Workplace Simulation Brings Together Employee and Future Co-Worker
Carl was the best person for the job – he had the skills, experience, and, most of all, the personality the company needed in a good salesperson. There was no reason a company wouldn’t take him. However, he would have to make it past an interview with Gretchen, the Customer Service Director and one of the toughest people we’ve ever had to deal with, before he could land the position. She was a shareholder who couldn’t be fired, but she should have been a drill sergeant. Many salespeople couldn’t deal with her, and she had told off the president and the owner in the past as well. She would tear anyone to shreds both in the interview and on the job.
We created a mock interview. We presented a scenario where Gretchen told off one of the company’s biggest customers and Carl had gotten a call from his client who was furious and thought Gretchen must have called the wrong company. We prepped Carl by telling him that we asked Gretchen to be as tough on him as possible but that, should he keep his cool, he’d have no problem with the interview.
In the interview, Gretchen immediately exploded on Carl about how the client wanted to extend their warranty past its expiration date. “The nerve of these people!” she exclaimed. Without introduction, Carl calmly responded that he felt it was the company’s duty to stand up for their customers.
This back-and-forth continued for the duration of the interview with Gretchen’s temper rising at every unsuccessful attempt to make him lose his cool. When the interview ended, we asked Gretchen what she thought of Carl as a candidate. Never having seen someone stand up to her in that way before, she was shocked and speechless.
Carl proved to the company that he had a great sales personality, even when faced with adversity. Carl was hired and soon perceived as a superhero by his co-workers for being able to deal with her. Gretchen realized that getting angry and exploding at co-workers doesn’t always work, and became easier to work with, giving Carl a chance as well.
With Workplace Simulation, we were able to prepare Carl for both the sales he would be doing and for dealing with his superior. We were also able to help Gretchen learn how to handle Carl without bullying him into submission. With Workplace Simulation, both sides were able to change and grow.