While having coffee in a Safeway Starbucks today, I began eavesdropping on a young man's job interview. It was for a job at Safeway. I didn't have much choice but to listen in - I was sitting there, it was quiet, I could hear it. I'm nosy too. There's always that.
One of the very first questions the interviewer asked troubled me. She asked if there was a reason why the applicant had not applied online. He had an explanation and regardless of what it was, I have to wonder why the answer to that question is relevant. He had applied for the job in some manner, the interview had been arranged, and he had shown up. At that point I would hope that determining his suitability for the position would be the goal. Unless scheduling is done online, I don't know how computer access would impact his job suitability.
Was the question meant to ask about his living situation - i.e. does he have a home? Were they asking if he or his family is poor? I know that computers are common but maybe not in every household. I don't think it has to matter and if he is qualified and eager to work, I hope he is considered fairly for the job. Did they want to know if he had any computer skills? That could be relevant for the position but his application must have been impressive enough to lead to an interview. Perhaps he could pick up whatever computer skills are required.
A few years ago, the mother of another baseball player in my son's league phoned me occasionally to gather baseball information. She was making progress but hadn't fully embraced computer usage. She had paid the fees for her son's baseball, though, and she wasn't receiving the information she needed to get her son everywhere he needed to be. The coach didn't have an email address for her and he didn't phone her. While I understand that he was likely busy with a job, family and team to coach and didn't have a lot of time for phone calls, I also understand her frustration. It wasn't fair that her son was left out because his family didn't use a computer. He still wanted to play ball, attend picture day and have the option of attending team social functions.
I didn't hear all of the interview today as my coffee companion arrived quickly and we started talking. The young man sounded confident and he seemed to have had good work experience. If the job at Safeway is right for him, I hope that he gets it. I hope that whether or not he has computer access has nothing to do with the hiring decision.