The Interview

Manhattan - Eclairant - Bar and Lounge

The lounge is decorated in creams and neutrals, teak woods and ash, with the occasional dark panel for contrast. There are splashes of Egyptian blue color throughout to break up the possibility of monotony: sprinkled in the carpet, accenting the wood panels, decorating the tables as glass candle holders.

The bar area fetches more colors to the palette. The recessed lights behind the bar are a mixture of blue and red, white and yellow. Colorful bottles line the bar shelf, and a huge mirror hangs at angle over the bar, reflecting the marbleized bar top and the bar area, depending on where one stands to look into the mirror. There is seating here too, and in addition to drinks, starters and light fare is offered to those who wish to dine in the lounge.


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Nichole Welles
Jenna Donovan

What surprises a lot of people is that interviews are one of Nichole's favorite parts of the job. The people who greet customers and serve them their meals are the face of the restuarant, and Nichole likes knowing that she's picking the best and brightest among them. Oh yes, a good many of them are college kids who only stick around long enough to put themselves through four years at NYU, and some are hoping for their big break on Broadway, but they quickly find out that Eclairant isn't just like any other place. The tips are better, the atmosphere is fine and, as a perk, the employees here have health insurance.
She doesn't know how Kieran manages that last, but she doesn't care. It works. It's a great way to get and keep good workers.
Stepping into the lounge, she lets her gaze wander until it lands upon tonight's candidate. Nichole does a double-take because the outfit isn't traditional, but the girl is pretty enough, and the clientel does like a pretty (or handsome) server.
So long as she isn't the trying to make a splash type. Those only cause trouble.
With a small portfolio under her arm, Nichole strides over to the girl, and inquires, "Miss Donovan?"

Jenna really isn't dressed in the traditional interview attire. She's dressed in something that will make her memorable and stand out at the interview. A white pair of dress slacks, a white silk camisole, and a beautifully bright red cardigan that's open at the front. Her hair is held back in a red headband, and just a hint of red lipstick graces her lips.
It makes her look like a modern Snow White, nearly.
"Miss Welles," she queries as she rises from her seat, and offers her hand out to the woman.

Nichole takes the hand and gives it a firm shake, measuring the girl's shake as well. She's not limp wristed, like some fragile little flower, which is a good sign in Nichole's book. "Welcome to Eclairant. Could I get you anything? Water? Coffee? A soft drink?"

"Thank you."
Jenna smiles at the woman, and allows for a slight shake of her head. "I'm fine, thank you. This is a lovely establishment. The colors have a calming effect." Neutrals tend to do that. They also make things more intimate. It's why they use neutrals on the stage when portraying homes, and private settings.

Nichole gives the young girl the faintest of smiles. "Yes, well, thank you, however I can't take credit for the establishment or the decorating. It was all Mr. Collins' idea. He wanted people to feel relaxed and comfortable when dining here."
Giving a nod to the bartender - whose only duty today is inventory and stocking - Nichole motions toward one of the tables away from the bar. They're closed on Mondays, and those days are reserved for interviews, meeting, stocking and specialty one-on-one training. "Let's sit over here and talk, shall we?"

"It certainly provides that type of atmosphere." It fits in with the rest of the Upper East Side. Similar to the colors and tones her mother would use to decorate.
Jenna moves gracefully toward the table indicated, and seats herself on the chair with ease. Crossing her right leg over her left, she sets her hands to the top of her knee and smiles.

Taking a seat across from the girl, Nichole notes her poise and grace. This girl is someone who is no stranger to the Upper East Side, or else she's very well studied in proper behavior. Nichole is going for the former, if only because she's a little young to have had opportunity to learn such a talent.
"Tell me a little about yourself, Jenna."

Jenna watches Miss Welles, trying to draw any emotions from her to try and read what she might what. There's no real pause or hesitation though before she answers, "I attended Dalton School, was part of both the student government and peer leadership programs. I graduated in the top ten percent of my class. I've had two summer internships at the Gershwin Theater. I've just completed the Undergraduate Drama program at the Tisch School of Arts, and I've been accepted to the Graduate Acting program at Tisch so I can work toward my Master of Fine Arts in Acting."
Pausing, she smiles at the woman across from her.
"To be honest, Miss Welles, I've never worked in a restaurant before. My background is in theater." Her father is a Broadway lyricist after all. "But I do learn quickly, and I've no issues taking directions."

Nichole is skilled at schooling her features and modulating her emotions. It's a requirement when she works so closely with a Vampire and often comes into contacts with other Vampires. She is under Kieran's protection but Vampires can scent strong emotions, and many like to toy with humans using those emotions against them. Nichole still feels, but she's practiced a few techniques to stay calm and focused, that stop her from reacting right away. It carries over into the business world, and there's very little to read at the moment beyond her calmness and polite curiosity. She isn't gushing over the interviewee, but neither does she dislike the girl.
"I didn't think you had, unless you were one of the -" unfortunate "- few who attended Dalton on scholarship." Nichole has heard the stories and knows that there is a divide between the students who were born into money and therefore feel they are deserving of attendance at Dalton and all its perks versus the ones who earn it with brains and skill but have only a working class or middle class background. Not all students are like that, but there have been a handful of employees who've told the tales - from both sides of the argument.
"Your father is Samuel Donovan, yes?" Nichole vets all the applicants. A quick general Google search, anything that might jump out as unusual or problematic before scheduling the interview. "Is that why your interest and background in the theatre?" Simple questions meant to both relax the candidate and get a feel for how she would fit with the rest of the restaurant.
She tries not to have her gaze linger on the girl's eyes, but they are striking. She's only ever seen eyes that haunting and silver-blue on Kieran. If the man weren't a very old Vampire, Nichole might give thought to wondering if he didn't sow his oats at a very, very young age.

There's a slight biting of her cheek to keep from laughing. Jenna's no fool, and knows full well of the 'divide' that exists, but never bothered with it. Friendly people are friendly people, no matter how they got into the school, and plenty of her friends were there on scholarship.
"That's correct."
Pausing, she considers her answer, and then replies, "That's what started it. I grew up in and around the theater. It's difficult to say when I really took to it, but I find it enjoyable and it seems to bring something a little different with it every day."
Noting the look to her eyes, Jenna does pretend not to notice it. Miss Welles is likely just picturing how she'd look in the uniform, or what position she could potentially fit into.
"I imagine it's much the same as working at a restaurant like this one. No two days are ever the same."

Nichole gives a small laugh. "No, no day is ever exactly the same when working here."
She opens the folder she's holding, and glances down, though she really doesn't need to look over the girl's application. Nichole has memorized the finer points. She gives a nod and lifts her gaze to Jenna's again. "You've said yourself that you don't have restaurant experience, so what interested you in applying for a job here at Eclairant?"

That's a very good question, and it causes Jenna to mull over it, though again, not for long. She's well aware that pausing for too long after a question is asked makes it seem as though she's ill-prepared for an interview, and it's something she did learn at Tisch in regards to auditions.
"As much as I love acting, and I'd love even more to earn a part on Broadway, I'm looking to the future. Eventually, some day, I'd like to be able to manage my own theater, my own company, or my own troupe. Perhaps produce, or direct. Working at a restaurant such as Eclairant will provide me with the building blocks for the skills that are necessary for such ventures in the future."
Pausing again, she flashes a sincere smile at Miss Welles.
"It would also allow me a wonderful environment for people watching, which is an excellent resource for an acting hopeful to have."

Nichole respects the honesty of the young woman's answers. Honesty in an interview is always a good thing, particularly since Nichole has honed her abilities to read interviewees and can usually tell when they're telling her what she wants to hear.
"You're very interested in Broadway." Nichole shifts in her seat, tilting her head as she studies the girl. "What happens if you're scheduled for a shift and you get a call for an audition?"

"It would depend, honestly."
Jenna leans forward in her seat a little, hands still atop her knee. "Most auditions would take place mid-morning, so on days when I'd potentially be working that early, I would see that my shift was covered. I was considering a few morning classes during the summer, so was hoping that I'd be able to arrange those around a work schedule as well, but most of those are finished before noon."
Which means that during the week there's only a thirty minute discrepency.
"If the audition were to take place later in the day, I would get that approved by whomever winds up being my direct superior, or of course yourself or Mr. Collins."
Jenna nibbles on her lower lip slightly, and then smiles. "If I were so lucky as to get involved in a workshop, or a tech, I'd do my best to ensure it didn't interfere with my work schedule, and make up any hours I had to trade off for it with whomever was covering my shift." Pausing, she thinks to add, "Or I would offer to take the later shifts on nights when others might want to go out."

The answer meets Nichole's approval. She likes candidates who take their commitments and responsibilities seriously. Eclairant isn't McDonald's and they have certain expectations.
"Do you consider yourself to be discreet, Miss Donovan?" Nichole asks. "Our clientel tends to be those in the social pages and on the front pages, and in the gossip columns. It's not up to us to judge or spread around gossip. So, say you saw, the Mayor with a woman who clearly was not his wife, or heard a well known celebrity discussing plans for a romantic getaway or even something possibly less than legal, would you be able to keep that information to yourself?"

"Of course, Miss Welles. This is the society I was raised in." Jenna has likely heard plenty of dirty little secrets from the Upper East Side in her short life thus far. She's seen at least one councilman out with a woman who wasn't his wife, and she's met enough celebrities through her father that she knows they hop into different beds based on what will get them the best roles.
"I get enough drama via the theater that I see no need for it to slip into the workplace. What people do on their own time is entirely up to them, and not really any of my business."
Though if she saw her mother or father here with someone other than the other one of her parents, she might broach it with them.
"The only time I wouldn't be able to be discreet about things is if I was subpoenaed and had to testify in court. Though the chances of that happening are slim to none."

Nichole laughs at the last. "That's very unlikely, but on the off chance that it should happen, we could hardly fault you for cooperation with legal authorities."
There's a pause as an employee slips up and places a pitcher of water and two glasses on the table. She slips away as easily and quietly as she approached, leaving Nichole to the interview again.
"You have no restaurant experience, Miss Donovan. No customer service experience in a public service, hospitality, or fast food sense. What qualifications and experience do you bring to this job, and how do you think your placement here, were we to hire you, would benefit Eclairant?"

Jenna glances up at the employee, trying to see what the 'uniform' is like. She's not overly vain, but she is curious. Still, beyond that glance, she doesn't move for the glass of water.
"What I have is people experience, Miss Welles. Working in the theater has made me very good at anticipating what people need or want before they voice it." Her abilities help a great deal with that too.
"I have no formal hospitality experience, but Dalton did ensure that we were taught proper hostessing duties." It's the Upper East Side, learning hostessing is like wearing a second skin.
It's harder to explain how she would benefit Eclairant, because it's not something she's thought of before.
"I'm very good at putting people at ease, Miss Welles. Calming down situations before they explode. I don't know if that would benefit Eclairant at all."

This time when Nichole laughs, it's rich and full, and completely amused. She lifts a glass of water, taking a small swallow before setting it gently back onto the coaster. "Oh, Miss Donovan. Calming down situations is a very important part of working in the service and hospitality industry. Our patrons come first, and sometimes the kitchen doesn't get it right, or some people are simply impossible to please. Keeping them calm and continuing to try is part and parcel to the job."
"Without any previous serving skills, if we were to hire you, you would start out in hostessing position. Your duties would be to greet the clients, show them to their tables, provide them with menus and the daily specials. We run out hosts and hostesses in team groups, usually with six on duty at a time, three here in the lounge and three upstairs in the restaurant. When they're not greeting, they're circulating among the diners. Checking drinks, checking service, being gophers for the server and bringing any problems to the attention of the floor managers."
"There is room for promotion and upward mobility, if serving is what you truly want, or even if you wish to touch on some kitchen experience. After a few weeks of hostessing, depending on your aptitude, you would start training as a server with one of our lead servers."
Nichole pauses again and allows the girl to take that in. "Is that something you would be interested in?"

The laughter causes Jenna to relax just a little more. Though she's finding it very hard to read the emotions of this woman, that laugh is so rich that it can't be anything but sincerely amused which is a good sign for her.
"That sounds… perfect, actually." She is rather good at hostessing, and checking on things. It's in line with what she did in the theater during her internship. Running around, ensuring everyone had what they needed.
"I would definitely be interested, Miss Welles."
Even if she doesn't wind up getting a position at Eclairant, she's totally going to go away with a good interview experience that she can pull out at a later date — for her next interview.

For a long moment, Nichole studies the pretty girl in front of her. Normally her interviews run longer. She throws scenarios at them, she tests their ability to think on their feet, but mostly she goes with her gut.
Her gut tells her that this girl could be an excellent addition to the hosting staff. She's pretty, she's perky. She's what customers will like to see when they come in to the restaurant, and happy customers tip well and come back.
"I don't have the final say on hiring, Miss Donovan. That falls to Mr. Collins, the owner of Eclairant." Nichole pulls out her iPhone and begins tapping at the screen. "He prefers evening hours due to his schedule. Could you meet him Wednesday night around nine o' clock?"

Jenna's expecting the scenarios, and she's almost thrown when she doesn't get them. She blinks a few times, and then nods slowly. "Let me just check my schedule."
Pulling out her own phone, she scrolls to the calendar and clicks. She does have dinner with her parents that night, but it's early enough and they'll let her slip away for an interview. Making a quick note of the requested time, she nods.
"Wednesday night is fine for me."

"I'll add you to Mr. Collins' calendar then." Nichole makes the notation and smiles at the young woman. "Thank you for coming in today, Miss Donovan. I do hope that we'll talk again."
Standing, she extends her hand.

Standing with grace and ease, Jenna extends her hand as well. Taking Nichole's, she gives it another firm shake.
Smiling, she says, "Thank you for seeing me today, Miss Welles. I appreciate the opportunity."

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