I did it as a favor for a co-worker, who asked if we would give an interview for a young friend just out of college. The kid showed up in a suit, with a good smile and handshake. There were three of us with him there, in the conference room, and his cotton mouth was palpable.
I loved the kid for his nervousness but still, wanted to give him a good rattling. Why go soft if the whole point was to give him experience interviewing?
“Now I know you’re early in your career, but tell me, what are some of the major highlights of your career that come to mind, and how do you think these highlights make you a good fit at Starbucks?”
I was instantly bored by the content of his answer and fixated on his physicality, how he was carrying himself, the music of his speech. He was a rich kid I was pretty sure, judging by the fact that he had worked for his parent’s high-end residential construction business on the east side, and this rich kid life had landed him here at Starbucks somehow for an interview, taking up my time, when there wasn’t even a position open, it was all fictitious, an “informational interview.”
We went around the table asking the situation-based behavioral interview questions, and then one of the other interviewers said alright, come around here to the white board and show me a marketing plan: go ahead.
The kid shot up and walked over to the white board, then paused: “What kind of marketing plan?”
He got flustered. “Well, what’s the topic? Is it a marketing plan or strategy plan?”
“You decide. Educate me.”
It was an evil thing to do, but he got through it, and then I realized at the end of the interview that it was absolutely the best thing to do.