Blue Highways Journey – Episode 18 – Commitment

Claire Jennings decided to change her approach to interviewing job candidates after her blue highways journeys. Today she would be interviewing a candidate named Bonnie Clevenger. She had done some background research from her Facebook posts. What she saw, she liked. Claire began her interview by saying: “Tell me about Sadie.”

Sadie was Bonnie’s dog. She thought the question was meant to be an icebreaker, so she was comfortable telling her story with Sadie. But the next 15 minutes of the interview were about Sadie. Bonnie wasn’t sure where the interview was going because she hadn’t said anything about her experience.

Once the Sadie part of the interview was over, the next question was about Leyda, the DACA teenager that Bonnie had befriended. Again, there were a number of follow-up questions about Leyda and how Bonnie had helped her. At this point in the interview, Bonnie began to wonder if they were ever going to talk about her credentials.

In fact, the final set of questions concerned Bonnie’s status as a triathlete. Again, there were a number of follow-up questions but none about her credentials, skills, or expertise.

Toward the end of the interview allotted time, the claim stunned Bonnie when she said: “I want to hire you. What will it take for you to say yes?” Bonnie was so stunned, she hesitated not knowing what to say.

Claire, seeing her hesitation, shared her thinking with Bonnie: “You are probably wondering why I didn’t ask about your abilities and fit for the job. I did, but it may not have been obvious to you. The one thing that I most want in employees is commitment. I love how committed and passionate you are about Sadie, Leyda, and being a triathlete.  I just don’t find that in many people. I want employees who are engaged in their life, not just living life. Commitment is not something you can learn in college. It’s who you are. To me, commitment encompasses everything I’m looking for in our employees. It’s the foundation for our success.” 

Throughout the interview, Claire was recalling the people she had met on the blue highways journeys. She was so pleased to find that good people are all over the country. To find them you need to ask the curiosity questions that Claire asked.

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“When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.”
– Betty Bender (author)

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