Grande appearance at Starbucks may help land job elsewhere
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
All I said was I saw a “woman in a pant suit that is two sizes too small” and a man in a sport coat “that is too long for his shorter body and makes him look sloppy.”
This I pointed out in a Facebook post as I sat observing people at Starbucks who clearly were there for job interviews, and it may seem picky on my part.
But, I added, how you look is just one of the many things employers tell me they notice when evaluating potential employees' judgment.
That post got more views, responses and conversation than anything I've ever said on Facebook.
One person added a comment about some of the hideous clothing she's seen job hunters wear to interviews at Starbucks. Another pointed out that she “never understood the conducting an interview at Starbucks thing.”
Why so much interest in job interviews at Starbucks? And why is this locale so popular for interviews?
Do employers get more out of interviews at Starbucks than in their offices? Many say, yes.
A brief get-together at Starbucks can tell them a lot — more on that later.
An employer may not even have a job opening — yet — but is willing to meet informally to get to know you for the future. Or the potential employer may not want others in the company to know about the possibility of hiring someone new.
A small-business owner told me, “We don't have some glitzy office, so we don't want to blow the illusion before someone is even interested in working for us.”
A ton of people don't have offices in brick and mortar buildings. Starbucks is their satellite office because they work from a home office and hire contract workers who also will work from home.
Most employers say meeting at a place like Starbucks, which also has free Wi-Fi, is simply less formal.
“It's more comfortable for everyone. It's a neutral space, more of a shared experience than a lopsided one where a person is sitting in your waiting room and then your office,” another manager said.
Safe to say, meeting at a place like Starbucks is less intimidating.
The experience feels more like a conversation, which is what an interview should be. And that brings me to the extra boost, aside from coffee, that employers get from interviews at a place like Starbucks.
Because you feel as if you're on equal footing, you're likely to be more relaxed. You may even interact with others at the next table, which can be telling for an employer.
In that more relaxed, communal environment, you may also “tell me things you might not otherwise say,” one company owner said.
In other words, employers can get a better feel for what kind of person you are.
Indeed, that's precisely what they hope for.
In that first encounter, they are wondering:
• Are you someone I would like to work with?
• Do you have the right attitude?
• Do I feel good with you?
• Are you enthusiastic?
• Do you connect with what I need?
• Do you come off as genuine?
• Are you flexible?
• Do you look and act mature and professional?
Yes, skills matter, but not as much as who you are and how you come across to the person on the other side of that table at a Starbucks near you.
Andrea Kay is a career consultant and author. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: Big Ben’s contract clock ticking
- Talented center Sutter is proving to be ‘pretty important’ for Penguins
- Western Pennsylvania engineer aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight
- Westmoreland County Courthouse in Greensburg to be featured in TV series
- Penguins notebook: Beau Bennett returns to practice
- Pitt looking to enhance profile at ACC tourney
- Powerful quake shakes N. California; no injuries
- Parking tickets in Downtown Pittsburgh spark outrage
- Analysis: Kesler still on Pens’ radar as Shero aims to bring back ‘Big 3’
- ‘Un-American’? That’s Harry Reid, the Senate’s lowly smear artist
- Pirates reserve outfielder Dickerson is also at home on soccer pitch