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Puppet-Based Training

I know nothing about Network Engineering, which is why Possa asked me to interview a candidate for the Manager of Network Engineering position.

Since Possa does not possess an opinion of his own, he always needs someone else to make the decision for him. In this case, he asked me to be that decision maker. And the less I know about Network Engineering the better, so that I don't get too picky and take a long time deciding.

I hate interviewing. I especially hate interviewing candidates I don't have a vested interest in hiring. As a result, the goal of the interview is to entertain myself a much as possible.

This is where the Jason Cam actually comes in handy. Because not only can I entertain myself, I can entertain my staff.

I start with a question that throws them every time:

"Coke or Pepsi?"

First there's stammering and a look of confusion. My expression remains stoic. The candidate asks me to repeat the question. I return a look of confusion, because this is a very simple question. If he can't understand this simple question, how can he work on complicated network infrastructures? Suddenly, there is a look of despair in the candidate's face and he stops me from repeating the question. But he does confirm:

"Are you serious?"

I look at him with a hint of disappointment.

"You have no idea how this might relate to Network Engineering?"

He has no idea but pretends the correlation just comes to him. His answer is irrelevant, because either way I shake my head, as if he got it wrong, and make a note.

There are other stupid questions, but the part I like the most (and my staff likes the most) is the PBT portion of the interview.

"Are you okay with the training technique of PBT? You'll need to do this with all your techs..."

"PBT? I've heard of CBT... Computer Based Training. But what is PBT?"

"Puppet Based Training. We feel retention is much higher if we train with puppets..."

That's when I put two fury little puppets on my hands and start talking in a squeaky voice. I conduct the rest of the interview using the puppets. It is amazing the command this candidate had over his facial expressions for the duration. He remained 100% professional.

My staff wants me to recommend the hire just so they can replay the video clip for him and give him shit about it.

I told Possa he was the most qualified candidate I'd ever spoken to. He starts in two weeks.  


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