By Kate Conger
By Brian Rinker
By Rachel Swan
By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Erin Sherbert
By Rachel Swan
My goal: to see if I can be hired for a job using a fake résumé. Also to steal pens during each interview!
1 stack of fake résumés
1 white shirt
1 firm handshake (crucial for the interview process)
1 strong-eye-contact ability (also crucial for the interview process)
1 minty-fresh breath!
Job Applying For:Management position for sports promotion company.
Résumé Lies:All jobs last no longer than two months. One job begins and ends in the same week. My education background lists six different colleges in three years. Also, a mysterious five-year gap in between two job positions.
I'm wearing a tie. People respect you if you wear a tie. It puts you in the category of "tie-wearers." This is the perfect interview "costume." I walk into a sterile office with a loud radio playing bland Top 40 music. This is the kind of working atmosphere that drives people to drinking. The reception area is filled with nervous job applicants, all dressed similarly. Immediately, I steal a pen.
In groups of three, we are brought in for an interview. I wait for my fake name to be called. A bubbly woman leads a well-dressed man, a well-dressed woman, and myself into a private office. The bubbly woman gives us the speech: The position is a managerial training program that teaches you how to promote ski areas in Lake Tahoe. My mastery powers of strong, direct eye contact are utilized, occasionally with an attentive nod.
"The key to this job is being a people person," she says. "The kind of people we hire are the types who were class clowns and are maybe a little cocky! How do you rate yourself as a people person on a scale of one to 10? Don't be modest."
The question is thrown at the well-dressed man. He answers with a modest eight. Then the well-dressed woman answers with a 10. No modesty here! The bubbly woman looks at our résumés, asking various questions about our work history.
"Willis, how do you rate yourself as a people person?"
I pause for dramatic effect.
"Does the scale go higher than 10?!"
I let out the loud laugh of a creepy high school janitor. Can I push her buttons or what? She eyeballs my résumé.
"You sure worked many jobs in the last few months."
"Yeah, I like to jump around. It keeps things exciting." I momentarily get serious and again utilize direct-eye-contact skills. "I'm trying to find the right job, which I hope this will be. A place where I get to work with people!"
This answer pleases her. She goes back to my résumé.
"And what did you study in school, Willis?"
"I switched around a lot. I started in chemistry and ended up in interpretive dance."
She first dismisses the well-dressed man, hinting at the prospect of being in touch, and she does the same for the well-dressed woman. She waits till they both leave and leans forward in her chair.
"Willis, I like your attitude! I want to book you in for tomorrow! That way you can see the daily operation and decide if the job is right for you. Be here tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. Wear a shirt and tie!"
Conclusion: Well, fuck me sideways! My flaky résumé got me hired! Being a master of direct, attentive eye contact must do the trick when a job requires being a "cocky people person." Maybe she thought I was a "class clown" type, seeing that my résumé was a joke!
Epilogue: The next morning when the bubbly woman calls to see why Willis didn't show up for work, I tell her that he's spontaneously decided to leave the country.
Job Applying For:Salesman for a bakery supply company.
Résumé Lies:My education background says I graduated with a 4.0 GPA from Cambridge University in England with a degree in quantitative physics. My first job is listed as a computer software salesman for a fictitious high-tech company in Silicon Valley. My work experience digresses to selling used cars, with a five-year gap between that and my current job, which is working at Kentucky Fried Chicken. At KFC I'm responsible for "chicken sales."
The key to sales is selling yourself to the interviewer. The address given to me over the phone takes me to a doctor's office in the middle of Chinatown. There's nothing resembling bakery supplies, only medical equipment. An old man with his sleeve rolled up points animatedly at his elbow, howling something in Chinese to the receptionist. Then he passes gas.
"Excuse me, I've come for an appointment concerning something nonmedical. Have I come to the right address?" I beg.
"Aah, yes, have a seat," says the lovely receptionist. I wait for a half-hour, watching sick people come and go. Finally, a very tiny Chinese man wearing a stethoscope appears. He is no larger than a child!
"Be right with you."
Then he disappears. I wait another half-hour. Finally, the tiny man reappears. I follow him into his office. I hope he doesn't make me get into a hospital gown or turn my head and cough. The doctor explains he just started a business that needs a salesman. He studies my résumé like it was a broken femur. He notes my Cambridge educational background.