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Working For LD: The Interview is More Important Than The Resume

Mike Schertenlieb

If you know anything about our company, you know that culture is important to us… 

And if you’ve applied for a job at LongerDays, hopefully you’re taking the time to read some blogs and get a sense of what it’s like to work here. The work isn’t easy. It requires a hefty amount of brain power and no shortage of patience. It’s techy. It’s interpersonal. The day-to-day requires agility and critical thinking… 

But it’s about more than just the tasks. Honestly, it’s about more than the clients too.

We do our hiring based on skills, of course, but we also look for personalities that gel with the rest of the team. The application is designed in a way that brings out some personality, but it can only go so far. Similarly, a resume gives a sense of history and skill… But isn’t terribly important in the long run.

Resumes Only Tell So Much

Of course we want applicants to include a resume. It helps to know where you’ve worked, how long you’ve held jobs, past job experience and tasks, and all of that good stuff… 

But resumes are barely a glimpse into what someone is actually like as a human being. What’s more, we’re not your typical workplace. Seeing all of the duties from a previous job doesn’t really tell us how you might function here. 

On that same token, people tend to puff themselves up on the ol’ CV…

That’s not an accusation – people just tend to lean toward fancier language, describing their jobs in as many jargon words as possible, potentially inflating how much they did on their own, and all of that. Again, we all do it because that’s what we think we’re supposed to do.

It doesn’t mean resumes are dishonest per se, just that we have kind of devalued them culturally. The raw facts on them are useful, but all of those bullet points we feel required to include don’t do much… Everybody uses the same ones anyway. 

The Interview is Key… And Weird

When we interview potential candidates, we don’t follow a script. There may be a few set questions, but the point is to have a conversation… To talk about YOU and get to know how you work, what you’re into, and what you’d be like as a coworker. Again, culture is very important to us. We can train you how to add images on WordPress, but we can we train you to keep your cool when a client’s freaking out? Can we train you to catch The Office references or how to converse in gif? 

The work is paramount, of course, and it’s important that the people we hire have the baseline skills for the job… But historically, we’ve been amazed at the people who thrive best here. They’re often the ones coming from food service or retail, with little experience in the platforms and systems we use every day. Instead, they’re usually people who’ve relied on agility to get through their workdays. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you know how quickly things can go off the rails. 

So, we interview for those kinds of qualities. We ask about hobbies and nerdy interests. We want to hear stories about your worst days at previous jobs, and what you did to make them better. The chat might cover a bit about mental health, stress management, flexibility, and values. We’ll also ask you about Lord of The Rings characters or the last bad movie you enjoyed. You’ll probably tell us about your favorite music and if you have pets… 

And those are the things (at least until you come in to do some test tasks) that matter most. 

Providing your work history and skill overview with a resume is apiece of the puzzle – and so is our (slightly unusual) application. The interview, though… That’s where the magic happens. It’s where we see your smile and hear your laugh, where we get to dig in to who you are as a living, breathing person – not as a collection of bullet points on a piece of paper.