The Unusual Job Interview (Plus a $55,007 Unusual Tip as a HairStylist)

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This is a story of preparation meets opportunity. This is the most unusual and interesting job interviews I have read in recent times. It is life changing. And this goes to prove the saying that prior proper preparation prevents poor performance. This particular story was shared by someone who has decided to go anonymous for obvious reasons. I want you to read between the lines and run with the lessons learnt from this story.

Yes, “fifty five thousand and seven (US) dollars and more” from one customer.

And this happened within a week.

A fifty five thousand dollars life changing tip.

This story is a real as it gets.

I have to go anonymous because I do not want to reveal this customer’s identity.

Because I decided to go anonymous on this, I will provide some background information so that you won’t think that this is a fictional story.

I was born and grew up in poverty in Asia. The loan shark gave me 5 stitches scar on my head when I was 6 years old to threaten my mother if she did not pay back the money.

So financing and investing became my obsession. Then we moved to US, this is my life in USA (beside non stop working):

GMAT Guide

Here is what happened.

In March, I was working as a hairstylist in California. It was a brutal and busy Saturday and at 5:55 pm (5 minutes before closing), this one as*hole walked in.

I called him an as*hole because that was how I felt about him at the beginning. He did say: “I feel like an as*hole for being this late”. However, I did not treat him as one. I took great pride in providing excellence customer service to all customers.

I told him that we already closed (shame on me). He said that he had to fly out of the state for work in few hours, and he needed his hair done (his hair was a freaking mess), and our shop was the only place opened still.

My co-workers gave me the laser eyes beam from the back; they all wanted to go home.

I said (with a smile/smirk): “I will do it”, then I asked my co-workers to go home and told them I would close the shop by myself later.

After the greeting and figuring out what he wanted for his hair; I started working my magic. Then, he started to fall asleep on my chair.

So I told him: “If you fall asleep on my chair, you will be wowed when you wake up (sarcastic)”.

Him (smile): Sorry about that.

Me: I hope you get paid enough to work that hard (he looked like a half dead owl).

Him: Ohh, it is just a crazy time at work right now. The company is laying off a lot of people.

Me: I hope you don’t work in finance, they are cutting back like crazy.

He stared at me and said: I do work in finance, and yes, the industry is cutting back.

Me: Yeahh!! I graduated with a finance degree a couple of months ago but can’t find a job yet. Everywhere I go, there is a temporary hiring freeze.

Then we talked about economy, finance, while I was doing his hair.

The Job Interview

Then, he asked me, “What is your experience doing finance work?”

Me: I am a CFA level 2 candidate now, sitting for the June exam. Real experience wise, I don’t have much. While I was in school, I was a professor’s assistant, so I taught finance classes for my professors when they decided to be lazy. Does that count?

Him: CFA level 2? How?

Me: I passed the level 1 exam in December while I was in school and I am doing level 2 now.

Him: While working full-time the entire time?

Me: Yup.

Him: How is your Excel?

Me: Not a master Jedi yet but comfortable enough to learn what I don’t know pretty fast.

Him: Do you know anything about Performance Analysts?

Me: Umhmmm, yeah. Let’s say, here is the philosophy: “We need to know where we have been, in order to figure out where we will go”. The performance analyst takes care of the first part of that philosophy.

Then, we talked a bit more about my school and things going on in the economy. Then, he gave me a $7 tip for his hair service.

After that, l locked the door and started to close the register. He came back and knocked the door.

I thought: “Shit my life! A redo? Did I make a boo boo on his hair?”

I opened the door and he gave me his business card, then said:

“You are hired! Send me your resume”.

That customer was a VP at one of the three largest banks (by AUM) in the world.  I sent him my resume, then I was contacted by HR for a job interview.

I called him to thank him for the opportunity. He told me that he was impressed by my hard work, and he decided to “interview” me while I was doing his hair (I did not even pay attention).

I got the job offer 1 week after the interview. The salary is $55,000, which is very high for my area (I do not live in the bay area).

That was the best and last tip I ever got as a hairstylist.

This incident means a world to me and I forever remember it. I promise him that I will make him proud of his decision.

And this is my first achievement. I got it at the same time with my diploma from school. Now I am waiting for the result for level 2.

CFA Result

Then this incident took place; so I am one step closer to my goal.

What lessons have you learnt from this story? You are free to share this story to inspire your friends. There is love in sharing.