You don’t always get to have your way

Had an interesting exchange with a potential candidate a few months back. She expressed interest in an open position and we were very much hiring. I asked her to send me some work samples. She sent me a password-protected PDF with some of her ‘best work.’ The password was set to expire in 1 day. I didn’t have a clue what was going on. So, I ignored.

Next up, I briefed her about the roles and responsibilities for the position she was applying for and asked her if she’s committed to taking a creative test? She agreed. And I sent her a detailed brief about the test including the reference materials that she will be needing to finish it.

She sent back a note that literally said, “I’ll be working on slides 1 to 5 and slides 22 and 23. Not all the slides. I guess you can make out how creative I am from just a few slides.” Now, you know me. I’m usually chilled about most things* except a lack of common sense and a good sense of humor. I tried hard not to snap and wrote back explaining the importance of such a test reassuring that she can take more time if need be.

She confirmed she’ll do the whole thing and get back to me over the weekend. The following Saturday, she sent me a PPSX presentation file instead of a normal PowerPoint file. So, what? Here’s what — a PPSX file is a PowerPoint Open XML Slide Show which was mainly designed to be non-editable and basically playback a PowerPoint presentation created prior.

Now, this was a situation because from my experience candidates with an attitude and trust issues don’t make the best of team members. I shared my feedback, based on my observation, in good faith hoping that it will serve her well. And I hope it did.

Perhaps, it’s a ‘millennial’ thing or something else. I really don’t care. You can’t have it your way when you’re at the mercy of the person in front of you to give you a fair opportunity.

And as far as protecting your ‘best work’ is concerned, I think we’ve gotten it all wrong. Your ‘best work’ is only a matter of perspective. Perhaps your perspective. Not everyone else’s. But that’s okay. I believe if it’s your best work, it should belong in the public domain for everyone to see, share and even steal!

Why? Because that’s exactly what will get people talking and who knows, I just might hire you!

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