The Death of the Interviewer - Page 2
Reference the resume
Want to know what question every candidate hates? “So tell me about yourself.” The professional response is “Sure, where would you like to focus first?” However, I never use that. My thanks for taking the time to read and digest my resume before the interview response is “Where should I start? Birth?”
If you are interviewing a candidate, chances are they spent an inordinate amount of time writing and tweaking their resume. You need to show respect for the effort by referring to the resume. I have never conducted one interview where I didn’t point out the two or three items that jumped out the most, which allows us to dig deeper into it. That’s how you flesh out the skills.
Don’t waste a candidate’s time
There are so many ways to do this, but I'll focus on three that drive me crazy.
- Doing the BUT: If the job you’re discussing has a big fat BUT attached to it, then be absolutely up front about the situation. For example, I spent over 30 minutes on a phone interview only to hear “You’re a great candidate for this job BUT we’re really focusing our efforts on NYC right now.” That’s vitally important information given I live in the suburbs of Boston.
- Playing Games: I’m going to let out a little secret. When games are played I intentionally sabotage the interview. I have no tolerance for them and cannot understand where they’re learned, much less embraced. I’m an adult. I’m a professional. Treat me like one. The “time crunch game” is the worst. When you schedule an hour with a candidate give them the full hour, especially since they took a large chunk of their day to travel to and from your office. Don’t come in with the “I only have 40, actually 35, minutes” tactic and expect me to play along. In three seconds you told me that I don't want to work for you.
- Honesty: Do you know what a candidate loves? Knowing where they stand. You are not crushing their soul by telling them that they aren’t the right fit for the job. Most are not like American Idol contestants who desperately beg for the second chance. No, by being honest you just allowed them to focus their efforts elsewhere rather than deal with the anxiety of not knowing. Put yourself in their shoes and treat them exactly like you want to be treated.