My little “Princess from India” was quite pleased that I had decided to follow her as she intently explored the lay out of McDonalds. Mom on the other hand was not enjoying the tour. Her brow wrinkled, and her impatience was growing. I couldn’t help noticing that the “Princess” seemed to understand that her Mother was not pleased, and she occasionally smiled up at her mother with the look of the cat that swallowed the canary.
I asked Mom if the “Princess” had any food allergies and if it would be okay to order her a plain vanilla sundae. Mom said “sure” and reached for her wallet, politely asking me if I cared to have anything as well. I smiled declining the offer and returned the kindness of asking her if she would like anything? Mom said no thank you, and seemed unsettled that I had paid for the Princess’s sundae. We headed towards a table and the little “Princess” very independently climbed up right next to me. She was staring curiously at the sundae. Keep in mind the entire interview the “Princess” never once spoke to me only to her Mother.
Smiling at the “Princess” I placed a napkin to cover her shirt, and opened the sundae. I placed the spoon in front of her noticing that she stared at it rather than picking it up. Mom told me she had never eaten a sundae before and that she did not feed herself. I was a little surprised on both counts but I picked up the spoon and gave her a taste. She was surprised by the coldness, but immediately gave me a nod of approval to continue with the feeding. Thoroughly amused I continued to feed her the sundae while Mom began her questioning.
I continued interacting with the “Princess” while answering all of Mom’s questions. Then It was my turn to ask my questions. I asked Mom if her daughter had any health issues. Mom looked surprised and revealed to me that the little “Princess” had a heart condition, and that she had already had open heart surgery. I was surprised by the fact that she had not disclosed this important detail to me, looking back I think it may have been because she initially intended not to leave me alone with her one and only daughter. Then I asked her if the” Princess” spoke English? Mom’s face reddened and she told me that she did not. She then revealed to me that she, and her husband wanted to hire me for two primary reasons. The first was to teach the “Princess” to speak English without the deep accent that both she, and her husband shared. The second was to help her ,and the “Princess” become more Americanized.
This is exactly why first interviews are so intriguing to me. As I told you before clients rarely fully disclose their particular needs in our initial correspondence. So first interviews are a lot like opening an unexpected carefully wrapped package. Sometimes I can guess within the first few minutes of an interview what their requests will entail. This was not the case with this interview. Mom then asked me if I was still interested in the job? I of course agreed to take the position, after all the “Princess” had already captured my heart. 😉