Interview Lessons

In my career, I’ve had a very rare opportunity of changing someone’s life for the better. Every few months or so, I get to sit in a panel (sometimes single handedly) and decide on who gets the job and who doesn’t. This might sound like a very easy thing. Well, it’s not. During these instances though, I have picked up afew pointers:

#1: There is nothing like a perfect candidate: Initially, I’d conduct my interviews with a checklist. Then I realised that after a very long and tiring day of ticking off my list, there would be no one that fitted perfectly. These days, I engage the candidate in a conversation as I listen and observe them carefully in the view of trying to understand the person better and their fit for the job. I also pay attention to any inconsistencies that may arise in their responses.

#2: Trust your gut feeling: There are instances where I have interviewed someone and even though they did not ‘fit’, I get this nagging feeling that I need to give them a chance. 99% of the time, my gut feeling has always worked in my favor. Learn to take a chance on someone.

#3: Integrity is everything. There are thousands of job seekers out here who are willing and ready to pay money so they can get the job. The only question is, what is your price? Always remember that anyone who buys a job will never be able to perform to the expectations. After all, they bought it. As a recruiter, if your integrity can be bought with money, you are useless to your employer and a disgrace to your profession. At the same time, any candidate who presents to you fake documents is a No! No! The same way they have lied their way into the interview is the same way they will lie their way at work. Any decent person will tell you the truth and leave the decision to or not to hire them to you.

#4: Nothing is always as it seems. Some people are talented in telling lies. You need to be smart enough to sift facts from stories. It’s human to be emotional, just don’t confuse a candidate’s tears for their ability and real desire to get hired. Some are real actors/actresses. Empathise but don’t let your judgement to be clouded by tears.

#5: The CV does not do the job. A perfect CV does not usually amount to a suitable candidate. There are people who are good at writing great CVs but know nothing about doing the real job. Focus on the person sitting in front of you, he/she will be the one doing the job, not their CVs. This is not an excuse for presenting a bad CV to a potential employer though.

Learning is a process and even as time goes by, I believe there will be more opportunities to learn something new.


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