3 Defences Against Bad Interviewers

3 Defences Against Bad Interviewers

Last weekend I had the luxury of being away  in London and went out for breakfast Saturday morning.

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The food was great, but unfortunately we were seated next to a table of two guys who were very obviously interviewing for a position in their new start-up business.

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As I interview people day in, day out, this was rather like a Busman’s holiday for me and honestly I did try and focus on the divine blueberry pancakes in front of me.

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The candidate arrived after us and you couldn’t help but overhear the interview from start to finish. They were loud. Well one of them was anyway, he was the chap conducting the interview and taking the lead asking the questions.

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He didn’t in fact ask questions as such, as that would indicate he waited for responses, no he seemed to pitch at the poor victim for long periods of time, making statements and talking in clichés.

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What really gave me indigestion was what happened after the candidate left. The two ‘interviewers’ proceeded to dissect the short responses that did seem to make it through the wall of noise.

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They took grand leaps of assumption and drew wild conclusions on suitability. I could only imagine these decisions were drawn from the CV as the conversation that took place that morning certainly didn’t warrant them.

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One that stood out for me was: “She’ll need a lot of structure.”

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I think that spoke volumes about their own fears rather than hers. From the talk at the table beforehand it was clear they weren’t sure on what they needed, or if in fact they were ready to take on someone new.

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It was a big reminder to me, that however much you prepare and hang on each word of feedback, (if lucky enough to get any at all,) the sad fact is interviews are subjective. Bad decisions are made and communication can get lost in translation.

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If I were out there in the breach tomorrow I would try and remember this and focus on imparting just three things at each interview:

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  1. Why I am there, what interests me about the organisation and role which I have gleaned beforehand and during the interview.
  2. What I can offer, a short summary of what I believe my key relevant skill sets and experience for the organisation are.
  3. Why me over anyone else, well if you manage the first two this will pretty much stand you out anyway, but your unique selling point.

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At least you will have laid out your position. If you don’t get the job after that, give a sigh of relief, if that was the interview who knows what the management meetings would have been like?

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Photo Credit

The Sound Of Silence

Is It Just Bad Manners?

Cutting Out The Recruiter

Sarah Cooper has over 14 years Recruitment experience gained in both an internal and agency environment. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy Ltd, specialist Finance and HR Recruiters, she is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow her tweets @approachmarket

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