On 21 March, I attended a cattle call for job aspirants. It wasn’t my first cattle call, but it was a more positive experience than my first had been.
My first was a few years ago and started out with me getting lost. No clear directions had been given to where the job interview would be taking place. For this second one, they all but drew me a map. I wasn’t late, despite the best efforts of my cat to delay my departure.
And although I was on time, they waited for everyone to show up. No, “sorry you missed it,” like the first time. Yes, the company representative waited for everyone and started his presentation a full ten minutes late. During those ten minutes that I was late to my first cattle call, they had finished their presentation and had moved on to the “any questions” stage before calling people back for their interviews.
And this was no ten minute, “thank you for coming, this is what we do,” presentation. It covered who they were, what they did, what they were looking for in an employee, what the potential compensation would be, etc. There were very few questions left unanswered at the end of the hour-long handshake.
And no interviews. Either you were sold on the company or you weren’t. And I wasn’t, but not because it wasn’t a good deal; it just wasn’t right for me. If I had said that I was interested, the next step would have been an interview. I would have known who with, when, and where, and more importantly I would have had time to pull myself together, to absorb all I had learned that day and to impress the hell out of them.
And that is how you run a cattle call.