Job Interview: A conversation I will always remember

I had a job interview for a Computer Programmer position for a Health Care Software Company in June 1996. I picked out my best beige suit and drove the hour to the office.

I met Mike at the doorway. He was a pleasant fellow, 38 years old. He led me to a conference room, where he handed me a packet, which was a Programming Test.

I finished the test in about 20 minutes, and Mike came back into the room to go over the test with me.  First, he grabbed my resume. I immediately brought attention to the typos in my resume. I had discovered after I mailed it, that there were a few words misspelled. I immediately began to explain that I had a 2-year-old son, and he had gotten into the word processor.

Mike began to talk about his two daughters, and his face lit up. We began chit-chatting about our kids. Then, I realized, this was not very professional of me and I was scared that I had blown the interview.

We began going over my test answers. On the ones I got wrong, I explained how I came up with the answer that I did. Mike was very agreeable and understood my explanations. Well, when the points were counted up, I had actually failed the test. But in the time that we worked over the answers together, we had established a working relationship.

I got up to leave and Mike walked me to the door. He shook my hand and I felt a power surge, like a spiritual connection, like it was part of my destiny.

I didn’t hear anything back right away, so I interviewed at a Hospital and was offered a job there. I called Mike and told him I would rather work for his company. Mike apologized that it was taking his company so long to make a decision. He said that I was his first choice and said, “I don’t want to lose you.” This is the first time a man ever said this to me.  Mike called me back and made me an offer. I got the job.

Unfortunately, several months after I was hired, Mike was diagnosed with Brain Cancer. He was one of the healthiest people I ever met. He lived on fresh produce, and spent his vacation days hiking and biking.

He died the following July, at the age of 39. But I will never forget the conversations that we had.

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