A note to the candidate that I just interviewed

When I reviewed your resume, I was excited. Hopeful, enthusiastic about talking to you. Hoping that our phone interview would be perfect, hoping that your energy and your knowledge would persuade me that you were the right fit for the position.

When I reviewed your resume, I was excited. Your resume mentioned that you could speak Creole and Haitian French and for one second, I fantasized about discussing Kompa with you. For that one second, I felt, I could be a full Haitian/ Caribbean and have someone to share my immigrant experience with. For one second, I thought I could share stories of my childhood with no judgement. For one second, I thought that I had won the lottery: being able to speak French and Creole at work.

Not to scare you, the work environment that I am selling to you is fully inclusive and rewarding, but on cloudy days, it is hard being the only black face in the office. It pains me not to be able to share articles from VSB on Slack, when everybody else is sharing about breweries and Game of Thrones.

I was happy to see your resume and I asked HR to contact you immediately. I said, reach out to these 3 candidates, but him first. And HR talked to you immediately, had a phone conversation with you and scheduled you to talk to me. I was hopeful. Finally.

And I called you, you answered. You had low energy. You were not prepared. You mumbled, fumbled, said you could do it all, braved it all. You were casual with me, you didn’t try to impress me.

It is true that it is a very junior position and I, and we, would provide you with the training necessary. It is true that I was not expecting advanced technical knowledge. But, how can I give you a job if you can’t even discuss anything about what you majored in school? Didn’t you graduate last week? How can I be happy to mentor and train you, when you showed no humility, no thirst for learning, no curiosity. When you didn’t research the company properly? When you didn’t even try our product?

You will say that I was too difficult with you, that my expectations were too high, that I was unfair. I am not, I asked the same questions to every candidates and some have answered appropriately. I also try not to be biased in my selection because hiring you is a reflection on me. Believe me, I do not want to spend my days covering for you, correcting your errors, micro-managing you, babysitting you. I was not difficult, I was fair to you and fair to myself. Also, you would have interviewed with my boss and I do not want him to question my judgment. You will argue that English is not your first language, that you could not find your thoughts, you can come up with any excuses you want.

All you needed was preparation. I am disappointed and heartbroken. Once again. Because even though, I keep inviting you for interviews, you are never prepared. You are never as sharp as the others. You either do not give your best, you either brag about knowing it all, being able to do it all or you lie about your achievements.

My position is still open and I do hope that I will find your resume. Once again. But this time, I do hope that someone, somewhere is preparing you for interviews, for life… I have brothers, cousins, friends and I make it my job to help them prepare, because they always need be better, sharper, smarter, livelier than the others.

I am still waiting for your resume. I am still hoping for that connection. I am still the single Black face. I will call you for an interview. Be prepared.