The ugliness and horror of interviewing

Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 03:08 pm
I’ve been the fortunate one of the two individuals given the honor of interviewing for an open position. Yes, hurrah! We actually are going to be hiring. Now I face the horror and what I call the ugliness of interviewing.

The ugliness " I’ve met some people I really personally liked. Many of these really generally nice people have been laid off and I can see the eagerness in their faces and happiness and enthusiasm that there is actually a position and they are definitely qualified. The problem " many people are qualified. I feel horrible after the interviews knowing that some of these very nice qualified individuals will not be chosen.

Then the horror " the best qualified person on paper " the interview a disaster. This person isn’t resourceful enough to be able to find the place on his own (even with prior address and directions) " isn’t smart or clever enough to think to ask one of the thousands of people at the subway station " instead calls my work number. I’m resorted to giving directions over the phone on how to take the subway to our location. The interview goes worse. The person stutters and can’t fully answer a complete thought or fully answer a question. Talks about his dislike of working late and having other obligations. And to top it off this person currently has a job.
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 03:27 pm
Recommend the one you think would work out best overall. Best on paper does not necessarily mean best fit.
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 03:43 pm
That's for sure - especially since this individual appartently isn't too much on the ball - can't find the place or have enough sense to ask. Obviously not prepared to answer even normal interview questions.

I am not a hard ball interviewer - I want direct well thought out answers to questions that are meant to learn about the person and what they have accomplished - I don't ask "weird" or on the spot trying to catch you questions.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 04:40 pm
I'm one of those people that if you interviewed me you'd think I was retarded (actuallly I am).

But, when I go for an interview I shut down, my palms get sweaty and I have a massive panic attack and I'd rather be under your desk rather than behind it. Ask me a question and I might start stuttering and my eyes roll to the ceiling and I tremble.

Then resentment sets in. "What is that dumb **** talking about"? Did I finish highschool? You've got my resume, can't you read? I graduated suma cum laude from Jackass Flats University.

Then I start looking at you - lookat you bitch with your painted on phony smile and ten dollar words. Who you kidding, you had to sleep with someone to get your job.

Blood pressure goes up, self confidence goes down and irrational takes over and my nails get three inches longer before I lunge at you screaming.

Interviews are psychologically indecent.

The answer? When you are finished interiewing. Write all their names on individual pieces of paper and put them in a paper bag and ask the janitor to pick one. They all have to trained anyway.
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 05:02 pm
Linkat wrote:
the best qualified person on paper

Sounds like maybe they weren't entirely truthful on their resume.
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 05:05 pm
Did you happen to interview today?
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 05:07 pm
No, I think the it was truthful and all it would take was to call his current company and see if he works there in his current position. He was the only one with direct experience - doing the same job, but at a different company - the industry is small enough that what he says he does at his job is correct if he holds the actual job.

He wasn't qualified in my opinion because I am looking for something better than some one that just comes in and does the basics. I am looking for the person who will be promotable.
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Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 05:08 pm
Now that that is settled, what kind of machinations do you go through?

I always feel like a dueteragonist.
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 05:11 pm
What kind of company do your work for Linkat.
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 07:57 pm
No Linkat, I am over the hill and retired thank goodness.

However, in my capacity as a shop steward for IBEW, I had to participate in the firing of people that got hired because of poor judgement on the part of human resources.

Hiring and firing is not an easy task McGee.

Good Luck

0 Replies
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 09:22 pm
And then there's those people like me.

I am terrific at interviews. I've gotten many jobs I wasn't suited for.
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 09:27 pm
I personally wouldn't take any points away from him - regarding the getting lost part or even the stuttering part. That could be a case of nervousness caused by the fact he's going to be interviewed.

But everything else...
Talks about his dislike of working late and having other obligations. And to top it off this person currently has a job.

Should be a deal breaker. I really don't see a problem with looking at another candidate.
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 09:29 pm
I took a test today to be a census enumerator. I did very well on it.

I also speak Spanish, and as a clinical Social worker (now retired) I spent my whole career interviewing people in one way or another. I don't need a job but could use the money to pay off my credit card and/or for vacation money.

All of the 16-18 other people who took the test with me were strangers. One looked like a Virginia Tech student, about half were middle age and over.

Filling out forms prior to the test and during the instruction phase, it looked like some of the testees were struggling. One older man (about seventy-five I would guess) was overweight, poorly dressed and had a 'gray' look that caused me to think he is not well. He needed extra assistance.

I found myself feeling guilty that if I were hired I might be taking a job from someone who is desperate, who is behind on their bills, or who has no money for Christmas...

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Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 09:33 pm
Eva wrote:

And then there's those people like me.

I am terrific at interviews. I've gotten many jobs I wasn't suited for.

Any decent advice to give to someone looking?
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 10:52 pm
So, you have landed an interview for a seemingly wonderful job! Now what? Successful interviewing will be essential in order for you to lock in an offer. Here are some tips and strategies for effective interviewing from preparation through delivery. Let's start with an overview of the keys to positive interviewing.
Learn and Practice

Knowing as much as possible about the company can make your interview more interactive and could be just what you need to get ahead in a competitive job market. Next, practice answering typical interview questions so you'll be prepared and comfortable during the actual interview. Plan on what you are going to wear ahead of time. Also, make sure you know where you're going and give yourself plenty of time so you can arrive ahead of schedule.

Interviewing Help

Need more help? Review our interviewing section. Many of today's recruiters have adopted behavioral interviewing as their preferred method of screening candidates. Learn how to prepare for this common interviewing approach by reviewing Behavioral Based Interviewing.

Employer Research

Gathering background information on employers is crucial element for successful interview preparation. Review prospective employers web sites, especially the About This Company section and don't be afraid to request details on the position you are interviewing.

Mistakes! Want to avoid some of the typical interviewing blunders? Review How to Remedy Interview Blunders from the Wall Street Journal.

Money! Money! Money! Visit our Salary Center for salary survey information in a broad array of fields. This data will provide you with the information you need to discuss salary offers. You'll also find tips for successful handling those salary negotiations.

Practice Makes Perfect (or at least leads to improvement). See if you can schedule a mock interview. Your local State Employment Services offices may be able to help with a practice interview. Or practice with a friend and tape your responses so you can replay the interview and see how well you did. Prepare answers to commonly asked interview questions. Doing so will help you analyze your background and qualifications for the position. Finally, try and relax!

Interview Resources

Behavioral Interviews
How to Interview
Interview Question and Answer Samples
Interview Tips
What to Wear on an Interview
What Not to Do on an Interview
Interviewing Resources
Acing the Interview
Interviewing Questions / Answers
Interview Tips
Interview Preparation
Dressing for Success
Interview Etiquette
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Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 11:15 pm
Well....IF the job is the right one for you (which is a BIG "if")...dress right, carry yourself confidently, look the interviewer in the eye, relax and be congenial. Don't avoid answering any questions, but always phrase your answers in the way that makes you look best. ("I loved working with all the people at ABC Company, but I left because there wasn't enough opportunity for advancement"...NOT "I left ABC because they wouldn't promote me.") Do a little research beforehand so you know something about the company. Then throw in a few (not too many) knowledgeable tidbits during the interview. Emphasize that you're flexible, resourceful, and enjoy challenges. Be sure they know you take pride in your work, and you work well with others.

If you're in a situation where you have to wait in a room full of other applicants, size them up. If others are sloppy, straighten up your clothing and hair. If others are chewing gum, spit yours out. If others are slouching, stand as tall as you can. If others shuffle through the door to the inner office, walk up to the person holding the door (it might be the interviewer!) and shake their hand. In other words, make sure you come across better than they do. Think of it as a competition, because it is!
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 09:32 am
And don't forget the age old adage... If you can't impress them with intelligence then baffle them with bullshit.
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 11:23 am
linkat, some practical advice/tips for having to interview a candidate for a job.

oh, BTW, are you choosing who you will be having to come in for an interview, or are you being given people for whom interviews have already been set up?

Don't look at resumes, or call people to talk to/potentially set up interviews when you are at the low point mentally/emotionally in your day. That's like going to the grocery store when you're really hungry. You're just not going to make good choices.

Don't worry about making a quick hire. Hiring someone is like getting married. Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

Don't let a candidate get away with giving some generic answer to your questions.
If the reason they left not just their last job, but all their previous jobs don't make total sense to you. Ask again. Go ahead and say "I really don't understand what you mean by that. Can you explain? Sometimes I don't do that right then, but instead circle back around it later on and say "I've been thinking about what you said before about xyz. Can you tell me more about that?
If someone says "I left for personal reasons" they are banking on the fact that, you, being programed to be a polite person, are not going to ask them a personal questions.
Wrong....ask the question, "and what was that reason?"

That doesn't necessarily mean you're not going to like the answer. In fact, we just hired someone who gave me that exact answer. By that time, we had established comunication, but she gave that answer, because she felt it was the only thing she could say, without talking bad about her former employer. Because so far in our conversation (really, don't think of it as an interview, think of it of a conversation, where you're getting to know each other. The interviewee should be just as curious about you, meaning the company. You at that moment are the company to them), we had developed a trust, had shared a laugh about something, etc, she responded very well when I said "you know, as I said I'd worked in that same type of business for a few years, so nothing you're going to say will surprise me".
She opened up and related a disturbing problem, which was a totally understandable reason for leaving. She did it without making anyone look bad, which was another big plus for her.

If something on their resume doesn't make sense, don't let it go. Discuss it until you understand.
I have more than a pet peeve about people who put years of employment, rather than months and years.
If someone says on their resume they worked from 2001 -2003, that could mean they worked there anywhere from 3 years, down to 1 year and 2 days. Go back and get the months for each job. Don't feel bad about doing it. You don't want a job hopper.

It's unfortunate there are so many interviewers out there who have put a candidate on the hot seat, making them uncomfortable. We've all been in the situation where we feel like we're being examined under a microscope, and being made to feel nothing we say is right.

Put the candidate at their ease, the sooner you can get to the point where the two of you are just talking, the better it will go.

I've had people who do shut down. I'll spend, oh, up to 5 minutes just chatting, talking about where they are from, , asking about the traffic, agreeing that it's just awful. I'll get around to making them laugh, givng them a bottle of water, etc. Bascially letting them know I'm just a person too.
Not only do they relax so they'll communicate, now you can get them to spill their guts.

I actually have had a higher up say that to me "No one can get someone to spill their guts like you can Chai"

On the other hand, if I see they are being resentful of being asked questions, continue to give evasive answers. I wrap it up as soon as I can.

oh....I make it a practice to ask questions that are right there on the resume, where I can clearly see them.

#1 reason, if the person looking for a job balks at answering multiple questions about facts that are on their resume, or something that the recruiter has already asked them, what are they going to do when they are asked to do something on the job?

The person interviewing has a reason for asking. It's all part of finding out who you are.

Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 11:30 am

I always just hired the ones that I liked the best,
everything taken into consideration.

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Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 12:11 pm
Ha, just be sure you haven't been set up to interview your replacement.

Some employers have outrageous, sadistic senses of humor.

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