I have been witnessing something I have never before paid attention to; people growing. By which I mean, we take someone on at the restaurant: a full timer, a student, a refugee, and I have watched their true selves emerge only over time.

Sometimes it’s a terrified true self. Like the chef who had a twitching eyelid from being screamed at in his previous job. To the permanently startled looking refugee who looked shocked every time we called him. To the ever cheerful Afghani and the deathly silent Eritrean. All of them, when interviewed, were very different people to the ones we found we were working with 4 or 6 weeks later.

Which made me suspect that we are interviewing people all wrong. Because how on earth do we know what they’ll become over time? What are they capable of? Some of our employees are literally monosyllabic during their interviews. But I’m not going to… I can’t allow myself to make a judgement based on the first thing I see and hear.

The skill of the interviewer, surely, is in being able to anticipate what an individual can become. Not what they are during that first, second or even third interview. And what they become could be better or worse. Varinder is much more interested in someone who has a good attitude than someone who knows things. Though even that is hard to disentangle sometimes.

Finally, you learn that intelligence isn’t just something that resides in one’s head. I have seen intelligent hands. I have seen extremely intelligent taste buds. And I have seen people who can create plates that are works of art.