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.
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.