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HR Horror Story Series- Edition 3: Do you really want this job?

phone screen image 1During my career I have sat on both sides of the interviewing fence, both as the hiring manager and as the recruiter.

Lately I have found myself conducting a lot of interviews and have come across some absolute doozies of responses from candidates. This blog isn’t going to be an educational piece as such on what NOT to say in an interview however, I want to share one of my interviews of late (no names provided of course) that I am sure will give you all a giggle and possibly saying WOWZERS!

Most of you are aware that interviews consist of questions gauging your technical ability for the role and also your fit in regards to attitude and behaviour.

I was conducting a telephone interview last week and going through my usual questions. In my most peppy and chirpy voice I ask “So what do you enjoy about your current role?” The candidate’s response took me back a little when he replied “Nothing! It’s just my job. Some days I’m happy and some days I’m sad”.

Interesting response I thought but continued on with my next question. “So what are you looking for in your next role?” I asked. There was a silent pause and then the candidate says “Nothing! I’m just looking for a job”.

Before I can move onto my next question the candidate asks me “Why are you asking these questions? What does it have to do with the role? These questions are bull #&@$!”. I took a deep breath and started to explain that the questions not only assess the technical competencies of the role but also the cultural fit and behaviours of the candidate. The candidate again tells me my questions are bull #&@! and have nothing to do with the role. He then proceeds to tell me that no one enjoys their job and people just need to work. By this point I was extremely shocked by his bizarre answers to my questions and the fact he kept ranting after I had explained it was based around cultural fit and behaviours not just technical ‘know how’. Once he drew breath and gave me a chance to speak I asked if he wanted to continue with the interview as these are specifically designed questions relating to the company and the role. To my surprise the candidate responded with “Yes I would like to continue!” In my head I’m thinking why????? Surely you realise you have epically failed!!!

I completed the rest of the phone interview which was like pulling teeth. Needless to say the candidate did NOT make it through to a face to face interview.

If you really want a role and want to succeed in an interview the following tips will help.

  1. Be enthusiastic in your answers.
  2. Be positive – you are trying to sell yourself.
  3. Don’t tell the recruiter their questions are bull #&@!

On a more serious note, if you want to be successful in an interview don’t do the following mistakes:

  • Be unprepared. Research the company’s history, location, products, mission and vision etc. There is nothing more embarrassing that not being able to answer “Tell me what you know about the company”.
  • Dress inappropriately. Dress accordingly for the role you applied for. If you have applied for a corporate position wear a suit and shirt. If you have applied for a role as a child care worker then wear smart casual attire.
  • Poor communication skills. Make sure you shake hands and make eye contact when you greet the interviewer. Engage with the person speaking to you and be confident. Keep your phone on silent during the interview and do not answer your phone unless it’s an emergency situation.
  • Waffling. When answering the interviewers questions don’t waffle. Keep your answers succinct, to the point and focused on the questions asked.
  • Not listen. Make sure you listen to the question being asked. If you are unsure ask for the question to be repeated. There is nothing worse than giving an incorrect or insufficient answer because you didn’t listen.
  • Badmouthing your current Manager, peers or company. You hate your job, manager or co-workers? That may be the case however the person interviewing you does not need to hear this. Be positive in your answers.

 

Written by our resident HR Guru, Natalie Bol.

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