Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Job Posting: Red Wine Cellarmaster

WineTalent is working with our client in the Napa Valley to find a Cellarmaster to handle the red wine program.  This position is located at the estate winery and will be handling the winery's red wine winemaking and assisting with production needs for the white wine program.  The winery is a family-owned operation with extensive farming operations.


  • Assist with white wine program including crush, fermentation, racking, fining and bottling
  • Manage red wine program including crush, fermentation, racking, fining and bottling
  • Manage red wine barrel program
  • Handle cellar sanitation and maintenance
  • Assist with research projects
  • Collaborate with staff members on winery quality improvement projects and research trials
  • Help out as needed with special projects including olive oil production and farming projects.


  • Bachelor's degree in Enology, Viticulture, Food Science or related science. 
  • At least two years of wine industry experience.
  • Strong understanding of quality production procedures
  • Ability to move barrels (up to 75 pounds) and perform physically demanding cellar work
  • Experience with cellar sanitation procedures 
  • Fluency in Spanish desirable
  • Ability to drive a forklift and drive a manual transmission truck as needed

If you are interested in this role, please contact WineTalent, http://www.winetalent.net/pages/contact.html 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why Didn't You Get the Job? No One Will Tell You

Yesterday this article was in the Wall Street Journal:  Didn't Get the Job? You'll Never Know Why.  Lauren Weber explores what it feels like to be the interviewee, thinking that you did really well in the meeting and thought you were a shoe in for the job, only to finally find out you didn't get the job, and that the company went with someone who was better suited for the role. As the job seeker, this really doesn't allow you to learn what your weakness was and improve on it.  

Often as the interviewer, I know that there are certain things that arise during the discussion that cause a candidate to fall out of consideration. These can be big things, like the resume didn't accurately represent the person's experience or that the person's salary requirements were out of whack.   Sometimes they are little things, like a candidate arriving late to an interview, having vague answers to questions or not seeming engaged in the interviewing process.  And sometimes it is something you can't put your finger on.  Yes, it happens.

So, if you were just interviewed, you probably want to know what the reason was that you didn't get the job.  Of course if you don't ask you can't find out, but even if you do ask, often you will get vague generalizations about why you were not hired.  They decided to hire someone with more specific experience, the chosen candidate had significant academic credentials, the position has changed and the hired person was better suited for the role.  OK, these are real reasons, but were they THE reason.  

Interviewers and companies are reluctant to answer specific questions about why someone wasn't hired because they want to limit their exposure to lawsuits.  If you were to learn that you were not hired because the company thought you were planning on starting a family--or looked like you were pregnant--you may have cause for a discrimination lawsuit.  Looking at it from the company's perspective, if they did have a woman interview who was clearly in her final month of pregnancy, isn't it fair for them to think that the work they need done now would somehow suffer while she's on maternity leave?  So they don't hire her, and say they chose someone with more experience, etc., etc. 

How would you feel if you didn't get the job because your belt and shoes didn't match or your tie was too skinny.  Who even looks at that nowadays?  Well, sometimes it is little things like that which stick in an interviewer's mind after the interview and raise questions.  I know it seems trivial, but that little nagging question has a way of derailing a candidacy.  If I was to say that you didn't get the job because of this mismatch--wouldn't you feel offended?  Wouldn't you want to scream at me that I'm being childish and that I don't understand that you are the ideal person for this role?  Of Course. So what can an interviewer say?  The interviewer gives you a platitude and says better luck next time.

Ok, so you've been interviewing and are always the runner-up.  What can you do to find out what works and what doesn't?  The article mentions a program that HireArt put in place.  HireArt's co-founder offered to give people 15 minute mock interviews and give them true assessments.  Not everyone was happy with the feedback they got, but HireArt has found that the assessments are very popular and are continuing to offer them periodically to job seekers that they are working with.

Last year I got a call out of the blue from a father whose son was just wrapping up his Bachelor's Degree in Business.  The father asked if I would be willing to do a mock interview and provide feedback to the son.  I was game, and met with the son for an hour about a fictitious job I had presented to him.  Afterwards we did a 30 minute recap.  I will say that it was an interesting meeting, and I was happy that the son was really engaged in the process.  I put my notes together and sent it to the son and father afterwards, including some stuff that may have been easier to put in writing than to say in person.  Yes, dad, he should cut off the ponytail if he's looking to work in a more conservative setting.  But he was really professional and gave spot on answers.  The family and I have stayed in touch, and now the son is working within the wine industry, gainfully employed.  

Knowing the potential for lawsuits, you have to understand if companies don't give out specifics about why you weren't the one hired.  Maybe I'll get a release of liability from job seekers and just tell them what they really need to hear......