Friday, January 26, 2007

Getting Hired to Deliver Pizza

I didn't work last night, but since I've been delivering pizza for 2 1/2 years and blogging for 2 1/2 days, I will spend some time catching up. Today I will start from the beginning, getting a job.

It was the summer of 2004, I was recently remarried with 6 kids, and the increased bills were taking their toll. I decided to try to increase my income, and I thought the best way might be to add a part-time job. My weekend nights were free so I thought maybe this would be a good fit with pizza delivery.

I had been pondering this idea for several weeks but I had never had a job like this before so I didn't know how to take the first step. My first job had been working on our family dairy farm. Two of my college summers I worked in the Quality Control department for a factory where my older brother worked. I had also had 5 different jobs in 16 years doing computer systems work, so I knew how to get hired in that field. But I had never worked in the restaurant business.

One Saturday afternoon, after returning from my uncle's funeral, I decided that since I had a tie on already, I would take the opportunity to try to get a job. I first called about 6 different pizza places to ask if they were hiring. The common answer was "Sure, come in and fill out an application."

Looking back, the question I would ask now is "Is the hiring manager in today?" If you want to get hired, it is much better to meet with the manager face to face, rather than to just add your application to the always-growing stack. So find out when the manager is working, go in when he or she is there, fill out the application, and ask for an interview right then.

Obviously don't go in (or even call) during the lunch (11AM - 1 PM) or dinner (4PM - 8 PM) rush. Try to go in the morning or early afternoon when the manager is not so busy and actually has time to meet with you.

Anyways, wearing a tie and carrying my (irrelevant) resume, I set off. I think I filled out 5 applications and sat down with 2 managers. In the interviews, I stressed that I was motivated (I needed the money), I was dependable, and I was a hard worker.

Both managers expressed interest. One was a local mom-and-pop pizza joint with 2 locations. The other was a franchise-owned "Big 3" pizza place.

Both managers pulled my driving record from the state BMV. The local place went back 2 years but the franchise only went back 1. I had some tickets in my past but nothing in the last year so I got hired in less than a week to work at the franchise pizza place.

In the meantime I called back several of the other pizza stores where I had filled out an application, and never got much interest. This is why I feel a face to face meeting is important to set yourself aside from the other applicants.

Also, when you go for an interview, get cleaned up, shave, and dress nice. You don't have to wear a suit. (I found out later that the employees were very amused by the guy (me) who came in for the interview in a tie). But pizza drivers interact directly with the customers every day, and appearance matters. Come to your interview looking a little better and dressing a little nicer than you normally would.

3 comments:

MacGyver021 said...

so, kevin, am i that employee that was so highly amused by the man with the tie and slacks? i think yes, anywho, see ya at work, and stop having kids...

KevinL said...

Nick, you know it was you. Thanks for reading and commenting.

San said...

"I feel a face to face meeting is important to set yourself aside from the other applicants."

SPOT ON!!! It really is...there might be quite a lot of applicants with similar capabilities but a personal meet is very important to get hired.

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