Interviews Should Be Torture

“I get nervous during interviews.”  “She’s a great employee, she just doesn’t do well in interviews.”  “He knows his stuff, he just gets worked up thinking about the interview.”

Wait a minute.  I don’t buy any of this nonsense.  Not for one second.

Finally It’s All About You
The last time I checked interviews are the only time you can actually talk about what you’ve accomplished.  You are the center of the universe, at least for a little while.  So when I hear excuses as to why people struggle talking about themselves, and expect my support to bring them on board I am simply dumbfounded.  Are you kidding me?  The candidate isn’t comfortable talking about himself?  Seriously?

Quick Question – How many of you have easy jobs?  That’s what I thought.  So why do we allow weak candidates to slide through interviews when in reality they will be faced with challenging work in highly competitive environments under tremendous pressure to perform with limited resources?  It makes no sense.

Interviews Are Supposed to be Hard
Years ago I interviewed for a position and the team interviewing me was so ill-prepared (that was a Senior Management Team by the way) that I almost knew it wouldn’t be challenging before it even started.  Since no one was ready, they asked questions about issues that had just occurred v. truly considering what they needed me to provide as a strategic member of the organization.  Tough questions like: “What would you do if you found someone sleeping on the job?”  Wow, that’s a tough one!  I quickly put a look of horror on my face and said how awful it was…(their eyes got big)…I then said that barring some sort of medical condition it could be grounds for termination…(their eyes got bigger and they smiled).

Seriously?  How embarrassing…for them.

Prepare your questions.  Keep pushing until the candidate can give you specific issues, specific actions they took, and specific resolutions.  Make the interview difficult!  If they can’t describe work they have already done, you don’t want the guaranteed employee relations headache down the road that is now staring you in the face hoping for a job offer.

How About You
Stop making excuses for weak candidates.  Thank them for coming in, send them on their way, and only hire those that can actually speak about their successes, failures, and passion for work.  Do you make excuses for weak candidates?  What could possibly be your rationale?

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of Teluglobe