San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Charlie’s Secret: How to nail a job interview

They talk about love at first sight, and I have no quarrel with that, but you don’t hear much about dislike at first sight. In my job, though, it’s of the utmost importance. I run an outfit that undertakes to get you a job if you lose your old one.

Jack O’Brien

Jack O’Brien

For the vast majority of jobs, it’s not really important that people like you, because you’re being hired for your skills and not your sex appeal. The entertainment industry, with its emphasis on star quality, would seem to be an exception, but even star quality requires something more than simple sex appeal: the ability to get inside a character and make you suspend disbelief for a while. But outside the studio, just because of their popularity, stars have to keep their distance from the rabble, and can be downright mean if you try to break the ice.

Maybe public office is the real exception, because even prospective presidents have to get out there and press the flesh occasionally. I’m not here to argue against my own case, but to point out that in every life there is at least one moment when you’ve got to be liked, and that is when you’re applying for a job and your interviewer has to decide about you.

It may not be defensible, but while we are being probed for our expertise, there may also be a critical moment in which a blast of bad breath, a food stain on the shirt front, or just too much self-advertisement can provoke a thumbs-down. And that is where I come in, because I groom every job-seeker in how to please in a way that the hirer has no choice but to hire you. And here we come to the point of this report, which is Charlie.

I met Charlie at a ballgame where he jumped up to cheer a homer and knocked coke all over my trousers. It was, you might think, an inauspicious beginning to our acquaintance, but in fact I felt nothing but sympathy for his embarrassment. That was so unlike me that I figured there was something fishy and suggested we talk it over after the game. Well, in the course of that conversation I discovered that he had just lost his job as a bartender when the lease ran out. I promptly offered to find him a new job in return for a substantial discount on my usual fee, which should convince you I was out of my mind.

And this is where it gets really interesting; barkeep jobs are hard to find right now, so after minimal grooming I had him apply for a realtor position, for which he was totally untrained, and he was promptly hired. The position wasn’t due to be filled for a month, so in the interim I paraded him around to the IRS, a brokerage firm, a hotel chain and a construction outfit, and every time he was offered a good job without having to show credentials.

This was some way past belief, so when he finally started the barman job, I kept in touch with him now and then, and eventually discovered his secret. It seems that he was accustomed to using an inexpensive after-shave lotion, but always mixed in a few drops of Oxytosin, sold on the web at an outrageous price as a love potion.

In fact Oxytosin isn’t a love potion, but it does have the effect of creating a sensation of trust in whoever inhales it. While experimenting with it, I got jobs for a number of jailbirds who should never have been let loose. 

The predictable results nearly ruined my business, but at least I now have a reliable tool justifying a shorter grooming period for job applicants. I’ve been able to add “Placement Success Guaranteed” to my fliers. I am often accused by jealous competitors of sharp practice, but my conscience remains clear because, after all, trusting someone enough to hire them without proper credentials is a personal decision that could not possible be influenced by chemical intervention, could it?

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