I set the scene and write chapter one. You take that and run with it in your durdy little minds.
The business was taking off. I had a competent secretary book-keeper, Janey, and that was all good. She was attractive, but married and happily so. I told her she was doing a good job, but I needed to hire a personal assistant and I thought that person would be a woman, and she would travel with me to out of town meetings, plus take some of the load off Janey's back ... which meant that she could go back to the 9-5 hours she wanted, plus get a few days off now and then, something that had become increasingly difficult.
I wrote the ad, and ran it by Janey:
"Wanted: Personal Assistant for small marketing office. Mature and presentable, must be willing to travel extensively and flexible in hours worked.
Language and Communications skills vital. Ability to get along with demanding but reasonable boss, determined by interview, more important than experience."
Janey came into my office and winked at me.
"If you're looking for what I think you're looking for, these are just right."
Janey knew ... I had hit on her a few times and she had knocked me back. She knew she was valuable and the paychecks I wrote her acknowledged her worth. She was wise in the ways of the world and didnt hold it against me for trying but she simply wasnt available for extra-curriculars.
I let Janey do the prelim interviews, while I stayed away from the office when she scheduled them ... it was important that she and the prospect got along. I had no idea what her criteria would be and didnt ask, I trusted her that much.
She filtered out all but ten and gave me the list and the interview schedule.
"What's this 'Roger Trimble'"?
"You have to interview at least ONE guy, Bill. Wouldnt look right if you didnt."
The other nine were women, aged about 25 to 40. All single but one ... I didnt ask Janey about that, assuming she wanted to be fair in that regard, as well.
At least they were all attractive, but I weeded out all but three, just on my impression of their competence and whether they were really able to fit my needs, and one of those weeded out, just to show it WAS important to do business, was the most attractive of the lot.
But the three remaining were attractive enough that I would have hit on them if they showed me any interest in a bar or on a plane.
Janey set up my second interviews with the three, and then told me she was taking off on those afternoons.
"Just stay away from my workspace." she ordered me with a slight grin. I winked back at her.
When they got there, I offered them a coffee or soda, then got right down to business.
I asked each if they were involved in a personal relationship which could possibly affect their hours or travel and two said they were dating, but their careers were more important to them than their boy-friends. The other was just divorced.
I asked some follow-ons about such things as fear of flying and how they handled driving in heavy traffic.
Seemed strange but it was important, I went to LA and Houston a lot and they'd be better if they werent chewing their nails while I drove in that traffic, even better if they could handle driving in it.
Then I invited each to the upscale bar down the street. This was also part of the interview process. Lots of business is done during happy hour and post-meeting depressurization.
I looked at how they handled themselves in that environment. Were they at ease and focused on business ... i.e.; me. One of the three couldnt seem to do that, she kept looking around, eying the other men in the bar, as if rating the next prospects. Distractions like that while with a client would be a real negative. She was mentally crossed off ... but she was a real looker, 'stacked' as my older brother used to say, so I wasn't going to tell her she didnt fit until the end of the process...
The other two passed muster easily. They stayed focused on me, and asked pertinent questions about the job as well as answering personal questions frankly. Anyone who has interviewed employee prospects knows the best way to size up prospects is by the questions they ask.