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Cat Resources Department: Best interview techniques?

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    I just met a thug of a cat that I want to hire. He fits in nowhere in the company. He might even be a bad employee, literally biting the hand that feeds him, or pissing on the boss' desk. Literally. He might even have a criminal record. He is alone in a cat condo at the shelter because he doesn't get along with anyone else, and he's huge.

    But man, he is one large, good-looking tuxedo cat. I think I could kick his a$$ with enough skill and persistence to tame him.... and then... what a cat!
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by Renn/aissance View Post
      I want a kitty. I have the job description all ready to post on linkedin.cat when the job actually opens.

      Wanted: Large (very large,) furry (very furry,) weird (very weird) cat to be best friend. Must be proficient in lounging, chasing dust bunnies, eating spiders, and feats of acrobatics. Should possess a purr that can rock the foundation of the house. Should not have many dietary restrictions as will be asked on occasion to sample bits of cooking, such as scrambled eggs and chicken. Ideal candidate will talk to walls, open doors, steal my things and hide them under the bed, and assist in household chores by sitting on the exact thing I want and not getting up. Small, normal cats need not apply. Package includes metabolically-appropriate diet as suggested by vet, table scraps, lots and lots of kitty brush, feather chase, laser tag, and catnip, and the sunny spot on the pillow for the rest of the new hire's life.
      When you are ready, let me introduce you to the Yoda of Cats. Trust me - she will have what you are looking for, and if not, it will likely stop by her home within the week you place your order.
      Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
      W. C. Fields

      Comment


      • #23
        I hired my most recent kitty to help fill the hole in my heart left by the death of my heart-cat. She caught my attention at the Humane Society by rolling on her back and reaching for me. She still does that to this day. When I interviewed her, I played with her and petted her to make sure we got along. We did. I hired her and never looked back. She's still my special little girl.

        Comment


        • #24
          I once spent an entire day interviewing candidates and none fit my job description. (not fluffy, not big, over 1 year old, and super attractive) And yes I know that hiring based on age and appearance is against the law!

          Then the last candidate I saw chose me!

          It was the end of the day and I asked to speak with a small gray cat who I thought was reasonably cute.

          I picked said cat up and she complained loudly so I put her back in the cage (Petsmart). I wasn't sure she would fit the bill so I stood there a moment and then started to walk away.

          As I did so, the small gray cat reached through the bars of the cage and grabbed my shirt and wouldn't let go. So I turned to the jailer and said "looks like I'm taking this one!"

          Our first night was a little rough, but she has been the perfect employee ever since! http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...2_477435_n.jpg

          Comment


          • #25
            Timely topic, as I just hired on a New Cat who started Monday.

            The job's a tough one, and pretty diverse. He is starting a a junior CAH (cat about the house) reporting to my Senior CIC (cat in charge.) The Sr CIC lost his former assistant, who was also his brother, a month ago.. so the Jr CAH has big paws to fill.

            Finding the Right Cat for such a role is part art, part science. The job description included a willingness to fill the cat shaped hole in the house, while simultaneously establishing an independent presence in the company. We were definitely looking for a Renaissance Cat, one who can adapt to the prevailing circumstances, whether that means actively entertaining the Sr CIC and his staff, or lounging attractively in the company digs while the staff rests and prepares for another day of Earning Money for Cat Food.

            I think the Right Cat looks you in the eye when you start interviewing, and lets you know, "I'm the Cat for the job," before you've even outlined it, and such was the case with Jackson, our new hire. Here he is this morning, assisting the Sr. CIC with morning activities:

            Click image for larger version

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            **********
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
            -PaulaEdwina

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by JumpQH View Post
              I hired my most recent kitty to help fill the hole in my heart left by the death of my heart-cat. She caught my attention at the Humane Society by rolling on her back and reaching for me. She still does that to this day. When I interviewed her, I played with her and petted her to make sure we got along. We did. I hired her and never looked back. She's still my special little girl.
              See? Why do we need to do so many rounds of interviews? Just get a vibe and go.... just like when jobs were all traded among white men who drank together.

              I do think that half of a great hire is a non-crazy boss and cohesive corporation that knows what it wants. Congrats on your well-chosen cat.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

              Comment


              • #27
                I need to rewrite the job descriptions and communicate the opportunities and development plan a little more clearly. While we clearly state that it is a barn cat/outdoor cat position, all our new hires are laboring under the misapprehension that they can be promoted to an indoor cat position. Sadly, none these eager and ambitious individuals seem to possess the requisite indoor cat skills (not peeing on things, not loudly demanding food at 3AM.)

                I also think I need to introduce some performance metrics as I suspect they are all not working up to their ability when it comes to vermin control. They do all excel at dog discipline.

                We do not advertise open positions or actively search for candidates; the prospective candidates tend to just appear on the back deck at feeding time. If they can navigate the complicated pecking and social order of their colleagues, they usually stay on. I do not have the heart to implement a more rigorous screenign process.
                The plural of anecdote is not data.

                Comment


                • #28
                  Almost 8 years ago I was driving home from the barn, and saw a dead kitty on the side of the road. Pretty common in farm country, but what wasn't common was the kitten sitting by her. I slammed on the brakes and jumped out - the little thing ran right to me. I looked for others, but none found...so she came home with me. At the time I had 2 cats - one very elderly and one kind of elderly (both with health issues) - so I guess I sort of had an opening for lap cat. She was the only application at the time, and she got the job! Thankfully she has blossomed into the role with no issues.
                  Here she is with my 3yo Goldendoodle, Penny: Lucy (look closely and you'll see my Charlie there too, he's described below)

                  About 6 years ago I had one at the very end of his life, as well as my then DH's meaner-than-snot-antisocial-jerk, and my very friendly female (see above). I knew that I needed something young and playful to keep my other young one entertained. So, the job was posted and while I had many applicants, I was very selective. I had to make sure that I was able to see the entire litter to make the best choice. One litter fit all of my requirements, so I went to see them. When I got there, the momma cat was friendly enough, but all of the kittens scattered...except one. He walked right up to me, as big as you please, and promptly played with my bootlace. He was hired immediately. Some 6 years later he is still the same - brave, outgoing, friendly, fun, playful and big-as-you-please. As it turns out, he quickly chose my then 2yo son as his person and it still tickles me today that they are best buddies.
                  Toby: http://flic.kr/p/e1qkX1
                  And, Toby with "his boy:" http://flic.kr/p/e1qhAC

                  A year later I didn't even know I was accepting applications, when as I was at PetsMart and strolled back to the cats (Humane Society) as I always do. There he was, upper left cage - orange tabby. He was sitting down, but when we made eye contact, his rear end lifted, his whole body perked up and I swear he said "what on earth has taken you so long, TAKE ME HOME." I had my now-deceased heart dog (coonhound) with me, thus not really prepared to take home a new hire. But I figured, hey let's see how he is with dogs...he rubbed her face while she tried to sniff him all over. So, he got the job. 5 years later, Charlie still sleeps with me every night, and sits on my lap at every possible chance. When I get home, he is usually right in front of the dogs to greet me. GREAT cat - probably the best cat I've ever had...and I've had many.

                  And finally, just a few short months ago, a very skinny and hungry one showed up on my doorstep and applied for a job. I, of course, took her in and got her fixed up...and I the best job description for her would be "tormenter." She loves to hide and then pounce on any and all walking by her...but she's turned into quite a lap cat too...on her terms, of course. So, Gracie is here to stay too.
                  Here is a common pic in my house: Charlie and Gracie on my lap http://flic.kr/p/e1jCp2
                  Last edited by spotteddrafter; Mar. 7, 2013, 01:01 PM. Reason: added more
                  “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #29
                    Originally posted by McGurk View Post
                    I need to rewrite the job descriptions and communicate the opportunities and development plan a little more clearly. While we clearly state that it is a barn cat/outdoor cat position, all our new hires are laboring under the misapprehension that they can be promoted to an indoor cat position. Sadly, none these eager and ambitious individuals seem to possess the requisite indoor cat skills (not peeing on things, not loudly demanding food at 3AM.)

                    I also think I need to introduce some performance metrics as I suspect they are all not working up to their ability when it comes to vermin control. They do all excel at dog discipline.

                    We do not advertise open positions or actively search for candidates; the prospective candidates tend to just appear on the back deck at feeding time. If they can navigate the complicated pecking and social order of their colleagues, they usually stay on. I do not have the heart to implement a more rigorous screenign process.
                    OMG! Are you one of those employers that hires a cat for 39 hours a week so that he just missed the mark for benefits? Or "Look, no opportunity for promotion. Ever. You'll be doing high level killing but entry level living for the rest of your life."

                    How do you write that kind of job description? Or do you count on the fact that your Catidates are illiterate?
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      My last three have been hitchhikers picked up from the side of the road. No references and questionable interview skills (half-starved, wormy, covered with fleas, and in one case, feral) but once they got in the house they quickly established squatter's rights and it's worked out pretty well each time.

                      The last one, I found in the park while running last summer and carried home. He was going to be a barn cat but lacked the brains or coordination for anything involving heavy machinery/ large animals. It must be nice to get proper interviews-- I don't even get to decide I'm hiring before I find an applicant

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        OMG! Are you one of those employers that hires a cat for 39 hours a week so that he just missed the mark for benefits? Or "Look, no opportunity for promotion. Ever.
                        No, no, the benefit plan is quite generous, and is available on first day of hire. The retirment plan is quite good as well, a guarantee of a replacement income through out their retirement years.

                        There's a funny story about me taking a new applicant to the vet, and $225. later (nuetering, shots, worming, blood tests) bringing him home. When I told hubby I was taking the black cat to the vet, he thought I was taking the current job holder to the vet, not a new applicant, and was a bit appalled at the amount of money spent before the hiring decision was made. So not only are they benefits eligible at date of hire, they're benefits eligible before being hired. :-)

                        Promotion to indoor cat would require an exceptional candidate with the power to persuade DH of the business need and value of creating an indoor cat position.

                        You'll be doing high level work but entry level living for the rest of your life.
                        No, that describes my job, not the cat's.
                        The plural of anecdote is not data.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by mvp View Post
                          I just met a thug of a cat that I want to hire. He fits in nowhere in the company. He might even be a bad employee, literally biting the hand that feeds him, or pissing on the boss' desk. Literally. He might even have a criminal record. He is alone in a cat condo at the shelter because he doesn't get along with anyone else, and he's huge.

                          But man, he is one large, good-looking tuxedo cat. I think I could kick his a$$ with enough skill and persistence to tame him.... and then... what a cat!
                          BTW...Congrats on the new hire
                          **********
                          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                          -PaulaEdwina

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by McGurk View Post

                            You'll be doing high level work but entry level living for the rest of your life.

                            No, that describes my job, not the cat's.
                            Sooooo there with you...

                            Maybe we should start a union? United Cat Serfs?
                            **********
                            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                            -PaulaEdwina

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Our requirements for our first cat were fairly strict, as DH was not completely convinced that we *needed* to add a cat to our household. We were looking for:
                              -a friendly cat who liked attention and being petted but did not like sitting/rubbing on faces (to facilitate better human-cat interactions with people sensitive to cat dander)
                              -short and soft fur (DH was adamant that cat grooming requirements be minimal)
                              -talkative (being fairly blunt myself, I get along better with individuals who communicate clearly)
                              -not aggressive to our two existing house rabbits (mainly for the cat's safety, as the male rabbit has been observed barrel kicking rude felines in the past)
                              -possessed of good dog discipline skills (since our lab sometimes has friends over to the house and we wanted to be sure that the cat was capable of establishing boundaries with new canines)

                              In return, we offered food, several cushy sleeping options, toys, healthcare and a large, custom built cat tree based on the Right Cat's personal preferences.

                              We made an appointment with a local cat employment agency and were asked to make a short list of our preferred candidates from their large pool of available cats. After reading resumes and speaking with several people who had had some of the cats in temporary jobs, we were allowed into a large room to conduct a group interview with our applicants. DH preferred a larger male cat based on the resumes we'd seen, but when we walked into the room, my first choice for the job strutted right up to DH, put her paws on his knee and explained -at length- why she was best suited for the job. Fifteen minutes later, she was coming home with us.

                              First Cat

                              Over time, she has proven to have not only all the qualities we were looking for, but has also taken the additional responsibilities of dog grooming, occasional food taster and is now our Head Instigator. Amazingly, she is also completely impervious to the effects of catnip so we never have to worry about a stoned employee! She also has some of the best little pink jellybean toes of doom that I have ever seen...

                              Our second cat was a much simpler interview process. One of my aunts had picked up a very young stray cat on the side of the freeway and the cat was later discovered to be pregnant. She had 4 kittens and in an extremely clever move, my Aunt began sending out kitten pictures/updates to the entire family. My sister was persuaded to employ the female kitten and we were convinced that we needed the rambunctious orange male kitten, while my Aunt kept the other two. Second cat was chosen because his skills seemed to complement those of First Cat.

                              He is a very competent hunter and is extremely athletic, which allows First Cat to be the brains while he is the muscle of the Instigation Department. As an example of their typical tandem efforts, last Thanksgiving they were discovered in the kitchen with the frozen turkey. First Cat was supervising from the counter, while Second Cat had the mesh handle of the turkey in his mouth and was attempting to drag it out of the sink.

                              He has taught First Cat hunting chatter, how to growl and how to practice necessary clawing techniques on rolls of paper towels. She, in turn, has taught him to chew his nails, how constant vigilance is important and how to suddenly flop in front of oncoming foot traffic to cause the best human reactions.

                              Second Cat has been caught dyeing his paws blue, running off with packages of meat, cheese etc all while First Cat supervises. He has become a hefty 13 pounder, but when he was first hired he had a hard time adjusting to the climate change (HI to CO) and needed a sweater to keep from shivering. He appeared to enjoy the sweater. It didn't seem to hamper his stalking abilities.

                              His purr is loud enough we're sure the neighbors can hear it and he produces an inordinately large number of BTUs, making him a very efficient lap warmer!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                Timely topic, as I just hired on a New Cat who started Monday.

                                The job's a tough one, and pretty diverse. He is starting a a junior CAH (cat about the house) reporting to my Senior CIC (cat in charge.) The Sr CIC lost his former assistant, who was also his brother, a month ago.. so the Jr CAH has big paws to fill.

                                Finding the Right Cat for such a role is part art, part science. The job description included a willingness to fill the cat shaped hole in the house, while simultaneously establishing an independent presence in the company. We were definitely looking for a Renaissance Cat, one who can adapt to the prevailing circumstances, whether that means actively entertaining the Sr CIC and his staff, or lounging attractively in the company digs while the staff rests and prepares for another day of Earning Money for Cat Food.

                                I think the Right Cat looks you in the eye when you start interviewing, and lets you know, "I'm the Cat for the job," before you've even outlined it, and such was the case with Jackson, our new hire. Here he is this morning, assisting the Sr. CIC with morning activities:

                                [ATTACH=CONFIG]37708[/ATTACH]
                                I see your firm has grown past nepotism.

                                It looks like the new hire was invited to the exec's gym. I assume SIC is the larger one?

                                It is important to hire a cat who will fit in with the existing corporate culture. Behind the cat who says "I'm the man for the job" is the ability to do that since, after all, they can't google the company and study up first.
                                The armchair saddler
                                Politically Pro-Cat

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                  BTW...Congrats on the new hire
                                  No! Didn't hire him! My cat has a sole proprietorship that leases space from me. She would have vetoed him. I didn't even bother to ask, even though I'm the landlord. I know how the hierarchy works and I have submitted.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                    I see your firm has grown past nepotism.

                                    It looks like the new hire was invited to the exec's gym. I assume SIC is the larger one?

                                    It is important to hire a cat who will fit in with the existing corporate culture. Behind the cat who says "I'm the man for the job" is the ability to do that since, after all, they can't google the company and study up first.
                                    Yep, gotta move with the times and all that... nepotism, as we all know, has its ups and downs. It is h*ll to replace a relative, ya know? And Sr IS kind of large ... 16 lbs at last count, whereas Jr is about half that. At least at the moment.

                                    The New Hire is a Mau. They're interesting fellows, bred for hunting apparently, and fast as h*ll. Anyway, he's got that nice mix of friendly/playful/inquisitive attitude with enough self confidence and backbone that he'll take a swat or two and just keep on offering to hang in there. He wants to play with the Sr CIC (informally known as the Head Cat) so bad he can taste it. Head Cat says the jury's still out on that, but is willing to share the bed, and let the Noobie come to the gym. The probationary period is going well so far.

                                    But I think he *did* Google us. He's that kind of Cat. You should have seen the application we had to fill out and the freakin' contract we had to sign...
                                    **********
                                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                    -PaulaEdwina

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                      No! Didn't hire him! My cat has a sole proprietorship that leases space from me. She would have vetoed him. I didn't even bother to ask, even though I'm the landlord. I know how the hierarchy works and I have submitted.
                                      Oh, man. Your HR dept needs to get on that. Those Thugs don't come along every day, even in this market...
                                      **********
                                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                      -PaulaEdwina

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #39
                                        Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
                                        My last three have been hitchhikers picked up from the side of the road. No references and questionable interview skills (half-starved, wormy, covered with fleas, and in one case, feral) but once they got in the house they quickly established squatter's rights and it's worked out pretty well each time.

                                        The last one, I found in the park while running last summer and carried home. He was going to be a barn cat but lacked the brains or coordination for anything involving heavy machinery/ large animals. It must be nice to get proper interviews-- I don't even get to decide I'm hiring before I find an applicant
                                        Meh, "survival" is their skill.

                                        And another thing!

                                        In animals and people, too little counts for the invisible line on the resume that reads "survived a truly heinous childhood (and I'm not whack because you never would have guessed this from my interview)."

                                        One of the things that impresses me most about animals is their ability to learn to trust again after bad stuff is done to them. Do you all agree that that's a quality you'd want in an employee?
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                          Meh, "survival" is their skill.

                                          And another thing!

                                          In animals and people, too little counts for the invisible line on the resume that reads "survived a truly heinous childhood (and I'm not whack because you never would have guessed this from my interview)."

                                          One of the things that impresses me most about animals is their ability to learn to trust again after bad stuff is done to them. Do you all agree that that's a quality you'd want in an employee?
                                          Yes, absolutely!!!! One of my main reasons for adopting my new hire-to-be is that all of my kitties that I currently have have known nothing but love and kindness all their lives. They are so trusting. It kills me to think of what this poor galoot may have been through. I want to make his life happy.
                                          What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

                                          Comment

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