Hi! Sorry for the delayed response here. This is Thomas Howard McKinnon PhD (Dr. T.H. McKinnon PhD is fine) with nine or so quick updates on our first little chat about the Chief of Development position you applied for.

  1. This first call is just an informal screening, which is to say that we’ll be heavily screening you in fun, unconventional ways. Don’t worry! As a non-profit, we have a very laid-back kinda work culture that we have spent many years tirelessly developing. This culture is everything. It has brought us tremendous fortune and power. Anyway, I’ll probably just ask you some gamified questions on emotional intelligence as a few interns look through your Spotify recently played artist. Shoot me a link to your Spotify immediately, if you could.
  2. This call is just the first informal screening of several informal screenings. We find it helps take the pressure off the interviewee by keeping things light for the first 5-6 chats so we can decide if we even like them or not. I really shouldn’t have called this an interview—it’s more of a professional hang-out session of a somewhat intimate nature. If you still have questions on the exact nature of this chat, I’m not sure we have time for them because it starts in 3 ½ minutes. Go ahead and hop on the call right now if you want! Well, I guess definitely finish carefully reading this email, then promptly reply back with a “sounds good Doctor” or “affirming I have carefully read your email Doctor.” Then you can hop on!
  3. Nelson Mandela’s daughter, Zanani Mandela, will be hopping on the call. If I already told you this during our preliminary call to the screening call five months ago, sorry! I guess the main thing to know with Z is that you should address her at all times as “Her Excellency.” Also, I’m not totally sure why she is even showing up or what her whole deal with us is, so it might be good to be prepared for absolutely anything here.
  4. I accidentally just uninvited you to the call. Sorry about that! You’ll have to request access through the link I just sent to your junk folder at exactly 11:15 to hop on now. If you attempt to hop on at any time before or after 11:15, my laptop will overheat and explode and everyone on the call will lose power for 45 minutes, and I’m pretty sure Z has a relative of royal lineage in her home on life support right now. So let’s just hop on right at 11:15, shall we? Sorry again, thanks!
  5. During the call, it would be great if you could state all your answers like you are losing horribly in a televised game of Jeopardy—whatever that means to you. If you forget to do this, not a huge deal! I’ll simply sit there and breathe into the mic until you repeat exactly what you just said differently so we can move on.
  6. We’d love for you to make us laugh on the call! Not in the wrong way though, please. Right before we break out into teams to watch a short video doc about the lemur, THAT would be a great time to get a good, solid laugh from you.
  7. Since you indicated interest in paid work, the call will be part of a neurological study on brain aneurysms. No worries if you’ve never had a brain aneurysm or don’t have one during our chat!
  8. The call will go more smoothly on our end if you can be the most fully realized version of yourself possible. I can send over a picture of the woman who you’re applying to replace, if that would help spark something? Her name is Madeline and she is really good at coaching people through tough moments—wrote a whole book on it! (nytimes.com/books/best-sellers). Maybe we’ll just have Madeline hop on the call quickly if you start slipping up. If you see Madeline’s beautiful face pop in, that probably means you’re doing fine but need a shit ton of help and fast.
  9. The call will hopefully play a part in helping us decide if you’re right for the job. We may not have time for any of those questions.

Please shoot me a quick email saying if this is OK with you! If anything here is not OK with you, please take it up with Z (you do not call her Z). Thanks, looking forward to seeing you in a couple seconds!