minutes of the interview about how lucky I, as well as my partners, were being in this person’s presence.
He had no idea who I was. It was kind of comical.
Benjamin Button: A hero in his own mind
Benjamin Button was only 23. It was like listen to somebody introducing a prizefighter…but he was doing his own self-introduction.
WEIGHING IN AT SUCH ’N SUCH POUNDS, I’VE ACCOMPLISHED A, B, AND C…AND IF YOU’RE LUCKY TO HIRE ME I WILL BRING D, E, AND F TO THIS COMPANY.
I appreciate self-confidence as much as anybody, but the Benjamin Button thing I had to reverse engineer. From the time of him graduating high school and graduating college I saw maybe a 14-month window.
Benjamin Button acted like, based on his resume, I shouldn’t have been interviewing him. I would have been lucky to work for him. He was an accomplished person.
I wanted to gave him ice packs on the way out because he had to have dislocated a shoulder patting himself on the back.
He was dropping nuggets of brown stuff that I put in my yard to create green grass in the spring. And I think my partners thought it was funny cuz I wasn’t really interrupting him at first. I was humored by it. I really wanted to see how far he would go so I kinda blew smoke at him.
Wow, you walked on the moon, too? I’m sorry, I thought that was a limited limited group of people that were with NASA
…and I mean literally blowing smoke to a little bit but it was just ridiculous.
Why are you here?
And then Benjamin Button was telling me all these things that he was involved in and kept laying it on and laying it on. He started this company. He started that company, etc. Apparently he’s done so many incredible things. To which I’m asking myself:
Why are you here?
Why are you interviewing with us when you’ve got so many things going on?
Benjamin Button even shared that he gets paid $250 an hour. My partners at this point wanted to eject themselves because they were waiting for me to respond.
I’m sitting in a chair facing two books about how to start and grow businesses and he says at 23, just 14 months out of college, he is consulting startup companies. He is a consultant to business owners and has a waiting list and gets paid $250 an hour, so he says.
I actually bit my tongue. I’m laughing even harder inside and I’m like,
Well maybe I can hire you to help me grow my business, you big collection of brilliant, you.
I’m gonna let you finish but…
So he goes on and on and on and on to which I finally have to stop him but not to actually put him in his place. I want to lend him advice. So I said:
I’m just curious…are you sure that you can make $250 an hour?… and obviously in 8 hours you know you can make $2,000 a day and $10k in a week. That’s a half-million dollars a year just doing what you’re doing and you’re interviewing for a job with us when you have an opportunity that seems like it’s going really really good.
I was just kinda bringing back to him what he already shared,
…So I don’t understand why are you here
To which Benjamin Button replied,
Oh, I have more hours in the day. This doesn’t keep me busy.
You shouldn’t actually tell me that
Now, I’m all for leveraging an existing job to build a business but let me tell you a little secret. You don’t tell your employer:
Hey by the way I would love to work for you or even continue working for you, oh and by the way my passionate focus is starting this other business and I just actually got it started and even though I’m going to be here at your place and you’re going to be paying me while I’m going to be thinking about my business half the time. I’m going to be networking for it and really every hour you pay me for you’re going to get maybe thirty percent of that.
You don’t actually tell anybody that. It may be the truth, but this person, in his desire to self aggrandize, let it all out.
So I said to Benji, my advice is to focus on what you’re already doing because sounds like you’re doing fantastic at it and people are paying you well so why work for us?
And he once again and reminded us of how lucky we’d be to have him.
Realistically knew this person wasn’t the right fit three minutes into the interview, let him go on for another 7 minutes, and after 10 minutes I had to eject myself from the meeting and find a reason to leave.
Remember, as I said in my podcast last week, I love interviewing. I’m always looking for talent and with that there are always things that I’m looking for.
But I want to share equally what I don’t want to hear in an interview.
What I don’t want to hear in an interview
- I don’t want to hear that you know everything. That mean’s your un-teachable.
- That you’re better than everyone else. You’ll never be a good teammate.
- That you have other projects and objects distracting you. If you have these, keep your mouth shut. You can still be valuable to your employer and keep your projects on the side.
- That you have income from other sources. Then why are you here?
In the end, Benjamin Button was not a good fit for us because he checked all four things that don’t fit what I look for in an interview.
The takeaway from today is:
What you don’t want to hear is equally as important as what you do want to hear. You need to have your antennas up because if you hear any of these four things above,
I’m telling you,