After a few weeks of searching, Steven M's job prospects were looking pretty grim.
So, in a bid to find more exciting work than his small hometown could offer, he packed up and moved to London.
Steve worked a few contract jobs here and there to get by while he researched possible career paths - hoping to find the ideal match for his background in math – when he received an email from a close friend.
From: JimK@minitrode.co.uk To: StevenM4112@redactedemail.co.uk Subject: Heard you were looking for a job --------------------------------------------- Hey Steve! I've just started a fantastic new role at a privately owned, small software house, the atmosphere is fantastic, encourages learning and best practice and the pay's not bad either. Send along your CV. I know I can get your foot in the door! - Jim
It didn't take long for Steve to decide that he wanted some of this.
A phone interview lead to an onsite interview with the development manager which finally lead to an invitation to meet with the company's founder – a somewhat eccentric professional who insisted upon the title of "Doctor" to reflect his earning a doctorate in computer science years earlier, but as Steve came to learn, everybody simply referred to him as "the MD".
When the day arrived, the interview started off well. There were a few questions from the HR manager, who was also sitting in on the meeting, as to the expectations of the position and what the company could offer. Steve was starting to relax until the MD walked in to begin his part of the interview.
Without a word of introduction, he sat opposite in the boardroom with an expression of barely disguised contempt.
He read through Steve's CV before asking some questions about a relatively meaningless job Steve had during his school studies.
"Hmmm...It says here that you spent one semester working in the university's computer labs, tell me about that."
"It was a great experience. While there, I helped students and faculty, but my real challenge was-"
"Fascinating. Yes. Verrrry interesting."
Steve answered each of the MD's questions, trying to highlight, as best he could, of the significance of these roles in comparison to more relevant positions that he had, but seeing as he kept getting cut off mid-reply, it didn't seem like the interview was turning out so well.
As the back and forth continued, more and more, the expression on the MD's face changed ...was he getting...angry?
The MD's change in attitude made Steve feel more and more tense as he tried to desperately figure out what it was that he was doing that could be making this man so upset.
The next ten to fifteen minutes proved to be excruciating as Steve described a recent contract job inventorying network switches at for a local supermarket chain – a position that he had for just over a week - in more detail than he'd ever considered possible. Steve wondered, Why was he picking on this single job in particular? Is there some contradiction and he's trying to get me to admit to my mistake?
Steve was nearly at his wits' end with the aggressive questioning when, in a move to suggest exasperation, the MD dramatically turned Steve's CV over.
Instantly, the MD's facial expression relaxed, before shortly thereafter moving to one of embarrassment. In the last ten minutes of the interview, he proceeded to ask Steve a few lightweight questions about his degree and about time spent at companies actually relevant to the role before concluding the interview.
Steve left the room absolutely baffled at what had happened, but later that same day he received a job offer from the company. Steve accepted and, as it turned out, it was indeed a great company to work for ...even if the founder was a little strange.