Job Interview: A Bear

November 4, 2010

Brethelem the  Bear sits patiently in a conference room awaiting his job interview.  The slow economy has affected everyone, even bears.  Brethlem is excited to finally get an opportunity to interview, especially with a great company like GXT.  GXT’s HR Manager, Karen walks into the room to greet Brethlem the Bear.  They both stand and exchange hand/paw shakes.

Karen: Hi Brethlem the Bear?

BB: Yes that’s me.

Karen: Hi I’m Karen Tudi, the HR Manager here at GXT.  I’m glad to finally meet you.

BB: Hi Karen, the pleasure is entirely mine.  I’ve heard a lot about you from Doug over in Planning and Analysis.  It’s nice to finally put a face with the name.

Karen: Absolutely.  Hopefully Doug didn’t spread too many rumors about me.

They both laugh.

BB: No.  No.  It’s all been very positive.

Karen:  Well why don’t you start by telling me a little bit about yourself?

BB:  OK great.  Well as you can see I am a bear.

Karen: Uh-huh.

BB: I have been looking for employment ever since I got my MBA from Hofstra last fall.  The job market is pretty slim right now.  That’s why I was so excited to see that GXT is hiring for new Project Managers.  The job description seems to fit very well into my background.

Karen: So you’ve been on the job market for quite some time then?

BB: Yes, well it was a bit difficult coming out of school in the fall because I have to hibernate for 3-4 months depending on the length of the winter.  That brought me out of the loop a little bit and I’ve found it challenging to explain to prospective employers.  They see a 3 month gap in employment and believe it to be a red flag.  Really it was just a span of time where I was living off of my fat reserves and sleeping 23 hours a day.

Karen:  Understandable.  So this position is going to require a good amount of problem solving skills.  Tell me about a time where you were faced with a challenge and what you did to overcome it.

BB: Sure.  Last Spring was salmon-mating season, obviously.  Pretty routine for the most part.  However this season, another male bear was hunting in the river that I usually hunt in.  I saw him eating the salmon from my territory and I roared at him.  He roared back.  This exchange went on for about 30-45 minutes.  I thought I might have to challenge him for dominance.  Instead I offered him a solution that was mutually beneficial to us both.  I asked him if he wouldn’t mind going downstream to fish and I could remain upstream.  That way, any fish that I didn’t catch in my mouth would be available to him, while I would still get the prime position on top of a waterfall, where the fish were readily available.

Karen: Great.  Describe a time where you had to improvise to find a solution.

BB: Certainly.  During the middle of the summer, I tend to sweat quite a bit, due to my thick fur.  This causes my hide to become irritated and itchy.  Unfortunately, I do not have the flexibility to scratch every area that itches.  Two summers ago, my back was incredibly itchy.  I was tired of having to live with the discomfort.  I brainstormed a bit and was able to find a large Oak tree to rub my back against, soothing the itch.  I continue to use the tree method and actually I have seen it implemented by other bears in the community.

Karen:  So what really motivates you?  Is it money?  Job fulfillment?

BB: Actually, I’d say my number one motivator is honey.  I’ve put myself in some pretty bad predicaments before just to get some honey.

Karen: How do you think you would work in this environment?

BB:  I think I would work well.  There would be some adjustments to make at first.  I would have to switch from a cave to a cubicle.

Karen:  You should see Doug’s cubicle.  It’s like a cave!

BB:  Haha!  I think I would get along well with my human co-workers.  I’m usually more afraid of them then they are of me.  However, there might be some cultural issues to overcome.  If someone smiles at me, shows their teeth, I often mistake that as a sign of aggression.  However, I was able to take some cultural sensitivity classes at Community College that I think has helped me with this issue.

Karen:  Great.  Thank you for the time.   You’ll have our answer in 1-2 weeks

BB: Fantastic.  Karen, thanks so much for your time as well.  I’m really excited to hear back from you.

Brethlem gets up to leave.

BB: By the way Karen, did you hear what the Dow Jones is doing today?

Karen: No.  What?

BB: It looks like we’re going into a bear market.

Karen:  Ha Ha!

Karen laughs and smiles.  Brethlem  takes this as a threat and mauls her to death.

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